Before you pull out and flourish your credit card to pay for your goods and services whilst travelling overseas, think twice – then think again!
Withdrawing money using a credit card is a costly move even in your own country – credit card companies penalise cash withdrawers heavily with a host of associated charges – and the same applies overseas – don’t think the same rules do not apply.
Above and beyond cash withdrawals, standard credit cards attract many other kind of fees, too. Non sterling transaction fees can be as high as 3%, and interest charges do not disappear even after the card has been paid off in full. Sadly, banks treat the use of a domestic credit, or debit card overseas as an opportunity to punish users for not thinking ahead, or for innocently believing that a change of location should not affect how they spend. Trust us, it does!
Of course, there are plenty of options when it comes to sending money overseas to friends or family, or to pay for, for example, a property investment abroad, overseas tuition fees, large purchases, perhaps for business purposes, or to make a transfer to an overseas bank account. The Money Cloud provides a comprehensive and real-time money transfer comparison service that compares hand-picked, FCA authorised brokers to help save you up to 5% of the transaction cost and up to 80% on fees, as well as offering superior exchange rates.
You can also use The Money Cloud travel money ordering service if you are headed abroad and want foreign currency delivered to your home or office courtesy of our trusted partner Citi Forex.
But if you do decide you want the flexibility that a credit card provides when abroad, here are 3 recommended services that are designed specifically for that purpose and offer an escape from fees and charges for international use.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card
There are no fees applied to withdrawing cash or indeed any other form of foreign transaction applied with Barclaycard’s Platinum Travel Credit Card. Be warned, however, as this offer is only valid until August 2022. Don’t get stung, as after this date, all fees return to 2.99%.
Also, you must pay and withdraw cash in LOCAL currency, to avoid being penalised. The credit limit is typically around £1,200, but can be negotiated, if you need access to more, or less cash.
A good deal for those experienced credit card users who understand the risks.
Tandem Cashback Credit Card
An interesting option. Tandem is a new breed of “Challenger” bank that is more mobile based, with most services administered via an app. With the Tandem Cashback Credit Card, there are no fees for making purchases abroad no matter where you are in the world, but you will be charged a standard 2.5% fee, with a minimum fee of £2.50, for cash withdrawlas. You are probably beginning to see how banks prey on those people who don’t study the terms and conditions!
Tandem’s card also offers cashback at a rate of 0.5% on every purchase of more than £1, and an interest rate of 18.9% per annum, which is about standard.
Be part of the next wave of banks with this card and app combo.
Santander Zero Credit Card
Santander is a solid and reliable option, that offers both no transaction on purchases (just make sure you pay in the local currency!), and no cash withdrawal fees wherever you are in the world, although interest rates still apply, so be careful to always clear your balance as swiftly as possible. There are no monthly fees for the card, and the interest rate is a standard 18.9% per annum.
There are also 5 different welcome offers with the Santander Zero Credit Card, which provide up to 25% cashback when used at selected retailers. Contactless payments can be made up to £30, and this can be co-ordinated with Apple, Android, or Samsung devices for extra ease of purchase. Minimum credit limit is £500.
A handy card from a reliable firm. Not too flash, but flexible and up to date.
This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.