Avoid wasting money on card fees overseas

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Rachel Springall, Press Officer
Rachel Springall, Press Officer / Finance Expert T: 01603 476210 E: Email Rachel
23/08/2021

Avoid wasting money on card fees overseas

Holidaymakers hoping to travel abroad this coming Bank Holiday weekend, perhaps as a last-minute break to Europe, may wish to work out the cost to use their existing current account or credit card for spending or cash withdrawals. The latest analysis from Moneyfacts.co.uk reveals the best debit and credit cards available to avoid any surprise charges and what consumers could end up paying with a standard credit card or debit card.

  • A typical debit card charges £11.88* when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad, while some credit cards can charge £14.95** before interest is applied. Purchases can be costly too, for just a £50 spend a typical debit card can charge £1.38* and a credit card can charge £1.50**.
  • Several banks are offering fee-free current accounts that do not charge for using a debit card in Europe including Starling Bank, Metro Bank and Virgin Money.
  • Customers who don’t want to move their bank account and prefer using a credit card can find a few fee-free options, including a deal from Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard.

Avoid wasting money on card fees overseas

Holidaymakers hoping to travel abroad this coming Bank Holiday weekend, perhaps as a last-minute break to Europe, may wish to work out the cost to use their existing current account or credit card for spending or cash withdrawals. The latest analysis from Moneyfacts.co.uk reveals the best debit and credit cards available to avoid any surprise charges and what consumers could end up paying with a standard credit card or debit card.

  • A typical debit card charges £11.88* when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad, while some credit cards can charge £14.95** before interest is applied. Purchases can be costly too, for just a £50 spend a typical debit card can charge £1.38* and a credit card can charge £1.50**.
  • Several banks are offering fee-free current accounts that do not charge for using a debit card in Europe including Starling Bank, Metro Bank and Virgin Money.
  • Customers who don’t want to move their bank account and prefer using a credit card can find a few fee-free options, including a deal from Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard.

Top debit cards for use abroad selection

Debit card (account fee)

Cash Conversion Europe / Worldwide

Cash Transaction Europe / Worldwide

Retail Conversion
Europe / Worldwide

Retail Transaction
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.
Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

 

 

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

34.9%

34.9%

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.
Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

Top debit cards for use abroad selection

Debit card (account fee)

Cash Conversion Europe / Worldwide

Cash Transaction Europe / Worldwide

Retail Conversion
Europe / Worldwide

Retail Transaction
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.
Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

 

 

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

34.9%

34.9%

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.
Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said:

“Consumers may well be overdue a break abroad and decide a last-minute getaway after months of unpredictability due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some holiday destinations may be more expensive to explore and consumers will need to be savvy and perhaps make a budget for their last-minute trip to avoid an impulsive splurge they may regret later. Using a credit card or debit card abroad may be the easiest way to pay or withdraw cash, but it’s a convenience that can cost depending on the fees charged for each transaction.

“Switching a bank account is simple and using the Current Account Switcher Service, customers can move their account within seven working days. If consumers plan to travel more frequently in the months to come, either for work or leisure, choosing a current account that will not charge for using their debit card abroad could be a wise choice. 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. However, a typical debit card charges £11.88 when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad and £1.38 for an in-store purchase of £50.

“Consumers may prefer to use a credit card for spending abroad, which is understandable as they can easily be cancelled if lost or stolen and spenders are protected 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. Carrying around cash might be convenient but it is clear to see how quickly a holiday can become a disaster should someone’s hard-earned cash be lost or stolen and getting cash last minute at an airport is unwise due to poorer exchange rates.

“Holidaymakers may be concerned about the cost of their trip as it is expected to rise. Saving money on card usage fees is, therefore, a sensible thing to do and consumers can easily do this by bringing along a cost-effective credit or debit card or even consider a prepaid card. Planning an itinerary on what to do whilst abroad may be routine but so should be setting a budget in light of how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the cost of a holiday.”

*Typical debit card example is the HSBC Bank Account, on cash withdrawals, it charges a transaction fee of 2.00% (min £1.75, max £5) and a conversion fee of 2.75% and on purchases, this card charges a conversion fee of 2.75%. **Typical credit card example is the HSBC Rewards Credit Card Mastercard, on cash withdrawals it charges a 2.99% usage fee and a 2.99% / £3.00 cash withdrawal fee and on purchases this card charges a usage fee of 2.99%.

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said:

“Consumers may well be overdue a break abroad and decide a last-minute getaway after months of unpredictability due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some holiday destinations may be more expensive to explore and consumers will need to be savvy and perhaps make a budget for their last-minute trip to avoid an impulsive splurge they may regret later. Using a credit card or debit card abroad may be the easiest way to pay or withdraw cash, but it’s a convenience that can cost depending on the fees charged for each transaction.

“Switching a bank account is simple and using the Current Account Switcher Service, customers can move their account within seven working days. If consumers plan to travel more frequently in the months to come, either for work or leisure, choosing a current account that will not charge for using their debit card abroad could be a wise choice. 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. However, a typical debit card charges £11.88 when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad and £1.38 for an in-store purchase of £50.

“Consumers may prefer to use a credit card for spending abroad, which is understandable as they can easily be cancelled if lost or stolen and spenders are protected 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. Carrying around cash might be convenient but it is clear to see how quickly a holiday can become a disaster should someone’s hard-earned cash be lost or stolen and getting cash last minute at an airport is unwise due to poorer exchange rates.

“Holidaymakers may be concerned about the cost of their trip as it is expected to rise. Saving money on card usage fees is, therefore, a sensible thing to do and consumers can easily do this by bringing along a cost-effective credit or debit card or even consider a prepaid card. Planning an itinerary on what to do whilst abroad may be routine but so should be setting a budget in light of how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the cost of a holiday.”

*Typical debit card example is the HSBC Bank Account, on cash withdrawals, it charges a transaction fee of 2.00% (min £1.75, max £5) and a conversion fee of 2.75% and on purchases, this card charges a conversion fee of 2.75%. **Typical credit card example is the HSBC Rewards Credit Card Mastercard, on cash withdrawals it charges a 2.99% usage fee and a 2.99% / £3.00 cash withdrawal fee and on purchases this card charges a usage fee of 2.99%.

Notes to editors

Pioneering financial comparison technology for over 30 years.

Moneyfacts Group plc is the UK’s leading provider of retail financial product data. Used by virtually every bank and building society in the UK, and supplied to the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Ombudsman Service, HM Treasury, Prudential Regulatory Authority and UK Finance.

Our expert research team monitors the thousands of mortgages, savings, credit card, personal loan, business banking, life, pension and investment products in the UK.

Moneyfacts.co.uk is a financial product price comparison site, launched in 2000, which helps consumers compare thousands of financial products, including credit cards, savings, mortgages and many more. Unlike other comparison sites, there is no commercial influence on the way Moneyfacts.co.uk ranks products, showing consumers a true picture of the best products based on the criteria they select.

We hope you find this press release insightful. We would appreciate a link back to Moneyfacts.co.uk if you decide to source this information.

For more information about us please see our key facts.

 

Notes to editors

Pioneering financial comparison technology for over 30 years.

Moneyfacts Group plc is the UK’s leading provider of retail financial product data. Used by virtually every bank and building society in the UK, and supplied to the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Ombudsman Service, HM Treasury, Prudential Regulatory Authority and UK Finance.

Our expert research team monitors the thousands of mortgages, savings, credit card, personal loan, business banking, life, pension and investment products in the UK.

Moneyfacts.co.uk is a financial product price comparison site, launched in 2000, which helps consumers compare thousands of financial products, including credit cards, savings, mortgages and many more. Unlike other comparison sites, there is no commercial influence on the way Moneyfacts.co.uk ranks products, showing consumers a true picture of the best products based on the criteria they select.

We hope you find this press release insightful. We would appreciate a link back to Moneyfacts.co.uk if you decide to source this information.

For more information about us please see our key facts.

 

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Rachel Springall Press Officer / Finance Expert
Eleanor Williams Press Officer / Finance Expert