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Best Credit Cards: How To Spend Money Abroad Without The Crazy Charges!
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Best Credit Cards: How To Spend Money Abroad Without The Crazy Charges!

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One of the last things many of us forget when going on holiday is travel money. Therefore, we end up taking any rate that we get at the airport and this usually is the lowest rate around. The main way around this is to of course monitor the currency exchange rates and pull up fancy colour charts that depict the best rates overtime. However, in a modern day this is not always practical or something we get a chance to do even if we wanted to. There is a few ways to ensure you’re not being totally ripped off when spending money abroad and it simply starts by getting the best credit card deal, which has no hidden charges for use overseas.

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The best credit card deal for spending abroad

One the best UK credit cards around currently is the Halifax Clarity Credit Card it has no hidden charges for using abroad or silly conversion rates, the best bit of all is it can be used all over the world so, you really only need one overseas credit card. It must be highlighted it would not be recommended to use this card in the UK as there are many other credit cards which offer a better service within the UK. It would not make any sense to give up any Cashback, Points or Vouchers you might be currently earning for a handful of holidays you may take in a year. The sole purpose of the Halifax Clarity Credit Card will be to use when you are abroad.

Does the best credit card deal give you the best exchange rate?

The next question naturally will be how can we ensure that we are getting the best rates possible, now as this credit card is a MasterCard it will generally have a much better conversion rate then one set out by Halifax Money Bureau, you generally find the rate of conversion will be the previous dates closing figure. There will be no additional charges on this credit card providing you pay off the balance by the date set out on your credit card statement. Additionally if you are worried of missing this deadline, you can set up a direct debit to ensure the money is paid off in time avoid any unnecessary charges.

Additionally what happens if you are abroad and need to withdraw some cash, this card is perfect, as it does not have any fees for cash withdrawals however, it does charge interest at the rate of 12.9% APR providing you qualify for this rate. It is around 50p per month for £50 borrowed over 12 months (it is like adding £6.45 to the £50 you borrowed for the whole year) the best way to beat all interest charges is to pay of the cash withdrawal balance as soon as possible either online whilst abroad or as soon as you get back home.

If your credit rating score is low you can be charged anywhere up to 21.9% APR on all cash withdrawals which is quite expensive. However, if you do have a poor credit rating, as long as you do not make any cash withdrawals on this card it will still be beneficial to have this card when travelling abroad, just make sure you pay off the statements off in time and do not withdraw cash.

If the shop you are making a purchase in allows you to pay in the local currency or in Pounds Sterling (GBP) always opt for the local currency as it will charge you at the MasterCard Rate and not one set out by the given shop, this always tends to be lower then the credit card rate.

The debit card that packs a punch against the best credit cards

Looking at debit cards, they tend to have a hellish way of adding astronomical charges when trying to withdraw money abroad, some charge a staggering £1.50 for withdrawal, a spending penalty of £1.50 and to top it all they have a load fee of up to 2.75%. Nevertheless, not is all lost in charges there happens to be one account out there that might save you from this, it is the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society Gold Current Account which charges no fees on cash withdrawals nor spending fees worldwide. This happens to be the only current account, which works all over the world and has the added bonus of free ATM withdrawals. To beat the £5 per month fee on this account you must deposit at least £500 per month or have a holding balance of at least £5,000 to avoid any monthly charges.

Alternative Options To UK Credit & Debit Cards

If you exchanging currency you will have various options when doing this from loading prepaid cards, travellers cheques and straight forwards money exchange, one rule of thumb is to never exchange money at the airport and always price compare exchange rates online. However, if you have not done this, at minimum reserve your currency online before turning up to the counter to exchange money, you're are almost certain to get a better deal by reserving online.

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Best Credit Cards Timeframe: 6. Mar. 2015 - 31. Dec. 2015

  1. United Kingdom
    Earth
  • Halifax Clarity

    Halifax Clarity Card - Link

    • Cost: None
    • Issued By: MasterCard
    • Loading or Exchange Rate Charges
      • Europe: 0% 
      • Worldwide: 0%
    • Cash Withdrawals
      • No fees
      • Interest payable until balance paid off in full
    • Representative APR on Spending 12.9%
    • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 12.9%
    • Limits
      • You can only draw 50% of your credit limit in cash

    If you are a Halifax Current Account holder you might be eligible for  their premium card the Halifax Clarity Reward Card (minimum deposit into account is £1000 per month).

  • Aqua Reward

    Aqua Reward Card - Link

    • Cost: None
    • Issued By: MasterCard 
    • Loading or Exchange Rate Charges
      • Europe: 0% 
      • Worldwide: 0%
    • Cash Withdrawals
      • 3% (Minimum £3 Charge)
      • Interest payable until balance paid off in full
    • Representative APR on Spending 34.9% 
    • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 39.9% - 59.9%
    • Cashback: 0.5% on all spending in UK and Abroad
  • Post Office

    Post Office Money - Link

    • Cost: None
    • Issued By: MasterCard 
    • Loading or Exchange Rate Charges
      • Europe: 0% 
      • Worldwide: 0%
    • Cash Withdrawals 
      • 2.5% (Minimum £3 Charge)
      • Interest payable until balance paid off in full  
    • Representative APR on Spending 17.8% 
    • Interest rate on ATM withdrawals: 27.9%

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