Get cash cheaper when you are abroad - find the best cards and accounts to use.
Publication date: 20th April 2012, last updated 30thApril 2013
Subjects: cash, money, holiday, credit cards, debit cards, current accounts,
Get your money cheaper when you are abroad
One question we are frequently asked is what is the best card to use overseas, or how can I get Euros from an ATM without paying through the nose for it!
The first thing to say is that we would suggest taking a couple of our recommended payment methods at least, as many can be obtained free of charge, and this will give you greater flexibility should you have problems overseas. Losing a card or having your account stopped because the bank think a payment is suspicious can be very disruptive to your break if you only have one payment method.
Stating the obvious but your first option is to take some foreign currency with you, though how much you want to take will depend on the level of cover your travel insurance gives you and your personal attitude to risk. Don't expect to get the best deal at an airport bureau de change or by walking into a bank. Do try our online comparison service to find the best travel money rates as the cheapest currency suppliers can easily save you £5 on every £100 bought through a high street bank.
If you live or work in or around London you could consider a Metro Bank account - Metro Bank are a new bank launched in 2010, and currently have a few branches in London and are gradually spreading further afield. Their current account comes with a fee free debit card, but you have to visit a branch to open an account.
Further afield the Norwich & Peterborough BS has 'refreshed' its current account products with a 0% overseas purchase fees and no cash withdrawal fees anywhere worldwide. To qualify for a free Gold Classic account you need to pay in £500 per month or there is a £5 fee monthly. A similar fee is charged for using an authorised overdraft by £10 or more.
There is an alternative Gold Light current account where a charge of £5 a month is levied if you make five transactions or less a month.
The outstanding best buys
are detailed below, but the overriding rule is - use one of these cards for purchases and a prepaid card (see further down the page) for cash withdrawals.
Preloading Your Credit Card
A top moneymaxim tip if you have plans to use a credit card which either has no interest free period or charges interest on cash advances from the date of wi