Oktoberfest in Munich
Caroline went to Germany on her trip to Europe. She visited Berlin and then travelled South to Munich for Oktoberfest. She visited a number of other countries including France, Belgium, Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
What cards did you take?
- The CItibank Plus Transaction Account (Visa Debit Card)
- Her existing credit card
Why did you take these cards?
Caroline applied for the Citibank Plus Transaction Account as her dedicated travel card so she could use the Visa Debit Card in Germany. The Citibank Plus account does not charge a fee for converting your pounds to euros. Citibank gave her free international ATM withdrawals and the account cost nothing to open and keep. Although she took her credit card with her to Germany, she avoided using them as much as possible as they both charged 3% for spending in euros and her Citibank Visa Debit Card does not.
Where could you use your cards?
She says the beer tents at Oktoberfest were cash only, and there was no entry fee to get into any of the tents. Outside the festival, Caroline says she could use her card in more places back home than she could in Germany. She notes supermarkets don’t take credit cards (with the exception of FAMILA which take Visa and Mastercard). Many restaurants, cafes, markets and street vendors and taxis are cash only too. She used her card to book her travel tickets (including train tickets throughout Germany), car rental and to pay for her hotel.
What about ATM withdrawals?
Card acceptance wasn’t such an issue because Caroline made frequent ATM withdrawals and used cash. She didn’t pay any ATM fees when she used her Citibank Plus Visa Debit Card to get euros. She always had enough cash in her wallet to cover whatever expenses she had for the day (and euros for the unexpected too). At the beer festival, there are a few ATMs in some tents; however, Caroline says you’ll pay a fee to use these ATMs. She says make a withdrawal in Munich at a bank Geld Automatic so you have enough cash to last you for the whole day.
What is your travel money recommendation for Germany?
Make ATM withdrawals for peace of mind. Caroline says German bank ATMs don’t charge fees and she didn’t pay international ATM fees as well as currency conversion fees. She was able to withdraw euros for no cost and at a great rate set by Visa (plus a tiny margin from the bank which provides the ATM).
What are your travel money tips?
Caroline says tipping is generally appreciated and polite in Germany, but isn’t expected. If you’re at a bar, in a taxi or at a restaurant, a tip between 5% – 10% is good form but you don’t need to tip unless you really want to. It’s also good practice to round up to the nearest euro if the bill is under €10. She also says to remember not to leave change on the table if you want to tip, it’s considered rude in Germany and other parts of Europe, give the tip to the person directly.