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COMPARE ONLINE RATES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY MONEY

top specialist travel credit cards

Only do this if you will always repay IN FULL to minimise interest on spending

Halifax Clarity*

Top Overseas Spending Card: Halifax Clarity*

This credit card gives near-perfect exchange rates as there's no foreign exchange fee. It's our top pick because it has no fee for ATM withdrawals either. Pay it off IN FULL and there's no interest on spending, but you will be charged interest (c. £1.50/mth per £100 withdrawn) on ATM withdrawals (not spending). Full info.

  • Representative APR: 18.9%

  • ATM Fee: Free

the five golden rules

To make this work, you need to know what you're doing

you get the best rates, every time, anywhere

Most debit and credit cards add a 3% non-sterling transaction fee, so spend £100 of euros and it costs £103. Yet specialist cards donít charge this fee, meaning £100 costs £100 in every currency. This smashes owt else, including top bureaux de change.

always repay in full so there's no interest

To make this work, set up a direct debit to pay in full, or the interest cost dwarfs any gain you get from the better rate. This is only on spending, not cash withdrawals, see next point.

there are fees for cash withdrawals, but it's still cheap

Ideally, pay off your card as soon as you get home. This is because even if you do fully repay, there are cash withdrawal charges incl. interest from the day you take cash out until you repay. So the quicker you pay it, the less interest you're charged. Yet generally even with this they still beat bureaux de change.

find out if you're likely to be accepted

You need to pass a credit check to get one of these cards. To find out which you're most likely to get without the application leaving a footprint on your credit file use our Overseas Cards Eligibility Checker.

they take up to two weeks to arrive

These cards have to be sent to you and activated, so they're no good if you're going soon, but once you've got one you don't need to worry about cheap currency again. Too late to get one for this holiday? Get one for next time.

For more info & more card options (including debit cards) see Cheap Cards Abroad.

other top overseas cards

They have top exchange rates as they have no fees to exchange

Decent alternative to Halifax Clarity: Creation

The Creation Everyday card also has no ATM withdrawal fee, and similar ATM withdrawal interest as the Clarity. But it's a new card to us, so we don't have much feedback. Full info.

  • Rep APR: 18.9%

  • ATM Fee: Free

Lowest cash withdrawal interest: Barclaycard

The Barclaycard Platinum Travel card has no exchange or ATM fees and - unusually - doesn't charge interest on cash withdrawals paid IN FULL on or before your statement due date. Full info.

  • Rep APR: 19.9%

  • ATM Fee: Free

top pick for poorer credit scorers: aqua reward*

This card has no exchange fees and gives 0.5% cashback (max £100/yr) on spending, but has high ATM fees and interest, meaning it's cheaper to spend than withdraw cash. Full info.

  • Rep APR: 34.9%

  • ATM Fee: 3% (min £3)

what about debit or prepaid cards?

Prepaid cards allow you to load them up before you go, and use them to spend or withdraw cash overseas. The best cards have good rates and low fees. It's also worth being aware that many prepaid cards give you the rate on the day you load it up, not when you spend, so there's some currency fluctuation risk. See prepaid card best buys.

The rate for the Halifax card is yesterday's Mastercard wholesale rate which Halifax uses Ė not a rate directly from Halifax itself.
We cannot be responsible for any discrepancies.

Important! How this site works

TravelMoneyMax.com is part of MoneySavingExpert.com, a website is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research.

  • Bureaux are included based on their competitive online rates and feedback. Yet there is little regulation of foreign exchange bureaux and this site can't take any responsibility for problems that occur. Please be careful before you part with your money.

  • We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned (how likely they are to go bust), but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late.

  • Small local specialists can beat online rates, yet it's rare. Try areas with many overseas visitors e.g. Bayswater. If you spot another competitive online provider that you think merits inclusion, let us know.

  • We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

TravelMoneyMax.com is brought to you by MoneySavingExpert.com. This website is based on journalistic research. It does not constitute financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. All tips are followed at your own risk and should be followed up with your own research . See Full Terms &Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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