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Travelling Abroad with Credit Cards

Whether you’re going abroad, or want to buy on foreign websites, you can save money by using specialist travel spending cards that give you the best possible exchange rates.

Get the right credit card

Most credit cards add a 3% cost to the exchange rates the banks themselves get. There are a few specialist cards which do not add this fee meaning you get the best exchange rates possible. Even better than the best exchange bureau.

Never change money at the airport

Airports and ferry terminals tend to give the worst rates as you a captive customer and have to exchange your currency there. If you do get it from the airport then always pre order it and collect it upon arrival.

Debit cards can cost you more

While specialist cards give good rates most credit cards don't and any card that charges you interest should be avoided. Debit cards are often the worst as they can charge £1.50 everytime you spend abroad. These debit card banks include Lloyds TSB, Halifax, RBS, Intelligent Finance, Santander and Natwest.

What to say to the "Do you want to pay in Euros or Pounds?" question

When aborad and you make a payment on card sometimes you may get asked this question. The simple answer should be "Euros" or whatever the local currency. If you decide to pay in Pounds it is known as dynamic currency exchange and means the shop converts it at their rates, which are often worse than your credit cards rates.

Buy currency in cash

All credit cards and some debit cards charge a withdrawl fee on exchange currency so try to buy currency with cash.