Using a Canadian Bank Debit card in England

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SDH283New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:05 pm

Using a Canadian Bank Debit card in England

Post Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:13 pm

I am about to leave for a 3 month trip to London.

When trying to book (for example) a room/studio, they say they charge extra for using a Credit Card -- no charge for Cash or Debit card.

So .. since this 'charge' on my CC could be significant, I was wondering if my CIBC debit card will work in the UK? It would be so convenient if it did, since that means I could avoid using cash a lot of the time.

NOW: Please, don't bother answering me about ATM cards, I am not talking about withdrawing cash (with a daily limit) .. I mean, do shops use Debit cards as much at here in Canada, and if they do, will my CIBC card work there?

Is there an alternative to paying my rent with a wad of cash? Is it worth opening a UK bank account for the three months I will be there? Are bank fees expensive?

snow_angelJunior Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Aschaffenburg

Re: Using a Canadian Bank Debit card in England

Post Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:15 pm

I am hoping someone else can give you more specific information but from my experience travelling to Great Britain is that they use cash as much as Canadians use debit cards. I think it is like that in most of europe. I live in Germany and we use cash over 90% of the time. Plus most shops take cash only. The supermarkets will take debit.

I have a Canadian CIBC debit/visa card. It is relatively new (in the last 6 months) as the technology has changed. It is a debit card (plus pin number) with a visa symbol on it so that while the machine reads it as a visa it comes out of my debit account.

My German husband could not believe that Canadians will buy a Tim Hortons coffee in the drivethru with a debt card.
lhmNew Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: USA

Re: Using a Canadian Bank Debit card in England

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:23 pm

Probably not much help, but I spent a couple years in Europe/UK and used a TD Debit Card, TD Visa, and an American debit card. I rarely had problems with the American card, as it was swipe, and never had any problems whenever I wanted to use the TD Debit, as it had a chip.
lynzSuper Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:51 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

Re: Using a Canadian Bank Debit card in England

Post Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:30 am

I believe that there should not be a problem using it if you have the Visa-Debit card. Watch out though - you do get slammed with fees so make sure you read all of the conditions.

btw - I'd look into the condition where it says you have to use a visa-debit card and you will get slammed for using your credit card. Quite frankly, I think that's kind of sketchy and never seen that condition before...but, I guess they want the money up front? why not just do a money transfer through paypal? It's fairly cheap to do.

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