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Unmanned fuel pumps and pre payments

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Ash-69
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Joined: 11 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: 12:01 - 18 Apr 2023    Post subject: Unmanned fuel pumps and pre payments Reply with quote

Morning all, long time no speak etc but today I have a question for the continental tourers

I'm off to Spain/Portugal end of next month and will be using one of those prepayment cards (Starling) to purchase fuel/grub/booze etc, my question for you lot, is how do you get around the £120 pre authorisation for automated pumps if you have to use multiples of them over a weekend, most of the supermarkets seem to have them rather than a manned kiosk ...

As a backup I'll be carrying a standard debit card, a credit card and a few Euros to cover all bases but would prefer to avoid Lloyds foreign currency charges

Cheers, Ian
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MCN
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PostPosted: 18:38 - 18 Apr 2023    Post subject: Re: Unmanned fuel pumps and pre payments Reply with quote

Ash-69 wrote:
Morning all, long time no speak etc but today I have a question for the continental tourers

I'm off to Spain/Portugal end of next month and will be using one of those prepayment cards (Starling) to purchase fuel/grub/booze etc, my question for you lot, is how do you get around the £120 pre authorisation for automated pumps if you have to use multiples of them over a weekend, most of the supermarkets seem to have them rather than a manned kiosk ...

As a backup I'll be carrying a standard debit card, a credit card and a few Euros to cover all bases but would prefer to avoid Lloyds foreign currency charges

Cheers, Ian


Contact your card issuer for help.
I believe its the bank who put a block on cards to protect the customer.
Let the bank know where and when you'll be travelling and they will fix it.

I travel all over the globe and I'm never blocked now. UK bank debit and credit. I used to get the odd issue but the bank know I'm a gypsy.
Only issue is the usual limits on your card/s, the contact less payment limit and occasional pin required just to protect you.

I've done a few road trips through the Olde EU and never noticed any Shenanigans like £120 pre-authorisations
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Nobby the Bastard
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Joined: 16 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: 19:36 - 18 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing you can do is specify the max amount dispensed before you pick up the pump. That'll be the amount you will be precharged for.
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stinkwheel
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Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 19:43 - 18 Apr 2023    Post subject: Re: Unmanned fuel pumps and pre payments Reply with quote

MCN wrote:


Contact your card issuer for help.
I believe its the bank who put a block on cards to protect the customer.
Let the bank know where and when you'll be travelling and they will fix it.

I travel all over the globe and I'm never blocked now. UK bank debit and credit. I used to get the odd issue but the bank know I'm a gypsy.
Only issue is the usual limits on your card/s, the contact less payment limit and occasional pin required just to protect you.

I've done a few road trips through the Olde EU and never noticed any Shenanigans like £120 pre-authorisations


Maybe you didn't notice because it was an actual credit card rather than a pre-pay card.

Some pay at pumps put a £120 "hold" on your card when you use it, before you've taken any fuel so it knows the balance will be covered (so you don't put £120 in your tank using a credit card with a fiver left on it). they haven't taken the money but you can't spend that money until the hold comes off again which can take a couple of days. Like when you hire a car and they put a £1500 hold on your credit card for the damage waiver excess.

Fine if you've got a credit limit of £5k and you're fuelling up a car but If you stop five times on the bike if you're doing a mileage day, that's a £600 hold on your prepay card. You can't spend that £600 until the hold comes off. If it was on a Friday, that might not be until the Monday.
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Ash-69
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PostPosted: 06:55 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Stinkwheel's got it ... the Squirel card doesn't have an overdraft facility, so as my other half found out a couple of weeks ago, the pump authorised to whatever was left on card £30 but then declined it as it was less than the preauthorisation amount and wouldn't dispense any fuel ... To add to the buggeration factor I can't access the remaining £30 either until the bank and Carrefour get their shit synced which can take 30 days ...... Crying or Very sad
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A100man
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PostPosted: 11:41 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for teh heads up.. what a bag o' shite.
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Tierbirdy
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PostPosted: 12:26 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

To avoid all this hassle I just go looking around for the best 0% fees/charges on foreign transaction credit cards. Barclays did a good platinum travellers credit card or something like that which had 3 years of no fees for use abroad. Just dont forget to pay it off by the end of the following month so it doesnt rack up any interest and its basically the same as a prepay card, just put the money aside to pay the CC off rather than putting it on a prepay card.
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Arfa__
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Joined: 01 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: 12:27 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also don't forget that Starling disables the mag-strip for security by default. I found a lot of places abroad still relied upon this and had to keep enabling it again in the app to avoid getting declined.

Granted, it's been a couple of years since I was last abroad, but it certainly was a common issue in the US, everything from small food vendors, parking lots to toll booths. So, watch out, this can sometimes be the reason for your Starling card to be declined abroad.
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MCN
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PostPosted: 16:15 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bank exchange is not really a concern for me. For Travel expenses.
The hassle of arranging a prepaid card would bore me to distraction.

I must be too much of a toff.

And everyone knows that Toffs are careless.
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 21:26 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tierbirdy wrote:
To avoid all this hassle I just go looking around for the best 0% fees/charges on foreign transaction credit cards. Barclays did a good platinum travellers credit card or something like that which had 3 years of no fees for use abroad.

Absolutely this. I have a Barclaycard which not only charges 0% fees abroad, and doesn't load the exchange rate, but it even gives me a small cashback on overseas spends too. These days when I go to Europe post-COVID I do maintain a cash float of about £100 in my wallet for 'emergencies' charges, but usually I go back home with that more or less untouched - I just use contactless Barclaycard everywhere. Worth mentioning that there is no way of obtaining foreign cash to spend overseas without paying for it somehow. I bypass that step.

For what it's worth, I've been riding round the EU for the last 10 days, and literally have not paid for petrol once where it hasn't involved sticking a credit card into a petrol pump. (There's always a message about reserving £120 or something but meh. I just ignore it )
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MCN
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PostPosted: 21:34 - 19 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:
Tierbirdy wrote:
To avoid all this hassle I just go looking around for the best 0% fees/charges on foreign transaction credit cards. Barclays did a good platinum travellers credit card or something like that which had 3 years of no fees for use abroad.

Absolutely this. I have a Barclaycard which not only charges 0% fees abroad, and doesn't load the exchange rate, but it even gives me a small cashback on overseas spends too. These days when I go to Europe post-COVID I do maintain a cash float of about £100 in my wallet for 'emergencies' charges, but usually I go back home with that more or less untouched - I just use contactless Barclaycard everywhere. Worth mentioning that there is no way of obtaining foreign cash to spend overseas without paying for it somehow. I bypass that step.

For what it's worth, I've been riding round the EU for the last 10 days, and literally have not paid for petrol once where it hasn't involved sticking a credit card into a petrol pump. (There's always a message about reserving £120 or something but meh. I just ignore it )


I had to buy a few thousand dollars for holiday last month.
The outfit I normally used to buy currency went tits up recently.
So had to buy from Tesco.
One of the 20s was deemed fake or something at the resort when I was paying for drinks.

I will never pay for drinks again.
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 19:50 - 20 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

MCN wrote:
Freddyfruitbat wrote:
These days when I go to Europe post-COVID I do maintain a cash float of about £100 in my wallet for 'emergencies' charges, but usually I go back home with that more or less untouched - I just use contactless Barclaycard everywhere. Worth mentioning that there is no way of obtaining foreign cash to spend overseas without paying for it somehow. I bypass that step.
I had to buy a few thousand dollars for holiday last month.

But why?
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MCN
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PostPosted: 23:47 - 20 Apr 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:

But why?


My Mrs. was advised by her pal to take Dollah.
Her pal is a dick.
The resort took cards.
I 'should' have paid as I go-ed using the dollars, as it would have nulled any card forex.
But humphing cash around in one's budgie Smugglers is cumbersome.
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Ash-69
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PostPosted: 12:49 - 09 May 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cash back on the card exactly 31 days later - bastirts !!
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c-m
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PostPosted: 17:32 - 09 May 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arfa__ wrote:
Also don't forget that Starling disables the mag-strip for security by default. I found a lot of places abroad still relied upon this and had to keep enabling it again in the app to avoid getting declined.

Granted, it's been a couple of years since I was last abroad, but it certainly was a common issue in the US, everything from small food vendors, parking lots to toll booths. So, watch out, this can sometimes be the reason for your Starling card to be declined abroad.


It's not common in Europe, Middle East, North Africa or South America. US influenced places with its outdated banking system are the main places that do magswipe. Pretty much zero chance of the OP running into that on their trip.

My tip would be to have both a Mastercard and Visa though. And while some debit cards will work in some pay the pump stations, it all depends.

For this I like Barclaycard Rewards (Visa), but have also used Halifax Clarity. I've been pay a the pump places in France and Italy where Mastercard didn't work, only Visa, and I've been at restaurants where they only accepted Mastercard.

For everyday foreign spending like groceries, etc.. I prefer a regular debit card. Chase is a good one given the 1% cashback and decent withdrawal limits but I generally prefer Starling for that.

Good list of the the best cards to spend abroad here.
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