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Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Old Feb 1st 2021, 7:59 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost
For anyone who is interested, I've looked into this and the most economical way appears to be via a GiffGaff sim which can be topped up with the minimum £10 top up and will continue to work as long as it is used at least once every 6 months. I'm sure a similar thing can be done on other networks but GiffGaff seem like quite an easy option since they're an entirely virtual network.
This is exactly what my wife and I do. Every 3 months GiffGaff email us to say "hey you haven't used your phone in 3 months, please do so or top up, to keep your number alive". Switch on phones briefly and call each other, hang up, etc. And they email you again to confirm you're good for another 3 months.

We keep the numbers for travel back to Europe (v good value - well, pre-brexit), to keep our numbers the same if we ever move back, and for 2FA.

Each time you use the phone for 2FA it'll extend the expiry for another 3 months, obvs.

I'm not sure I've topped up in last 18 months (and the last time would've been only 10 GBP)

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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 8:51 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Will_PA
This is exactly what my wife and I do. Every 3 months GiffGaff email us to say "hey you haven't used your phone in 3 months, please do so or top up, to keep your number alive". Switch on phones briefly and call each other, hang up, etc. And they email you again to confirm you're good for another 3 months.

We keep the numbers for travel back to Europe (v good value - well, pre-brexit), to keep our numbers the same if we ever move back, and for 2FA.

Each time you use the phone for 2FA it'll extend the expiry for another 3 months, obvs.

I'm not sure I've topped up in last 18 months (and the last time would've been only 10 GBP)
Thanks for confirming this method would work.

Have you been able to buy the Giffgaff topups from Canada if and when you've needed to or have you done it during visits to the UK?
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:19 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Yes I think with GiffGaff you can only top up with a debit / credit card anyway. It's not like Lyca or those corner shop SIM cards. It's owned by O2. I recommend it to everyone in the UK too. I used it for work phones for employees as well.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:22 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Will_PA
Yes I think with GiffGaff you can only top up with a debit / credit card anyway. It's not like Lyca or those corner shop SIM cards. It's owned by O2. I recommend it to everyone in the UK too. I used it for work phones for employees as well.
So you've been able to top it up from Canada using credit/debit card? I don't mind using a UK bank account to do it rather than a Canadian one since it would be cheaper to do it that way and I would be keeping my UK accounts anyway. I just don't want to have to depend on my Mum and Dad every time I need a top up.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:39 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

I use a UK card for GBP payments generally, so doubt I have tried using a CAD card, but there is no reason it wouldn't work. You log in to your online account either through their app or with a web browser - and type your card details in. I think it remembers the card for you - I just haven't used it enough in the last few years to be familiar. You can use automatic topups if you're going to actually use it regularly, and order data packages ("goody bags") for UK / EU use. A SIM card is free - order one and check it out. You don't need to port your number if you don't wish to continue. But like I said, I found it the best offering for me, family (signed up parents + wife), and small business whilst still living in the UK. The ease (cheapness) of administering it from abroad is a plus on top.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:42 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Will_PA
I use a UK card for GBP payments generally, so doubt I have tried using a CAD card, but there is no reason it wouldn't work. You log in to your online account either through their app or with a web browser - and type your card details in. I think it remembers the card for you - I just haven't used it enough in the last few years to be familiar. You can use automatic topups if you're going to actually use it regularly, and order data packages ("goody bags") for UK / EU use. A SIM card is free - order one and check it out. You don't need to port your number if you don't wish to continue. But like I said, I found it the best offering for me, family (signed up parents + wife), and small business whilst still living in the UK. The ease (cheapness) of administering it from abroad is a plus on top.
I wasn't sure if they would use a geo-check on payments. Apparently enabling their auto top-up does work from anywhere in the world though because it only checks the card details once when you first register it. A lot of people seem to use that and just set it to auto charge whenever it hits around the £3 mark.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:45 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Why do they care if you top up from abroad? Why do they care if you're based abroad? There's no need to geo-check - your SIM card tells them where it is
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:48 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Will_PA
Why do they care if you top up from abroad? Why do they care if you're based abroad? There's no need to geo-check - your SIM card tells them where it is
Normal anti-fraud BS that all companies in the UK seem to be obsessed with these days I suppose. It's getting to the point where you almost need to show your drivers license to buy a loaf of bread from someone.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:48 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Auto-top-up is useful if you use it often enough - I find I don't, so I need to be told to use my phone to keep the number alive. If holidaying in UK or EU I recommend a goody bag.
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Old Feb 2nd 2021, 1:50 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Will_PA
Auto-top-up is useful if you use it often enough - I find I don't, so I need to be told to use my phone to keep the number alive. If holidaying in UK or EU I recommend a goody bag.
Yeah, I mainly want it to keep the number alive. Mainly because I rely on the number for 2FA on so many services these days but also because if I decided to move back to the UK then it would make job and flat hunting a hell of a lot easier.
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Old Feb 4th 2021, 5:53 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost
Yeah, I mainly want it to keep the number alive. Mainly because I rely on the number for 2FA on so many services these days but also because if I decided to move back to the UK then it would make job and flat hunting a hell of a lot easier.
I too have found Giff-Gaff very useful and top-up as mentioned every 3 months with a UK bank transfer. The only disadvantage is the odd spam call which can prove costly but I've taken to ignoring them based on the premise that if they really want me, they'll call back!
One point on UK banks, I've found some don't seem able to include my Canadian post-code in the address, I don't think any mail is missing so due credit to Canadian postal services. I suspect this is a template thing which won't accept the format but wonder if anyone has found a solution?
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Old Feb 5th 2021, 1:56 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by btar
I too have found Giff-Gaff very useful and top-up as mentioned every 3 months with a UK bank transfer. The only disadvantage is the odd spam call which can prove costly but I've taken to ignoring them based on the premise that if they really want me, they'll call back!
One point on UK banks, I've found some don't seem able to include my Canadian post-code in the address, I don't think any mail is missing so due credit to Canadian postal services. I suspect this is a template thing which won't accept the format but wonder if anyone has found a solution?
I didn't even think about spam calls. That's a very good point. Chances are I wouldn't need to answer any phone calls though because my parents, friends and family will all have my new Canadian number anyway.

I ordered a GiffGaff SIM and I've chosen to have my number ported over next week so hopefully that should be OK.
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Old Feb 6th 2021, 7:54 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd
I still have an account I use with Barclays and changed my correspondence address to my Canadian address, they didn't bat an eyelid,,, so I don't think its an issue. Not with Barclays anyway.
Same here, I'm with NatWest and kept my accounts when I moved to Canada in 2001. correspondence is sent to me in Canada. All i have to do is periodically fill in a form to say I'm resident in Canada for taxation purposes.
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Old Feb 9th 2021, 4:59 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Also, just another thought, there are banks in the UK that don't require a text message for authorisation - I'm with Starling (best bank ever IMO), and they send me an 'in app notification' instead. Could that work?
Problem is that many banking apps are geolocked, meaning you can't download the UK version in Canada and vice-versa.

Definitely wish I had thought of getting a cheap GiffGaff sim before leaving because two-factor authentication has been a nightmare recently. All of our banks and credit cards were fine with us keeping our accounts once we moved, but for the ones that will only accept a UK phone number, I've had to give them my dad's mobile number and get him to forward the one-time passcodes on to me.
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Old Feb 11th 2021, 11:33 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Keeping UK bank accounts open after moving to Canada

Originally Posted by crofty82
Problem is that many banking apps are geolocked, meaning you can't download the UK version in Canada and vice-versa.

Definitely wish I had thought of getting a cheap GiffGaff sim before leaving because two-factor authentication has been a nightmare recently. All of our banks and credit cards were fine with us keeping our accounts once we moved, but for the ones that will only accept a UK phone number, I've had to give them my dad's mobile number and get him to forward the one-time passcodes on to me.
I just returned to Canada last night and can confirm the GiffGaff option works perfectly. My phone has 2 SIM slots and right now I have a US card with Canada roaming in one and a GiffGaff prepaid one with my old number ported over in the other. I needed it last night to update the address on my credit card account so it's already paid for itself tbh.
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