The Best Credit Cards For Spending Abroad

It is a good idea to take a credit card with you when you travel abroad on business or holiday. Credit cards are globally accepted and are a convenient way to pay for goods and services. They can be handy if you decide to make an unexpected purchase while travelling and offer you legal protection under “Section 75” of UK law which requires the credit card company to accept joint responsibility with the retailer for all purchases of between £100 and £30,000. If they are lost or stolen you can cancel the card immediately and get a replacement on your return home.

Credit cards can however be very expensive to use while abroad – basically your day to day credit card is probably a terrible one to use while on holiday because of extra charges and fee’s incurred every time you swipe or withdraw cash. A fee of 3% on each transaction is pretty common on most credit cards and the interest rates charged on cash withdrawals can be horrendous.

Thankfully however there are credit cards designed specifically for using while abroad and we’ve reviewed the best of them below. We highly recommend signing up for one of these cards before you travel this summer.

Halifax Clarity Mastercard

The Clarity credit card from Halifax is a popular option with travellers due to its low interest rates and no fee’s for transactions and cash withdrawals internationally. Note however, you are charged interest on cash withdrawals from the moment you take the cash so pay off the balance as soon as possible. Until you do you’ll be charged about £1.50 per month for every £100 withdrawn. You can withdraw up to 50% of your credit limit in cash. Note, existing Halifax card holders cannot switch to this credit card.

 

halifax clarity mastercard

 

  • Exchange rate fee: 0% Worldwide
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None
  • Interest on cash withdrawals? Yes, immediately and until it’s repaid in full
  • Representative APR on spending: 18.9%
  • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 18.9%

MBNA EveryDay Plus American Express

The MBNA EveryDay Plus card is a very competitive option for international travel, offering a lower interest rate than the Halifax card above. Again, you will be charged interest on cash withdrawals from the moment you take the cash but you’ll be paying 60p per month for every £100 withdrawn rather than £1.50 above. The downside of this card is that its an American Express card and is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard.

 

MBNA Everyday Plus Amex

 

  • Exchange rate fee: 0% Worldwide
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None
  • Interest on cash withdrawals? Yes, immediately and until it’s repaid in full
  • Representative APR on spending: 7.4%
  • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 7.4%

Creation EveryDay Mastercard

Creation is not a well known brand but it is part of the French bank, BNP Paribus so should provide good support and customer service. It is a little more expensive for cash withdrawals than the MBNA card above but should be accepted anywhere as its powered by Mastercard. On the other hand it is cheaper than the Halifax card but only by about 50p per month.

 

creation mastercard

 

  • Exchange rate fee: 0% Worldwide
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None
  • Interest on cash withdrawals? Yes, immediately and until it’s repaid in full
  • Representative APR on spending: 12.9%
  • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 12.9%

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