The most expensive debit and credit cards to use abroad – as some charge £8 to withdraw money

Vacationers will want to watch out for expensive debit and credit cards when traveling abroad this summer.

Use your card in another country and you may incur foreign exchange fees and cash withdrawal fees.


You could be charged a small fortune if you use your card abroadCredit: Getty – Contributor

Fees usually differ from provider to provider and from card to card.

Now credit application TotallyMoney analyzed the comparison between well-known cards and those you should avoid.

They found that withdrawing £100 from an ATM with Halifax and Lloyds Bank credit cards can result in an additional £7.95 charge to customers.

But for the same transaction using Halifax Clarity or Barclaycards Rewards credit cards, customers will not pay any additional fees.

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Debit cards can also cost you a small fortune if you use the wrong one abroad.

A cash withdrawal of £100 with an HSBC or First Direct card can cost an additional £4.75.

Virgin Money, Chase Bank and Starling Bank debit cards have no fees – so you better use them.

The Sun has approached Halifax, Lloyds Bank, HSBC and First Direct for comment.

“Some issuers will charge 2.99% for card payment and £3-5 for cash withdrawal,” said Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney.

“This means that an equivalent transaction of £100 could cost you between £6 and £8 in fees, so it’s worth offering a more cost-effective alternative.”

Remember it’s per transaction, so you could end up with a hefty bill of additional fees if you use it abroad often.

You can use price comparison websites like MoneySuperMarket or Uswitch to search for a no-fee card.

Remember that you have to be very careful when using a credit card because it can put you in debt.

You should always make sure that you can afford to repay any expenses you have incurred on a card.

Learn more about how to choose a credit card here.

You should also verify that your credit report information is correct and use an eligibility checker before applying.

This way you will know your chances of being accepted.

Tips for using cards abroad

Know your fees

The two main costs holidaymakers should be aware of are:

  • Non-sterling transaction fees – These are set at approximately 3% of the transaction value and are applied when you make a payment in a foreign currency
  • Cash withdrawal fees – Withdrawing money from an ATM usually incurs additional fees. This will be defined as a percentage of the transaction value, or a minimum of around £3

When withdrawing cash or paying by card overseas, customers will have the option of paying in either British Pounds or the local currency.

As a general rule, you should always pay in the local currency for cheaper exchange rates.

Do not buy travel money with a credit card

This will likely count as a cash advance. These incur an additional charge of around 3%, or a minimum of £3, and a higher interest rate that kicks in as soon as you complete the transaction.

The best thing to do is withdraw money in the UK and avoid the fees.

Cover expensive purchases with a credit card

If you make very expensive purchases while abroad, try using a credit card.

Indeed, you can protect any major purchase (like booking flights and hotels) with Section 75 consumer credit law.

Transactions costing between £100 and £30,000 are covered and valid with credit cards only – not cash, debit cards, loans or buy now pay later services.

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Elsewhere on The Sun, we revealed the common credit card mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars.

And an expert has explained how to save £1,000 on children during the summer holidays.

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