Ease the Cost of a Trip Abroad by Avoiding Card Fees | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Rachel Springall

Rachel Springall

Finance Expert & Press Officer
Published: 04/04/2022

As the Easter Bank Holiday approaches, holidaymakers who are planning to take a trip to Europe may also want to plan how they are going to spend their cash abroad. Using a typical credit card or debit card may be convenient but consumers could be wasting their money on fees. The latest analysis from Moneyfacts reveals the best debit and credit cards available to avoid any surprise charges.

What are your options?

As the options for travelling abroad expand for many consumers, the upcoming Bank Holiday could be the perfect time for a trip to Europe. Those well overdue a holiday may be paying more for their trip and the rising cost of living could also be denting their spending money. Holidaymakers may then be looking to make their cash go further, and avoiding a typical debit or credit card for spending abroad is a good way to avoid wasting cash on unnecessary fees.

Withdrawing cash abroad may be a convenient way to get some spending money in hand but it will come at a cost. A typical debit card charges £11.88 when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad and £1.38 for an in-store purchase of £50. However, consumers can avoid these fees altogether if they apply for a credit card designed for use abroad or open a current account with a debit card that does not charge them for making withdrawals. Starling Bank, Metro Bank and Virgin Money all offer fee-free current accounts which do not charge in Europe for using a debit card, either for a cash withdrawal or retail transaction.

One of the best credit cards for spending money abroad is the Halifax All in One Credit Card, as it does not apply any transaction fees, but there are other options out there too. A credit card will also protect spenders under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act on purchases between £100 and £30,000 if a service or goods are not provided or damaged and the card can be cancelled with ease if lost or stolen. As an alternative, some holidaymakers may prefer to get some currency last minute at an airport or train station, but not only can these exchange rates be poor, but there is also the danger in having cash lost or stolen.

Holidaymakers can easily get caught up in the adventure of a break abroad, but it’s important they make a plan on how much they expect to spend each day considering how the cost of a holiday has already risen due to the pandemic and consumer demand. Linking any accounts to a budget app is handy to keep tabs on how much meals, shopping and excursions have cost, so that holidaymakers get no nasty surprises when they get back home and check their statements.”

Best buy tables

 

Top debit cards for use abroad selection

Debit card (account fee)

Cash Conversion Europe / Worldwide

Cash Transaction Europe / Worldwide

Retail Conversion

Retail Transaction

Europe / Worldwide

Europe / Worldwide

Starling Bank Current Account

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Metro Bank Current Account

0% / 2.99%

0% / £1.50

0% / 2.99%

0.00%

Virgin Money M Plus Account

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

TSB Spend & Save Plus (£3 pm)

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Nationwide FlexPlus (£13 pm)

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Monzo Plus (£5 pm)

£0.01 to £400 - 0.00% (per 30 day rolling period)

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Scenario used - Withdrawing £250 in cash in Europe and a £50 retail purchase in Europe.

Top credit cards for use abroad selection

Credit card (account fee)

Cash withdrawal fee Min % / £ (per withdrawal)

Foreign usage Europe / Worldwide transaction fee

Purchase APR

Cash PA

Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard

0.00% / 0.00%

0.00% / £0.00

19.9%

19.9%

Barclaycard Rewards Visa

0.00% / 0.00%

0.00% / £0.00

22.9%

22.9%

118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card Mastercard

0.00% / 0.00%

0.00% / £0.00

34.0%

34.0%

Zopa Credit Card Visa

0.00% / £3.00

0.00% / £0.00

34.9%

34.9%

Virgin Money Travel Credit Card Mastercard

3.00% / £0.00

0.00% / 0.00%

21.9%

27.9%

Santander All in One Credit Card Mastercard (£3 pm)

3.00% / £3.00

0.00% / 0.00%

23.7%

29.9%

Scenario used - Withdrawing £250 in cash in Europe and a £50 retail purchase in Europe.

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Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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