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6 Dec 2019

Go Direct Personal Finance News  2009

Don’t let card charges ruin your holiday

After weeks of rain many people will be looking forward to their summer holiday and travel to warmer climes.

While arranging your spending money may not be the highlight of any holiday, a small amount of time and effort could see you making significant cost savings.

Using your credit and debit cards abroad may be the easiest and most convenient way for many, but costs can soon mount up if you’re not careful.

Sylvia Waycot, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

Travel Money
“Changing your currency at the airport may seem convenient, but you will be paying for the privilege through unfavourable exchange rates.

“Money can be exchanged once overseas, but lack of local knowledge may mean settling for uncompetitive rates of exchange. If your trip takes you off the beaten track, your options may be further restricted.

“Shopping around before you go will leave you more in control of getting the best rate.

“Commission free doesn’t necessarily mean the best deal. The commission fee is likely to have been loaded into the rate.”

Credit Cards - See Appendix 1
“Credit cards will levy a foreign usage charge of up to 2.99% for both purchases and cash transactions. Charges are applied each time the card is used and can soon add up.

“Taking money out on your credit card is never advisable even in the UK. Interest rates on cash withdrawals are charged at a higher rate than purchases and a cash handling fee, typically 3.00%, minimum £3, is applied.

“£100 cash withdrawn from an MBNA or Virgin Money credit card will see you paying £7.99 in charges alone.

“Credit cards from The Post Office, Saga, Metro Bank and selected products from Halifax and Sainsbury’s Bank make no additional charges for using you card overseas.

“It is worth taking a credit card in case of emergencies, or unexpected ‘surprises’.”

Debit Cards - See Appendix 2
“In the UK we are so used to free banking that many people assume things will be the same when they go overseas.

“This can be a costly mistake as charges can apply to both withdrawing money out of a cash machine and for making purchases in store.

“Customers taking out cash need to be aware of minimum charges. If you withdraw lots of small amounts you will be hardest hit, so it may be worth planning a few days ahead for your financial requirements.

Prepaid Cards - See Appendix 3
“An alternative to credit and debit cards for overseas use is the popular prepaid travel cards, not to be confused with the prepaid everyday UK use cards.

“These have been tailored to make overseas charges a minimum and have the added advantage that if they are lost or stolen, no one has access to your UK accounts.”

 Appendix 1

BEST BUYS - Use Abroad Credit Cards

Card Provider

Card Name

Foreign EU/World

Cash W/D Fee

Purchase APR

Cash PA

Halifax

Halifax Clarity Credit Card MasterCard

£0.00 / £0.00

£0.00 / 0.00%

12.9%

12.92%

Sainsbury's Bank

Sainsbury's Bank Gold Credit Card MasterCard

£0.00 / £0.00

£0.00 / 0.00%

20.1%

24.93%

SAGA

Saga Over 50's Platinum Visa

£0.00 / £0.00

£2.00 / 2.00%

11.9%

21.47%

Post Office®

Post Office Platinum MasterCard

£0.00 / £0.00

£3.00 / 2.50%

16.9%

26.94%

Nationwide BS

Nationwide BS Credit Card Purchase Visa

£2.00 / £2.00

£3.00 / 2.50%

15.9%

27.90%

Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

 Appendix 2

Debit Cards Foreign Usage

 

Cards Foreign Usage Cash Conversion

Cards Foreign Usage  Cash  Transaction

Cards Foreign Usage  Retail Conversion

Cards Foreign Usage Retail Transaction

Bank of Scotland

1.5% min (£2 max £4.50)

2.99%

1.5% min (£2 max £4.50)

2.99%

Barclays

2% (min £1.50 max £4.50)

2%

2% (min £1.50 max £4.50)

2.99%

Coventry BS

£0

2%

£0

2%

Cumberland BS

£0

£0

£0

£0

Halifax

2.75%

£1.50

2.75%

£1.50

HSBC

2.75%

2% (min £1.75 max £5)

2.75%

£0

Lloyds TSB

2.99%

1.5% (min £2 max £4.50)

2.99%

£1.00

Nationwide BS

2.00%

£1.00

2.00%

£0

NatWest

2.75%

2% (min £2.00 max £5.00)

2.75%

£1.25

Norwich & Peterborough BS

£0

£0

£0

£0

Royal Bank of Scotland

2.75%

2% (min £2.00 max £5.00)

2.75%

£1.25

Santander

2.75%

1.50% (min £1.99)

2.75%

£1.25

The Co-operative Bank

2% (min £2.00)

2.75%

£0

2.75%

Yorkshire Bank

£0

3.75% (min £1.50)

£0

2.75% (min £1.50)

Source Moneyfacts.co.uk

 

Appendix 3

Pre Paid Cards

Provider

Currency

Transaction Fees

Foreign Exchange Fees

Issue Fees

ATM Charges

Top-up

Additional Information

Travelex - Cash Passport

Sterling

Nil

5.75%

Nil

Nil

BACS, internet, instore, phone

Free replacement card or emergency cash service

Endsleigh - Travelcard

Sterling

Nil

Nil

£14.95

£1.00

BACS, credit/debit card, paypoint, Post Office®, S/O

 

Post Office®

Sterling

Nil

3%

Nil

£1.50

Post Office®, Website, SMS text, phone

 

Escape

Euro

Nil

Variable

£9.99

Nil

Bank Account, credit/debit card, paypoint, Post Office®, Phones 4 U store, S/O Wages

Earn up to 20% cash back at escapecashback.com

Caxton fx

Euro

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

BACS, Debit card, SMS Text, S/O

 

Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

 

Moneyfacts Group
Moneyfacts is the UK’s leading independent provider of personal financial information and our data is used and trusted throughout the financial industry.

 

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