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Travel credit cards

Compare our best credit cards to use abroad

  • Find a card that lets you spend abroad without fees

  • Compare from a range of trusted providers

  • Apply for a travel credit card in minutes

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Our top travel credit cards

Here is a selection of our top travel credit cards, ordered by lowest foreign purchase fee.

Accurate as of Wednesday, 19 June 2024

£20 cashback for the first purchase made within 90 days of account opening on accounts opened between 8 May 2024 & 3 July 2024. T&Cs apply. 

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Halifax

Clarity Credit Card

  • Foreign Purchase Fee

    0% EU Countries, 0% Worldwide

  • Rewards

    No Rewards


Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.94% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 23.9% (variable)


Great for

  • Contactless payments for items up to £100
  • You can use this card abroad with no fee
  • You may be eligible to apply for this card even if you've already got another Halifax credit card. Excludes Student Credit Card customers, conditions apply

But be aware that

  • You might get a different interest rate to the one shown here, because this depends on your circumstances
  • You can't transfer a balance from another card issued by Halifax

£20 cashback for the first purchase made within 90 days of account opening on accounts opened between 8 May 2024 & 3 July 2024. T&Cs apply. 

provider logo

Halifax

Clarity Credit Card

  • Foreign Purchase Fee

    0% EU Countries, 0% Worldwide

  • Rewards

    No Rewards


Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.94% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 25.9% (variable)


Great for

  • Contactless payments for items up to £100
  • You can use this card abroad with no fee

But be aware that

  • You can't transfer a balance from another card issued by Halifax
provider logo

NatWest

The NatWest Credit Card

  • Foreign Purchase Fee

    0% EU Countries, 0% Worldwide

  • Rewards

    No Rewards


Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 12.9% (variable)


But be aware that

  • You can't transfer a balance from another card issued by NatWest
  • Balance transfers are limited to 95% of your available credit limit. The minimum balance transfer amount is £100

This is a selection of our top 3 travel credit cards, ordered by lowest foreign purchase fee.

What is a travel credit card?

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. 

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How does a travel credit card work?

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    Select your deal

    Choose a credit card that offers the features you want, such as no fees or rewards points on your spending

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    Start spending abroad

    You’ll have an agreed credit limit, such as £1,000, for example. Stick within your limit – whether spending overseas or at home

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    Pay off the balance each month

    Clear the balance in full each month or you’ll be charged interest. A ‘minimum monthly repayment’ is required to avoid charges 

What are the pros and cons of using a travel credit card abroad?

Using a travel credit card comes with benefits and downsides, such as:

  • Tick

    Advantages

    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.

  • Cross

    Disadvantages

    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

Why compare travel credit cards with MoneySuperMarket?

Comparing travel credit cards couldn’t be easier with MoneySuperMarket. Our eligibility checker will show you the cards you are most likely to be approved for – so you can protect your credit score

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    Compare from leading providers

    We’ll show you the cards most suitable to your needs and compare features such as interest rates, fees and rewards offered.

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    Won't harm your credit score

    When you compare with MoneySuperMarket we’ll do a ‘soft search’ on your finances so no mark will be left on your credit file.

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    You’ll see your chances of acceptance

    We’ll show you the percentage chance of being accepted for each credit card deal depending on your current financial status.

Know where you stand with a pre-approved travel credit card

You could be pre-approved for a travel credit card if you meet all the lender’s criteria. This means you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll be accepted when you make your application. Plus, the deal you see is always the deal you’ll get, so you’ll know exactly where you stand.

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    Apply with confidence

    If you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, 0% period and fee (if any) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit

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    Personalised results

    You’ll be pre-approved for a card based on your credit score and finances, so all the results you see are tailored to you

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    You’re in safe hands

    With a pre-approved card, you don’t need to worry about being turned down and there’s no risk to your credit score

Can I get a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees?

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.

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What are the features of a travel credit card?

A travel credit card is designed for spending overseas and has the following features:

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    No spending fees

    Most credit cards apply a flat fee of around 3% every time you use them abroad. Travel cards won’t charge or will have a low fee, instantly saving you a hefty sum

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    Better exchange rates

    Exchange rates are one of the hidden dangers of spending on plastic when you’re abroad. Travel cards usually aim to have better rates

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    Cheaper cash withdrawals

    If you use an ATM abroad, you’ll usually be charged a fee and interest from the moment the money’s withdrawn. Travel cards may waive this fee

  • Icon-Travel-50x50

    Travel rewards

    Some travel credit cards offer benefits to customers who travel frequently. These include discounts on travel insurance or reward points for flights

Rebecca Goodman

Our expert says

"

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.

"
- Rebecca Goodman, Personal Finance & Insurance Expert

How to compare travel credit cards

Comparing travel credit cards couldn’t be easier with MoneySuperMarket. Our eligibility checker will show you the cards you are most likely to be approved for – so you can protect your credit score

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    Tell us about yourself

    We’ll ask you a few simple questions about you and your financial circumstances and what you need from a travel credit card

  • Icon-Search-110x110

    We browse the market

    We’ll sift through travel credit cards from across the market to show you the offers we think will suit you best

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    Pick the card you want

    You’ll be shown a range of credit cards which you’ll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved 

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.

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

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