Play your credit and debit cards right on holiday

23rd March 2016

img

Holidaymakers have been warned to check their credit and debit card fees when using plastic abroad.

While taking the right credit card abroad can be one of the most cost-effective ways of spending and can offer you additional protection on your purchases, most cards on the market charge a ‘non-sterling transaction fee’, every time you use your card abroad, warns GoCompare.com the price comparison website.

The average fee charged is 2.9% which means holidaymakers could be paying a premium on their holiday spending.

These charges can be even higher if travellers withdraw money using their credit card abroad.

Fees for using an ATM overseas range from 2% to 5% and this is on top of the non-sterling transaction fee. This means customers could be charged as much as 7.99% for withdrawing cash; which is nearly £8 for every £100.

Matt Sanders, credit card expert at GoCompare.com, says: “For many of us, using a credit card while on holiday can feel like a safer and more flexible option than taking large amounts of cash away with us.

“While opting for a card over cash has benefits such as increased protection should it be lost or stolen; it’s well worth checking whether your provider will charge you for using your credit card overseas as the majority will.”

He adds: “The average fee charged for overseas card use is 2.9%, which can easily add up if you’re doing the bulk of your holiday spending on your credit card or plan on making any big purchases while you’re away.

“Remember, this fee is added on top of any additional transaction fees you might face, for instance a restaurant service or credit card charge.

“There are some cards on the market that don’t charge a fee for overseas use, so if you are considering spending on plastic while you’re on holiday, it could be worth getting online and shopping around for a card that suits your needs while you’re away.”

Three of the best cards for spending money abroad (according to GoCompare):

Post Office Money Platinum Credit Card:

No foreign transaction fees when paying with card

0% on balance transfers for 18 months (2.98 balance transfer fee applies, but this will be reduced to 0% by a refund to Post Office Money Platinum Account within 90 days of the BT transaction date)

0% on purchases for three months

No annual fee

No cash fee to buy travel money at the Post Office

Halifax Clarity Credit Card:

No balance transfer fee (no introductory 0% rate though)

No cash withdrawal fee (some ATM providers may charge a fee) though you will be charged interest on it even if you pay off in full.

No fee to use the card anywhere worldwide

No annual fee

MBNA Everyday Plus – has no foreign transaction fees or cash withdrawal fees and a low APR of 7.4%, but may not be as widely accepted as the other cards as it is an American Express card.

Three cards you might already own that don’t charge a fee for spending money abroad. Some do charge for ATM use (see below) and all charge an annual fee, but if you are paying this already it may not be worth the hassle of applying for one of the cards above specifically for travel spending:

Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards Credit Card

No foreign transaction fees when paying with card

Flight upgrade voucher when your spend reaches £7,000 per year

0% on BT for 24 months (balances transferred in first 90 days, 3% fee applies) and purchases for 24 months

Two cards – one Master Card  and one American Express (1.25 Avios points per £5 spent on Master Card, 1.25 points per £1 spend on Amex)

Double Avios for 6 months with Amex card

£24 annual fee applies

Lloyd Bank Premier Avios Rewards Credit Card

No foreign transaction fees when paying with card

Flight upgrade voucher when your spend reaches £5,000 per year

Worldwide companion ticket with annual spend of £12,000

0% on BT for 24 months (balances transferred in first 90 days, 3% fee applies) and purchases for 24 months

Two cards – one Mastercard  and one American Express (1.5 Avios points per £5 spent on Mastercard 1.5 points per £1 spend on Amex)

Double Avios for 6 months with Amex card

£140 annual fee applies

Santander 123 Credit Card

No foreign transaction fees on purchases paid in local currency until 31 December 2016

0% on balance transfers and purchases for 23 months (no balance transfer fee)

1% cashback at major supermarkets (on spend of up to £300 a month)

2% cashback at major department stores (on spend of up to £!50 a month)

3% cashback at major petrol stations, National Rail and TfL travel (on combined spend of up to £100 per month)

£3 monthly fee applies

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *