GOING on holiday soon? If you’re planning a trip abroad, it pays to get a specialist travel credit card.
If you don’t, you could be hit with various hidden charges while you’re abroad.
Getty – Contributor Travel credit cards can help you avoid hefty fees when spending on holiday
Why can’t I use my normal credit card for spending overseas?
You can – but if you do it’s likely you’ll be hit in the pocket with fees that providers charge when cards are used abroad.
There are lots of different fees but the major one to look out for is something called a “non-sterling transaction fee.”
This will typically add anything between 2.75 to 3 per cent to the cost of any purchases you make when abroad, money expert Andrew Hagger told The Sun.
You shouldn’t withdraw cash on a credit card unless you have to – at home or abroad – but you’ll also face more fees if you take money out of an ATM abroad using a normal credit card, and be charged additional interest straight away.
With travel cards, you can avoid these charges – though most cards will still charge you interest if you take cash out – so you can spend happily while enjoying your break.
What are the best travel credit cards on the market?
The Sun has picked out the leading travel credit cards currently on the market.
And remember – just because you’re using your plastic on holiday – doesn’t mean the usual rules don’t apply.
Always make sure you clear your balance each month – if you don’t, the interest charges you’ll incur will outweigh any savings you make by using it in the first place.
And don’t be tempted to go overboard with your spending just because you’re having fun in the sun.
Aqua Reward Credit Card
Aqua’s Reward credit card is much easier to apply for than the others on this list if you have a poor credit history.
There are no fees when you spend abroad and you get 0.5 per cent cashback on all purchases made overseas.
But don’t use it to withdraw cash abroad as it charges up between 44.95 and 69.95 per cent interest, even if you pay your balance in full.
There’s also a 3 per cent fee for withdrawing cash.
The other thing to note is that your credit limit will be low – between £250 and £1,250.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card
Barclaycard’s travel card guarantees no fees on spending or cash withdrawals abroad until August 31, 2023 – but after this, it returns to 2.99 per cent.
But you will be charged a 2.99 per cent fee on a cash withdrawal if you use the card to take out money in the UK.
Unlike a lot of other travel cards, you won’t be charged interest on cash you take out if you clear your balance in full each month.
The card also offers 0.25 per cent cashback on all spending.
This one could be a winner if you take out lots of cash or use it for an extended trip.Apply Here
Creation Everyday Credit Card
The card comes with no fees on spending or withdrawals abroad – but you’ll be charged interest at a rate of 12.9 per cent if you do withdraw cash.
Creation’s card also comes with a balance transfer option with no fee too.Apply Here
Halifax Clarity Card
Halifax’s Clarity Card won’t charge you for using it abroad, and there aren’t any fees for withdrawing cash either.
But you will be charged interest if you don’t repay your balance in full at a rate of 19.9 per cent.
And you will be charged interest on cash withdrawals until your balance is paid off too, at a rate of between 19.9 and 27.95 per cent.Apply Here
Santander Zero Credit Card
Santander’s card offers no fees for spending abroad when you pay in the local currency, as well as no fees for cash withdrawals.
You may also be offered cashback deals ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, if you opt in for the bank’s “Retailer Offers” scheme.Apply Here
Tandem Credit Card
Tandem’s card comes with no fees for overseas spending and you earn 0.5 per cent cashback when you spend overseas or in the UK.
Again, you’ll be charged interest from the day you withdraw cash at 18.9 per cent – or if you have a poorer credit rating at 24.9 per cent.
But bear in mind that this card does charge interest on cash withdrawals, so if you’re likely to make a lot of them, the Barclaycard or Santander card may be a better fit.Apply Here
HOW TO CUT THE COST OF YOUR DEBTBEING in large amounts of debts can be really worrying. Here are some tips from Citizens Advice on how you can take action.
Check your bank balance on a regular basis – Knowing your spending patterns is the first step to managing your money.
Work out your budget – By writing down your income and taking away your essential bills such as food and transport.
If you have money left over, plan in advance what else you’ll spend or save. If you don’t, look at ways to cut your costs.
Pay off more than the minimum – If you’ve got credit card debts aim to pay off more than the minimum amount on your credit card each month to bring down your bill quicker.
Pay your most expensive credit card sooner – If you have more than one credit card and can’t afford to pay them off in full each month, prioritise the most expensive card (the one with the highest interest rate).
Prioritise your debts – If you’ve got several debts and you can’t afford to pay them all it’s important to prioritise them.
Your rent, mortgage, council tax and energy bills should be paid first because the consequences can be more serious if you don’t pay.
Get advice – If you’re struggling to pay your debts month after month it’s important you get advice as soon as possible, before they build up even further.
Charities, such as Citizens Advice and National Debtline, can help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans.
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Apart from avoiding credit card charges, there are a number of extra charges you should look out for when on holiday abroad – here are our top 10 saving trips.
You should also avoid using your debit card abroad – these are the worst banks for fees.
In need of some cash? Here’s how to get the best currency rates.
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