On a recent trip to Berlin (Christmas market stuff with the wife, excellent place I can recommend it to anyone!) I wanted to take some cash.
There is this huge argument going on regarding cash at the moment, mainly how much longer will it be with us. Well folks, judging by that trip alone I think you will find that cash is still very much king. In some restaurants they actually only took cash, and these are the same restaurants that have been around for a while and are not closing down, as you might suspect. I would suggest that they do not want to get involved in the transactional costs that card terminals bring with them and I am told in Germany they are particularly expensive.
However, I digress. The debate is actually debit card or credit card when you purchase your currency…
Are you aware that from a merchant or sellers’ standpoint, using your debit card is cheaper for them, whereas the credit card is much more expensive? Yes, with a credit card you do get better protection, and for big-ticket items purchased online I would suggest using a credit card because you have recourse, but maybe not when it comes to currency.
On this trip to Berlin, I bought my cash in the UK through a huge retail chain. I went online, ordered and paid by credit card and went to pick it up from said retailer. Let’s forget the fact that the cash was expensive, that’s what Bidwedge.com aims to solve, putting value back into your cash currency as a Seller or Buyer, this was about the additional monies that I got charged by my credit card company on top of the cost of the currency that I had bought. Why is the big question?
Get this for the answer, because I bought cash on my credit card, it is perceived as a cash advance off your credit card; therefore you attract an additional fee from the credit card company!!! I only bought 250 euros, which in the end cost me £247.80, doesn’t take a genius to work out that something really needs to be done to change how we purchase our foreign currency. Just for those out there that like to know the ins and outs, the additional charge was nearly £12, so you can do the math yourself.
So, the answer is to buy on your debit card, it’s hugely cheaper.