HOLIDAY makers will want to watch out for expensive debit and credit cards when travelling abroad this summer.

Use your card in another country and you could pay foreign exchange fees and cash withdrawal charges.

Getty – ContributorYou could be charged a small fortune if using your card abroad[/caption]

Charges usually differ provider to provider, and card to card.

Now, credit app TotallyMoney has analysed how well-known cards compare and which you should avoid.

They found that withdrawing £100 from an ATM with Halifax and Lloyds Bank credit cards can set customers back an additional £7.95 in charges.

But for the same transaction using the Halifax Clarity, or Barclaycards Rewards credit cards, customers will pay no extra cost.

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Debit cards could also cost you a small fortune if you use the wrong one abroad.

A £100 cash withdrawal with an HSBC or First Direct card could cost an extra £4.75.

Virgin Money, Chase Bank, and Starling Bank debit cards all carry zero fees – so you’d be better off using these.

The Sun approached Halifax, Lloyds Bank, HSBC and First Direct for comment.


“Some issuers will charge 2.99% for paying by card, and £3 to £5 on a cash withdrawal,” said Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney.

“That means an equivalent £100 transaction could set you back £6 to £8 in fees —  so it’s worth packing a more cost-effective alternative.”

Remember that’s per transaction, so you could end up racking up a large bill of extra charges if you use it often abroad.

You can use price comparison websites like MoneySuperMarket or Uswitch to search for a card that has zero fees.

Remember, you have to be really careful when using a credit card, as they can get you into debt.

You should always make sure that you can afford to repay any spending you put on a card.

Read more on how to choose a credit card here.

You should also check the information on your credit report is correct, and use an eligibility checker before applying.

That way you’ll know your chances of acceptance. 

Tips for using cards abroad

Know your fees

The two main fees holidaymakers should look out for are:

Non-sterling transaction fees – These are set at around 3% of the value of the transaction and are applied when you make a payment in a foreign currencyCash withdrawal fees – Withdrawing money from an ATM will usually carry an additional fee. This will be set as a percentage of the value of the transaction, or a minimum of around £3

When you take out cash or pay by card abroad, customers will be given the option to pay in either pounds sterling, or the local currency.

As a rule of thumb, you should always pay in the local currency for cheaper exchange rates.

Don’t buy travel money with a credit card

This is likely to count as a cash advance. These carry additional fees of around 3%, or a minimum of £3, and a higher interest rate which kicks in as soon as you make the transaction.

The best thing to do is to take out cash in the UK and avoid any fees.

Cover expensive purchases with a credit card

If you splash out on any really expensive purchases when you are abroad, try and use a credit card.

This is because you can protect any larger purchases (such as booking flights and hotels) with Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Transactions costing between £100 and £30,000 are covered, and only valid with credit cards — not cash, debit cards, loans or buy now pay later services.

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Elsewhere on The Sun we revealed the common credit card mistake that could be costing you thousands.

And an expert spoke about how to save £1,000s on kids this summer holidays.

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