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Liverpool Victoria (CSMA) credit card changes

Derek Uzzell

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For many years I've had a Civil Service Motoring Association (CSMA) credit card, the provider of which is currently Liverpool Victoria (LV). On September 27th, responsibilities for such credit card accounts will pass from LV to Goldfish Bank Ltd.


The leaflet that details how the CSMA account will alter on that date includes the following paragraph:


"We have increased the commission we charge for foreign transactions so that a fee of 3% will be payable on all transactions which are not in sterling irrespective of where they are made."


One of the (few) reasons I've remained 'loyal' to the LV CSMA card is that foreign transactions within the EU have been commission-free, but from 27/09/2007 this benefit will cease to apply.


The reason I mention this is in case other CSMA card-holding motorcaravanners overlook the small print paragraph I've mentioned above, or (as is likely to be the case) the change in commission affects alternative LV credit cards (eg. the Caravan Club card).


After 27/09/2007 I shall use Nationwide's credit card while abroad. I believe this is now the sole UK credit card that charges no commission on foreign transactions made worldwide, though I think the Saga-issued card remains commission-free for foreign purchases made within the EU.

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We've used Nationwide cards for a while when abroad - in fact I opened my "Flexaccounts" with them specially for that purpose. Not only are both the Credit and Debit cards commission-free, but the rates are usually good too. Checking my statements after this summer's trip I find I've been getting an average of 1.48€ to the £ during the period we were away!


If they had a local branch I'd do all my banking with them.



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Like Mike P, I have recently started to use a Post Office Mastercard. Like the Nationwide card it is commission free anywhere abroad, while I believe the Saga card (currently administered by LV+Frizzell) is only commission free in the EU. Also with the Post Office card you get to speak with lovely Irish ladies if you need to 'phone the Helpline. Do Nationwide have that? I ask myself.



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