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1Accurate as of March 2024
A travel credit card is a credit card that comes with travel-related benefits. These types of cards typically won’t charge you for spending overseas. Many people opt for travel credit cards to use abroad because unlike standard credit cards, they won’t charge high interest rates and extra fees when used overseas. Some travel credit cards also reward you for travelling with perks such as earning cashback, and vouchers when you use them.
Saves you money: Because a travel credit card is made to be used abroad, it’ll usually be cheaper than a standard credit card.
Financial protection: A travel credit card can give you financial protection if something goes wrong. Credit card purchases between £100 and £30,000 are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Perks: Depending on the type of card you have, you could benefit from perks such as rewards and cashback. Some travel credit cards will give you cashback on your spending abroad.
Fees: You might have to pay an annual fee for your travel credit card.
High-interest rates: If you don’t pay off your balance on time you can face high-interest rates.
Transaction fees: Shops and restaurants could charge you a transaction fee for not using local currency
Yes, you can get a travel credit that will not charge you foreign transaction fees. These fees are usually a 2-3% charge placed on your card when used abroad.
If you get a card that has no foreign transaction fees, it could seriously save you money abroad. And better still, you won’t have to worry about being charged every time you use your card overseas.
Cards without foreign transaction fees work by converting your payments to the local currency.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that cards with no foreign transaction fees may not have the best exchange rates as your money is being exchanged by a third party.
The last thing you want to worry about while on holiday is being ripped-off when using your credit card to pay for things. By choosing the right type of card in advance you can save yourself a packet as you won’t pay a fee for each purchase and some may even waive cash withdrawal fees. This means you’re left with more money to spend while you’re away instead of that same money going to a credit card provider."
You can, both when you’re at home and abroad. You can buy foreign currency from a bureau de change before you leave with a regular credit card at no charge.
You can do the same overseas, but you’ll be charged transaction fees on a non-travel card. And even if you use a travel card to avoid the fees, the chances are that the local exchange rates will be a little less favourable.
Many credit cards come with perks, and travel insurance is one of the more popular offers. Check the small print from your card issuer to see if you have a travel insurance package with your current card.
Travel credit cards are among the cheapest ways to spend money abroad, but it’s not obligatory to bring one. Travel money is another fine option, as are prepaid cards and even travellers’ cheques, though these are declining in use.
You don’t need to let your card supplier know when you’re travelling, but it’s not a bad idea if you’re planning to bring it. A sudden spike in spending in another country may set off automatic alarm bells on your account – and it’ll be helpful should the worst happen and your card is stolen.
Some travel credit cards offer rewards like cashback or vouchers worth a percentage of what you spend.
There are also airline credit cards available. These are designed for domestic spending, but they offer a specific reward: frequent flier miles that can specifically be redeemed on air travel. If you travel often, this type of card can be useful as your main credit card when you’re at home.
You can make a complaint about your travel credit card to your provider directly. You should be able to do this by calling them, emailing them or even visiting a local branch if they have one.
It can be more costly to use your normal credit card on holiday than a travel credit card. This is because your normal credit card was made to be used in the United Kingdom. So, using the card you use at home abroad will likely come with a range of charges such as foreign transaction fees.
If you pay with your specialist travel credit card in the local currency and your network provider is Visa or Mastercard, you’ll probably get the best possible exchange rate available.
Debit cards: A debit card allows you to spend the money in your current account.
Prepaid cards: These cards are topped up with travel money in your chosen currency. They can be used like debit cards.
Cash: You can get travel money in the local currency of your destination. You can compare competitive exchange rates with MoneySuperMarket.
You can get a travel debit card, however they tend to come with more fees and don’t offer the best exchange rates. However, some digital banks, allow you to make purchases abroad without any extra charges.
If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.
All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.
Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.
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