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Leanne Macardle

Leanne Macardle

Editor
Published: 22/06/2016

There's one key thing that going on holiday requires – spending money. While you may not want to spend a fortune, you still need to pay for your food and drink, and what about the excursions, museum trips and all-important souvenirs? You'll need a bit of financial input if you want to make your holiday one to remember, and even though you'll probably want a bit of cash, you should never leave for the airport without your trusty travel credit card in tow.

Why use credit?

Using a credit card won't be suitable for everyone (in which case a prepaid travel card will be ideal), but for those who budget and are confident that they can pay the balance off in full when they return – perhaps by building up a dedicated holiday fund beforehand – a travel credit card can be ideal.

For starters, you'll be able to benefit from low exchange rates and won't be hit with foreign usage fees, and they'll be great if you want to make a big purchase where a wad of cash just won't do. You probably won't be able to use a credit card on a market stall, but for just about everywhere else, you're golden.

Plastic is a whole lot more secure than cash, too – even if you lose your wallet, you can be safe in the knowledge that your money will be difficult to access (just call your provider and cancel the necessary cards – voila), whereas if you lose hundreds of pounds' worth of foreign currency, it's almost certainly gone for good.

Top travel credit cards

So, without further ado, we present the top travel credit cards that can be a godsend when abroad. As you can see, they don't charge foreign usage fees and many don't even charge cash withdrawal fees, and with some even offering low purchase rates, you needn't worry about excessive interest either. Happy holidaying!

  Representative purchase APR (variable) Card details

MBNA Limited

MBNA Everyday Plus Amex

7.4% APR
  • No fee for using the card abroad 
  • No cash withdrawal fee
  • Low purchase rate of just 7.4% APR
  • No annual card fee
  • Contactless payments permitted 
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old to be eligible 
  • Can be applied for online or by phone

Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 7.4% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 7.4% APR variable. 

  Representative purchase APR (variable) Card details

Creation Financial Services

Creation Everyday 

Credit Card

MasterCard

12.9% APR
  • No fee for using the card abroad 
  • No cash withdrawal fee
  • Low purchase rate of 12.9% APR 
  • No annual card fee
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old to be eligible 
  • Can be applied for online, by phone or by post

Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 11.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 11.9% APR variable. 

  Representative purchase APR (variable) Card details

Halifax

Halifax Clarity Credit Card MasterCard

18.9% APR

  • No fee for using the card abroad 
  • No cash withdrawal fee
  • Purchase rate of 18.9% APR 
  • No annual card fee 
  • Contactless payments permitted 
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old to be eligible 
  • Can be applied for online, by phone or in branch

Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 18.95% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 18.9% APR variable. 

  Representative purchase APR (variable) Card details

SAGA

Saga Over 50s 

Platinum Visa

11.9% APR
  • No fee for using the card abroad
  • Cash withdrawal fee of 2% (min £2)
  • Low purchase rate of 11.9% APR
  • 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for nine months (3% fee for balance transfers)
  • No annual card fee
  • Customers must be at least 50 years old with a minimum income of £12,000
  • Can be applied for online, by phone or by post

Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 11.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 11.9% APR variable. 

  Representative purchase APR (variable) Card details

Nationwide BS

Nationwide BS Select Credit Card Visa

15.9% APR
  • No fee for using the card abroad 
  • Cash withdrawal fee of 2.5% (min £2)
  • Purchase rate of 15.9% APR 
  • 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (no introductory fee for balance transfers)
  • No annual card fee
  • Additional rewards scheme, Simply Rewards, which includes commission-free purchases, discounts and up to 35% cashback at selected retailers
  • Standard cashback of 0.50% 
  • Customers must hold a Flex Account, FlexDirect or FlexPlus current account and be at least 18 years old with a minimum income of £5,000
  • Can be applied for online, by phone or in branch 

Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 15.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 15.9% APR variable. 

Disclaimer

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.

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