Save money on purchases abroad by comparing the best credit cards for overseas spending at MoneySupermarket. Our selection features 0% deals on purchases and balance transfers, no fees or commission on foreign currency or purchases abroad, and even free travel insurance.
What is an overseas spending credit card?
If you’re heading overseas for a holiday or a business trip, you probably want to take a credit card. After all, it’s a convenient way to carry money, widely accepted, and can be useful in an emergency. But did you know that your everyday credit card might not be the best option?
Most credit cards impose extra fees and charges for foreign transactions, so they can work out expensive when you buy goods and services abroad. If you are a regular traveller, it’s therefore worth considering a credit card that offers a good deal on foreign spending.
You can compare credit cards online with MoneySupermarket’s free, independent comparison service, to make sure you get the right card for your next trip abroad.
What are the advantages of overseas spending cards?
If you use your credit card abroad, the costs can quickly mount up. Most card firms levy two charges for overseas transactions. The loading or conversion fee applies every time you use your card abroad and can be as high as 2.99%. Then there’s a withdrawal fee if you take cash out of an ATM with your credit card. The withdrawal fee is either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn, up to about 2%.
However, there are a number of credit cards that either don’t levy these fees, or charge less than the average, so they are a better option for your holiday or business trip abroad.
Are there any disadvantages to the cards?
Overseas spending cards can be a cheap way to buy goods and services abroad, but you should avoid withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM on your credit card. You will almost always have to pay a cash withdrawal fee. Plus, the interest rate on cash withdrawals tends to be higher than the rate on purchases and balance transfers – and you start to rack up interest immediately as the interest-free period does not apply to cash withdrawals. All in all, it’s a costly way to get some cash.
Are there any alternatives?
If you don’t want to take a credit card abroad, you could consider a pre-paid currency card, which works like a pre-paid gift or phone card. You basically load the card with currency before you travel and then spend or withdraw cash as necessary.
It’s safer than carrying cash: if you lose your card, your issuer will cancel the old one and send a replacement. Pre-paid cards are also easily accessible – almost anyone can get one, whether or not they have a good credit history. So they are a good option if you need your money in a hurry.
But make sure you understand and compare charges. Some cards levy an application fee of up to £9.99. Then there might be ATM withdrawal fees, top-up charges or a fee for a replacement card.
You can check out all the best travel money deals on MoneySupermarket’s online comparison service.
Your personalised chance of approval
We’ve taken the details you gave, and used them to show you personalised scores to tell you the chance that your application for each card would be successful.
Why is this important?
Every time you apply for a credit card, a mark is left on your credit score. That means it’s better to get it right first time. Your scores help you understand which cards you have the strongest chance of getting.
The higher the score, the stronger chance you have of getting the card. If you see a very low score, you’ve probably better off choosing a different card.
- Consider a different card
- Not eligible
- Your chances are good
- You've been pre approved
If you see a high score, you can be fairly confident. The scores aren’t a guarantee, as acceptance of your application is at the sole discretion of the card issuer, but they should help guide your choice.
In some cases, we will not be able to display a score for a product because we do not have enough information about the card issuer’s acceptance criteria or we have not been able to match your details at the credit bureau.
We work closely with our partners to improve our eligibility scores for all products that are of interest to you.
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