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How to exchange money cheaply?

 

by @neutron | 5yr  | 26 comments

Just thought I would give a tip for something thats been amazingly useful for me recently.

Itโ€™s basically a pre-paid debit card, where itโ€™s free to exchange into Euro GBP and Dollar.

There are no costs to use it. You upload money into it and then it exchanges it at โ€œinter-bank ratesโ€ - the same rates as the banks get I believe.

No commisions, No costs, No discrepancies in FX rates.

I reckon I must have saved around ยฃ150 this month in various fees for things.

Another good one is transferwise - if you have to send money direct to someones bank account - there are charges but very small (like ยฃ2 to send ยฃ400)

Hope it can help a few people out there and give the banks a good duff up at the same time :slight_smile:

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@neutron | 4yr

oh well, all good things come to an end.

Revolut are putting limits on atm withdrawls now -

You can only get ยฃ500 per month and then after its 2% which is pretty much the same as the banks are offering.

Im just gonna get my ยฃ500 per month and then not use it after that!

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@nomadtax | 4yr

Revolut isnโ€™t a good option anymore, especially since they now charge a spread of 2-5% on each transactions (yes even ATM withdrawals below 500).

Iโ€™ve tried a few of these fintech products but the good ones keep going bankrupt, being acquired or changing their offering. Considering we are talking about actually money, Iโ€™d recommend going with a real bank for now. I understand that banking sucks in most countries but then there is always offshore banking.

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@neutron | 4yr

Thanks nomadtax - Iโ€™m not a fan of bait and switch tactics - so I will drop them completely now! Surprising that this type of strategy can be valid in todays world. I donโ€™t think I could sleep at night working at a company like this. Sad :confused:

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@robetus | 5yr

Just wanted to give a quick update on my experience with Revolut. I tried to add money with a mastercard debit card and it doesnโ€™t work regardless of it saying it does work with both visa and mastercard debit cards. I asked support about it and they said theyโ€™d get back to me, that was two weeks ago. I have one visa debit card that I donโ€™t use often but wanted to check out the exchange features of the Revolut app so I added some money. It only allows me to exchange USD to EUR or GBP. I tried to add a currency to exchange with no luck so I asked support again about that and havenโ€™t heard anything back in over week. Very disappointing.

I know theyโ€™re still in business because they just updated their iPhone app but the donโ€™t answer me. I emailed them at their support email today to see if I get a response. Iโ€™ll update when I do.

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@neutron | 5yr

Just a quick update on this.

The card is great when it works well.

We have lost some money somehow on the card (multiple cash withdrawals that arenโ€™t accounted for - maybe fraud, maybe a glitch in their system - it is impossible to tell unless we get in touch with the bank where the money was taken out). Quite a lot of other people are saying the same thing. After the fraud happens they block your card - so you canโ€™t use it any more - and maybe lose the remaining money on the card -I donโ€™t know?

I donโ€™t recommend using the card as a debit card - you wont be able to track your spendingโ€ฆ

Highly recommend to just put the money on you want to withdraw, and then withdraw it at a cash point - straight away. Do not leave any money on the card/in the app - unless you want to lose it.

Weโ€™ve found the customer service pretty patchy in places. You also cannot get a detailed breakdown of transactions - which makes life really difficult.

Stay safe!

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@juliendevoir | 5yr

There is a tool to exchange money cheaply : http://neomy.io

It checks in real-time exchange rates, spots and alerts you automatically when it is best time for you to transfer money, in terms of which money corridor you follow. So you can save even more money when you do your transfer, because it is at the best exchange rate. I use it and it works very well.

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@nomadtax | 5yr

Iโ€™ve written a review of Revolut on my blog. You can read it here:

For those in the EU, Number26 is also a good alternative. For those who want true offshore banking, check out the Unionpay debit card from Standard Chartered in Hong Kong. No withdrawal fees, no forex fees, no monthly fees.

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@robetus | 5yr

Just ordered my revolut card for my trip to India and SEA. Iโ€™m a US citizen currently living in Germany and had no problem getting my card sent to my German address. Itโ€™s cool how they give you a digital version of the card right away. Thanks so much for the recommendation neutron!

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

Hi all,

I spent many hours reading about & trying banking services.

I finally got to write an article on my new blog regarding โ€œBanking solutions for travellers, expats & Digital Nomadsโ€.

I believe it will help many people to save ton of research & time consuming try-and-error.

Please feel free to give me your feedback & let me know if there is a service I forgot to mention.

Andโ€ฆ Merry Christmas from Ko Toa! :blush:

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@borowis | 5yr

Hey, @neutron I think you should provide a referral link to anyone who appreciates your advice. I most definitely do.

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@neutron | 5yr

Yeah, unfortunately referral links arent allowed on here. Iโ€™m happy just to know that a few people can benefit really.

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@borowis | 5yr

Hey guys revolut seems great, thanks! Iโ€™m only not sure how to put money to the account if my debit card is issued in Ukraine, I certainly do not want to pay for SWIFT transfer as per their FAQ : ( Is there anyone here with a similar situation?

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@borowis | 5yr

Ah, seems like this fee applies only to bank transfer. So, allโ€™s good, thank you.

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

If have you do an international bank transfer & exchange currency at the same time, then you might want to use CurrencyFair or TransferWise for that purpose.

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

@neutron That looks like a great solution!

I love currencyfair & transferwise for exchanging & transferring money, revolut would be a nice addition to these tools.

One question: this company seems UK based, can resident of other (any?) countries use this service?

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@neutron | 5yr

Hi,

I really donโ€™t know. Maybe download the app and give it a try. It seems to work anywhere that debit allowsโ€ฆ

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

I just successfully signed up to Revolut & I am NOT a UK resident :smile:

Will try to actually use this & see how it goes. Thanks again for the tip @neutron, this could change quite a few things in my personal finances.

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@borowis | 5yr

Yes, they work in other coutries as well.

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@keithbaumwald | 5yr

Iโ€™ve been using Revolut now for awhile and itโ€™s awesome and you get the exact same rate you see on Google. Iโ€™ve taken money out at ATMs in at least 20 countries with no issues (other than Bosnia where they donโ€™t operate). Their customer service is also great - highly recommended.

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@richardh | 5yr

Thereโ€™s a few of these zero/low fee prepaid debit cards cropping up. I use WeSwap. Those guys are very cautious about complying with AML/KYC, and as such do not permit P2P transfers.

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

@RichardH: WeSwap seems pretty good too!

Only supports 16 currencies though, versus 90 currencies for Revolut.

Just like Revolut, the exchange rate used is the โ€œmid-market exchange rate โ€ฆ Also known as the interbank rate or spot rateโ€.

One question: this company is UK based, can resident of other (any?) countries use this service?

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@barryokane | 5yr

+1 for transferwise. Use it all the time.

I also use azimo.com (the do some currencies/countries that transferwise does not.

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@flyingscottie | 5yr

This sounds really great!! Iโ€™m considering using when coming from Canada to Portugal in a few weeks.

Any downsides I should know about? Are the physical cards accepted everywhere? Any issue using in particular ATMs etc?

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@neutron | 5yr

No downsides I have found. There is only one place here (portgual) that wouldnt accept and that is because its mastercard not visa.

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@nunoarruda | 5yr

I know a similar (?) service, https://www.monese.com/ but never use it

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@adrienbetweets | 5yr

@nunoarruda: Monese seemed like an interesting solution too. And they provide a VISA debit card.

However, it only supports GBP & EUR. Not much of a solution when traveling! This company is UK based btw, and I assume they wonโ€™t let anyone who is not a UK resident sign up for their card.

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Read and participate in 13,965 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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Driving from Italy to Croatia..how to handle passport?


in Croatia by @ld | 5d 5 days ago | 3 comments

Hello, we are US citizens that have been able to stay in Italy past our standard visa stay due to covid. Now we must leave. We want to drive to Croatia as our โ€œout of EUโ€ stay. But Iโ€™m now wondering what considerations I need to take care of for my visa. I wonโ€™t go through an airport and get my passport stamped. But I assume I need to get my passport stamped as a way to prove Iโ€™m out of the EU.

Anyone else travel in and out of Schengen zone via car? Or know what I should do to properly handle the visa situation? I get unclear answers online. Hmm.

Appreciate your help!

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Introduce yourself โ€” who are you, where are you and what do you do?

 

by @coffeeshopceo | 10d 9 days ago | 672 comments

tl;dr: introduce yourself in this thread.

We must all get sick of the same backpacker travel questions when we meet new friends, I know I do.

You know the ones - where are you from, whereโ€™ve you been, where are you going, what do you do, how long have you been doing it - etc.

The novelty of answering these questions wears off after maybe a week, but theyโ€™re nonetheless insightful and no matter how much we hate them, we find ourselves asking others.

So letโ€™s bring the dreaded backpacker questionnaire to NomadForum and introduce ourselves shall we?

**

  • whatโ€™s your name?
  • where are you from?
  • how long have you been away from home?
  • what do you do?
  • where are you currently?
  • where are you going?
  • what has been memorable for you so far?
  • will you go home anytime soon?
  • what have you learnt during your time as a nomad?
  • [insert your own question here]

**

No need to answer them all if you donโ€™t want to :smile:
But the more you shareโ€ฆ The merrier!

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 10d 10 days ago | 1 comment

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Best/quickest way from Italy to Croatia?


in Croatia by @ld | 12d 11 days ago | 3 comments

Hello,

We are in Umbria until August 31. We've been here since March, but crisis-level visa extensions are over. After that we have to leave the EU. We would like to stay out of the USA (our home) due to it's covid crisis, at the same time we want to be responsible about travel. Ideally we would not travel at all, rather stay hidden in the countryside of Umbria forever until covid is more under control globally, but here we are!

So we must leave the Schengen zone. We should avoid USA. We should avoid long air travel.

We were thinking Croatia.

Do you recommend a route to Croatia? We are open to long train rides. Ideally not long ferry rides. Is there a ferry route under 4 hours? I read about it...I don't see it. If not, the other option is to make our way north and up over to Croatia via train.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and insights!

Thanks.

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Where should I set up my company as a remote worker?


by @beloruchka | 16d 15 days ago | 6 comments

Iโ€™m looking for any recommendations for services or people others have used to get answers on the best place to set up their businesses based on their personal circumstances.

Leaning towards Singapore after a ton of research, but would really like some concrete advice before jumping in.

Appreciate it!

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Anybody bring their car to Mexico instead of flying?


in Mexico by @digitaldiva | 16d 16 days ago | 1 comment

Iโ€™m curious whether anyone drove to Mexico instead of flying and used their car down there. Iโ€™ve heard bad stories of people driving down there but not sure I believe them. How safe is it to drive through rural areas, and to park in cities? It would be cool to have the car to explore while there.

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Did you learn any Thai before staying in Chiang Mai?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @digitaldiva | 16d 16 days ago | 0 comments

Iโ€™m curious to know how many people learned some Thai before going there. Learning languages is a hobby of mine but Iโ€™m very put off by how complex the writing system is, and if I decide not to learn it Iโ€™ll probably cross Chiang Mai off my bucket list. I prefer to be at least conversational in a language before I do an extended stay in a country. Iโ€™m curious how people who learned no Thai did getting by. And Iโ€™m curious, from people who did learn some, if itโ€™s any easier than it seems? Thanks!

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What age did you start out and went location independent?


by @raynesio | 19d 18 days ago | 11 comments

Eager to find out what age most start out as a DN? (Me)โ€ฆ 27 and just started out in the last 6 months or so. Not presently 100% location independent, probably more like 90% as still required to visit the office from time to time

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How to get SMS verifications for banks while traveling?

 

by @jackgopack | 21d 20 days ago | 39 comments

Any suggestions for seamlessly receiving SMS Verifications from US financial institutions and other sites while traveling internationally continuously? Wonโ€™t keep my US Verizon account due to cost and currently plan to use local sims at each destination (T-Mobile and Project Fi are NOT an option as they terminate for continuous roaming). In summation, I wonโ€™t have a US mobile account.

Unless Iโ€™m missing something, which is very possible, this appears to be the single most complex issue Iโ€™ve encountered in my preparations, and one that no one addresses. I would greatly appreciate any possible solution that works 100% of the time. Canโ€™t afford surprises in this regard. Many Thanks! Jack.

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How do you ensure that you have good WiFi for working whilst travelling e.g. in places like India?


in India by @davda1546 | 22d 21 days ago | 4 comments

We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?

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Anywhere to exchange talent/interests, find collaborators?


by @vladepap | 4yr 4 years ago | 1 comment

Hi there nomads,

Iโ€™m currently working on a project (or attempting to) but am struggling to find collaborators. I need someone with a specific talent/ability but donโ€™t know where to look.

Specifically, I would like to build an app or a device using programmed hardware (Eg: raspberry Pi)

I could use Elance or post on Facebook, but I have a very fast turnaround time and would rather contribute to this community. I 've posted via Twitter.

I was wondering if there is any kind of talent or collaboration board on here that I could post to?

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What is the situation with exchange rate on ATM's in Argentina after lifting peso regulations?


in Argentina by @janjiss | 4yr 4 years ago | 5 comments

Hello folks,
I wanted to know what is the situation with exchange rate in Argentina after deregulation? Has taking out money from ATM became reasonable?
I am considering Cordoba as one of the next locations to work from, but I do not want to deal with the shady black exchange markets.
Thanks :slight_smile:

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Are you tax compliant? OECD auto-exchange starts today


by @nomadtax | 5yr 4 years ago | 5 comments

Some of you may be aware that the OECD agreed a while ago on a reporting standard for all itโ€™s members and partners. This standard comes into effect today in some countries.

In effect, this means that from today it will become nearly impossible to avoid declaring offshore bank accounts. I bet most nomads have at least one account in a foreign country so this will affect most of us.

This also means that tax reporting has just got a bit more complicated for many now that those foreign accounts must be declared (often in another currency). If you arenโ€™t sure about whether you are tax compliant, nowโ€™s the time to talk to your tax adviser. I offer an international tax consulting service for those who might be interested.

Hereโ€™s more details about the new standard (see page 36-37 for the list of participating countries):

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