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Nationwide Building Society Changes


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hmmm, well it looks as if the Nationwide debit card will still be the cheapest..as they are only going to pass on the 1%

Visa charge on transactions for certain countries Thailand being one of those countries.

The Abbey Zero Credit Card would seem to be the next best thing...but

The only negative is its high 27.9% cash withdrawal interest rate, which you pay even if you clear the card in full. Yet as that’s roughly £2 for a month per £100, it's still cheaper than the cash withdrawal fees on other cards
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I have read the Nationwide aricle and it states

When you use a Nationwide Visa debit card or credit card to make a transaction in certain currencies other than sterling, Visa charge a fee for each transaction and Nationwide currently pays that fee on your behalf.

Now my interpretaion of this is that when you usee your visa card in future you will be charged a fee, however, what is not clear is using your Nationwide Flexi Account Debit card where you draw cash direct from your Nationwide bank account and not via Visa will that also be subject to a charge? Drawing cash from your own account is different to using a card for purchases via the Visa network but the article is not very clear. Perhaps one of our members in the UK can call Nationwide on the phone number given in the article and clarify the situation?

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Now my interpretaion of this is that when you usee your visa card in future you will be charged a fee, however, what is not clear is using your Nationwide Flexi Account Debit card where you draw cash direct from your Nationwide bank account and not via Visa will that also be subject to a charge? Drawing cash from your own account is different to using a card for purchases via the Visa network but the article is not very clear. Perhaps one of our members in the UK can call Nationwide on the phone number given in the article and clarify the situation?

Nationwide Flexaccount is a VISA debit card so it WILL get caught up in the new charges. :o

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Even at the moment I get a better exchange rate in Singapore by taking out a larger amount from my Nationwide Debit card. 500 SGD, vs 300 SGD gives me about 2% more..... could be due to daily exchange fluctuations, but it's consistently better and seems a bit more than co-incidence.

Anybody in Thailand seen a similar effect?

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The cash card comes under Cirrus, have used it before, if i remember correctly they did'nt put the actual exchange rate on the statement and the rate of exchange seemed not as good as the Visa debit card. Going to search if you can find out how they work it out.

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...just spoke with the Nationwide helpdesk and the guy didn't know anything about this, however, he spoke to his manager and the debit card will be affected from June (he said) but not the cash card although he said his notes imply that they intend at some stage to recover cost on the cash card as well.

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I also spoke to the UK Nationwide help desk last night and they informed me that all ATM withdrawals in Thailand ie.both visa debit and cash cards would be subject to the 1% charge. I hope this info is incorrect but if not I guess opening a Thai bank account will be the cheapest way to transfer large sums from the UK but I would be grateful if someone could confirm what commission the Thai banks charge for cash withdrawals by ATM or over the counter.

Many thanks

Edited by duan
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I also spoke to the UK Nationwide help desk last night and they informed me that all ATM withdrawals in Thailand ie.both visa debit and cash cards would be subject to the 1% charge. I hope this info is incorrect but if not I guess opening a Thai bank account will be the cheapest way to transfer large sums from the UK but I would be grateful if someone could confirm what commission the Thai banks charge for cash withdrawals by ATM or over the counter.

Many thanks

Some banks charge, some don't, usually 20 baht if they do. Siam Commercial Bank don't charge if withdrawn over the counter.

Much cheaper than withdrawing from UK bank accounts (in Thailand) but you need to factor in the cost of bringing the money over.

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When does it become more favourable to use swift in relation to charges please, ( debit card ) if any ?

Convenience wise it is of course easier to make use of the ATM facilities relating to time, i reckon.

Thank you

Depends how much your bank charges for using swift.

If Nationwide are going to charge 1%, (others are 2.5% but all vary) then to withdraw, for example, £1000 is going to cost you £10. If you can transfer £1000 over for less than that then use swift.

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Having read some of the earlier e-mails on this thread I have checked again with the UK help desk today who referred my query to a manager who confirmed that ATM withdrawals abroad using the cash card as opposed to a visa credit/debit card would remain charge free because Maestro does not charge Nationwide whereas Visa do

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Just been on the phone with them they said Visa credit card charge from 6 May 2009, Visa Debit card charge from 1 June 2009, but any card that is NOT Visa, will slill be 0% because currently Visa are the only ones to charge the bank for withdrawls.

The lady told me I could apply for a mastercard cash only card instore for my account and still have 0% regardless.

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but not the cash card

Ok so how do I go about getting a cash card ( Maestro ATM ? )

from them ???...I have 2 Flexaccounts, they gave me Visa debit cards for both.

BTW I'm in Thailand at the moment.

as far as I know it's an option when you open the account unless they don't trust you then you get the cash card.

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Nationwide charge 20 pound per swift transaction,plus receiving bank will charge to change currency to thai baht.Siam commercial bank have a 500 baht maximum charge on recieving swift payment.

If you have nationwide online account you can print the swift payment form ,fill it in ,sign it,send it to UK to get money sent to your thai bank account.

Hsbc only charge 15 pounds to send and i think its quicker.

Im still gutted nationwide will start to charge though as its so convienient with my debit card,but with the cash card,is it still able to use in most ATM in thailand..

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I referenced the Maestro / Master ? cash card and was directed to the following, but i,m not sue if it is relevant, but just in case it is.

Taken from the online web site this morning. 27-02-2009

You are allowed to upgrade to a cash card under the following re qualification

Last updated: 10/02/2009 13:41:31

Upgrade to a FlexAccount debit card

You may be eligible to upgrade your FlexAccount cash card to a debit card if your account is well conducted.

To apply, please visit your local branch with your current FlexAccount card.

However, there are circumstances where we would not be able to consider upgrading your cash card to a debit card, which include:

If you are under age 18

Your existing account has been open for less than 7 months

You have applied for an upgrade within the last 4 months

Your account has recently been overdrawn without authorisation

Other Nationwide products you hold have been in arrears

Your account has not been used in the last 3 months

Loan, mortgage, or credit card you hold with other providers have been in arrears

You are currently bankrupt or subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

If none of these circumstances apply to you, you may be eligible for an debit card upgrade.

I,ve messaged them via personal Online log in and will post any reply i get from them that is related and useful.

Thank you

Edited by sheff_mick
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I referenced the Maestro / Master ? cash card and was directed to the following, but i,m not sue if it is relevant, but just in case it is.

Taken from the online web site this morning. 27-02-2009

You are allowed to upgrade to a cash card under the following re qualification

Last updated: 10/02/2009 13:41:31

Upgrade to a FlexAccount debit card

You may be eligible to upgrade your FlexAccount cash card to a debit card if your account is well conducted.

To apply, please visit your local branch with your current FlexAccount card.

However, there are circumstances where we would not be able to consider upgrading your cash card to a debit card, which include:

If you are under age 18

Your existing account has been open for less than 7 months

You have applied for an upgrade within the last 4 months

Your account has recently been overdrawn without authorisation

Other Nationwide products you hold have been in arrears

Your account has not been used in the last 3 months

Loan, mortgage, or credit card you hold with other providers have been in arrears

You are currently bankrupt or subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

If none of these circumstances apply to you, you may be eligible for an debit card upgrade.

I,ve messaged them via personal Online log in and will post any reply i get from them that is related and useful.

Thank you

I just got a message telling me if I want a cash card (I have visa debit) I need to reapply online for another account, I have done this but as yet no option for cash card awaiting more details after they look at application.

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The decision on whether you get a cash card (red/purple now) or visa debit (blue) is usually based on your credit status. However, when I applied for my accounts, if you opted to *not* have a cheque book, then you would be given a cash card.

Experiments conducted by former TV member Topfield (who was banned) indicated that the exchange rate given by Visa was typically better than Cirrus (Mastercard). When I was monitoring this I found that Visa's published GBP/THB rates were typically as good as and sometimes slightly better than Kasikorn's published TT rates. So this is good. Sadly, Mastercard (Cirrus) don't seem to publish their standard card exchange rates. But from observed experience, Mastercard's exchange rates are not as good as Visa's.

If it is true that Visa charge Nationwide, whereas Mastercard do not, then Nationwide, which is still a member owned society, should not charge it's members for overseas withdrawals anywhere, where a cash card is used. I guess we will just have to wait and see on this one. Sadly there appears to be no alternative on this one, other than the people who managed to get an Abbey Zero card with free ATM withdrawals.

One possibility, which I have personally no tried, but have asked for info and experience on TV, is to pre-load a credit card and either make ATM withdrawals or to enter a bank and for them to swipe the card and deposit the money into your bank account. Pre-loading is where you make a trasnfer to you credit card, so that it is in credit ie, there is a positive balance on your credit card or you could say you have overpaid and the credit card company owes you money. UK cards which have limited or no overseas loading or charges are Saga, Post Office, Abbey Zero and, of course, Nationwide. I have been aware of others, but have not heard much about them for some time.

If anyone can shed any further light or actual experience on pre-loading, please do share this, as I am sure this will be most sought after, given Nationwide's decision.

I actually think that Nationwide's members should challenge them over this, as it has been a key selling point for the flex account and much advertised by Nationwide.

Look forward to any replies...

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I read in the online Daily Telegraph this morning that the Post Office still have credit cards that do not charge for overseas usage, not sure about the debit cards.

Since the start of this recession, Nationwide's interest rates on Bonds & savings accounts has reduced dramatically & I noticed from last months statement that the authorized overdraft fee has gone up to 1.382% per month.

It appears that mortgage holders with UK banks are doing well out of the current financial climate but savers are being penalized, I think far too much.

Again from UK newspapers record amounts of money are being withdrawn by customers

With the GBP v Thai Baht rate being dismal my monthly income has been reduced severely.

As a Nationwide member for many years I am very disappointed with this change in policy and as I have to return to UK in April I will be going to my local branch and have a good whinge !!

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I read in the online Daily Telegraph this morning that the Post Office still have credit cards that do not charge for overseas usage, not sure about the debit cards.

Since the start of this recession, Nationwide's interest rates on Bonds & savings accounts has reduced dramatically & I noticed from last months statement that the authorized overdraft fee has gone up to 1.382% per month.

It appears that mortgage holders with UK banks are doing well out of the current financial climate but savers are being penalized, I think far too much.

Again from UK newspapers record amounts of money are being withdrawn by customers

With the GBP v Thai Baht rate being dismal my monthly income has been reduced severely.

As a Nationwide member for many years I am very disappointed with this change in policy and as I have to return to UK in April I will be going to my local branch and have a good whinge !!

Charges for credit cards and debit cards are different. There are a number of UK credit cards that are good for overseas/foreign currency transactions. However, there is only the Nationwide Flex account card (Debit card) that is good for overseas use, and particularly ATM use.

My personal experience of complaining to Nationwide is that they couldn't give a sh1t on a single customer basis. The only way to have any chance is to raise a concern on a group basis. I think that if this change is considered significantly detrimental by sufficient people it should be raised at one of the members (shareholders) meetings, if no better solution can be found.

Sterling and THB is another issue - I'm worried that if the BoE start printing money (Quantitative Easing) and they get it wrong, hyper inflation may take hold and sterling will be worth jack and may be for many years. This may be the best rates for sterling you will see for many years. Perhaps it would be a good idea to buy gold/valuable commodity or your favorite currencies now. Yet again, so much for the savers.

And dont forget that all this government spending will have to be paid for. So anyone with a UK passport, living overseas, with a bit put away or an income may feel HMRC getting more keen on them. Worthwhile considering getting another passport and knowing how to give up UK nationality.

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It may well be, given the Cirrus (Mastercard) exchange rate is not as good as Visa's, that Mastercard have built into the exchange rate, a fee for the transaction. Much like the "commission free" Post Office (travel money, not credit card) does, only not as much !

If anyone knows if Mastercard publish exchange rates, would be very interesting to see - and to do a comparison with Visa's and some of the Thai banks' TT rates...

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The most annoying thing is that Nationwide have not officially informed existing customers of the forthcoming changes to the fees for using credit/debit cards abroad, and they are still saying on their site that use of debit/credit cards overseas are still comission free.

This is going to have a big effect on me as I use my debit and credit cards to manage my money when abroad.....

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