Do all UK credit cards now charge a % for use abroad?

RMCF

Distinguished Member
I have an MBNA card, and I sometimes use it in RoI, a Euro zone country.

I notice I get charged a certain percentage of the total value as a NON STERLING TRANSACTION fee.

In the past this would not have happened, instead the € amount would simply have been converted at the current exchange rate into £ on my bill.

Do all UK cards do this now?
 
Nope. But each card has its own pro and cons. It all depends what you are after, but there lots who are commission free.

My Visa is commission free when making purchases, but charges when getting out cash.
My Visa debut is commission free when taking out cash, but charges when making purchases.
My MasterCard is a multi currency card, and can exchange instantly via my phone at interbank rates.

There are really so many options out that that it all depends as to how you would use a card.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
I don't use my card much, its more as a backup for the odd purchase online, as I prefer not to use my debit card linked to my bank account as I have been skimmed in the past.

I would tend to pay off the outstanding balance fairly quickly.

So I'm basically looking for a commission free one then?
 

Atavus

Active Member
Or Revolut if you don’t need the credit element.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Is Revolut a card you pre-load?

I put my application through for the Halifax Clarity card.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
YEs, Revolut is a pre-load card.
 

psychopomp1

Member
I have an MBNA card, and I sometimes use it in RoI, a Euro zone country.

I notice I get charged a certain percentage of the total value as a NON STERLING TRANSACTION fee.

In the past this would not have happened, instead the € amount would simply have been converted at the current exchange rate into £ on my bill.

Do all UK cards do this now?
The majority of UK issued credit/debit cards have always charged for non-sterling transactions, typically a few % of the overall amount. i suspect what's got you confused is the separate commission charge listed, because some CC issuers incorporate the commission in the exchange rate and won't list it separately - thereby giving the incorrect impression that you're not being charged extra. I have a feeling since MBNA have moved onto the Lloyds/Halifax/BoS Group banking platform they now show the forex commission separately instead of including it in the forex rate which they might have done before. I have a MBNA Everyday Visa card which has no fees for overseas use, it was originally a MBNA Amex Everyday card which was changed to Visa branding last year. Though I'm not sure if they still offer them to new customers, I suspect not.

Other well known forex fee free cards are the Halifax Clarity Mastercard, Post Office Platinum Mastercard, Starling Bank debit card and the Creation Everyday card. The Creation or the Halifax card is probably the best option as both offer free overseas (as well as UK) cash withdrawals though interest starts accumulating the day you withdraw cash - however this is usually very small (pennies) providing you pay off the cash amount fairly quickly.
 

rogercw

Active Member
Barclaycard Visa credit card charges 2.99% when used abroad.
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
I have a tandem. I read a horror story of someone's pre loaded card being cleared out. As it's not a credit card I don't think there is any significant fraud protection.
 
Last edited:

mjn

Distinguished Member
I have a tandem. I read a horror story of someone's pre loaded revolut card being cleared out. As it's not a credit card I don't think there is any significant fraud protection.
I left mine in a hotel room.......so i just disabled it on the app. Or you can turn on geolocation, so the card and app have to be in the same location to work. :)
 
I left mine in a hotel room.......so i just disabled it on the app. Or you can turn on geolocation, so the card and app have to be in the same location to work. :)
Totally agree, mine is generally useless as I disable online payments, also disable contactless etc Unless I need it. And even then I for only payments I use a virtual card for the transactions. And the app is protected via pin and faceid, with instant notifications.

@anticlaus105 I suspect you aren't telling the full story of what actually happened.
 
The majority of UK issued credit/debit cards have always charged for non-sterling transactions, typically a few % of the overall amount. i suspect what's got you confused is the separate commission charge listed, because some CC issuers incorporate the commission in the exchange rate and won't list it separately - thereby giving the incorrect impression that you're not being charged extra. I have a feeling since MBNA have moved onto the Lloyds/Halifax/BoS Group banking platform they now show the forex commission separately instead of including it in the forex rate which they might have done before. I have a MBNA Everyday Visa card which has no fees for overseas use, it was originally a MBNA Amex Everyday card which was changed to Visa branding last year. Though I'm not sure if they still offer them to new customers, I suspect not.

Other well known forex fee free cards are the Halifax Clarity Mastercard, Post Office Platinum Mastercard, Starling Bank debit card and the Creation Everyday card. The Creation or the Halifax card is probably the best option as both offer free overseas (as well as UK) cash withdrawals though interest starts accumulating the day you withdraw cash - however this is usually very small (pennies) providing you pay off the cash amount fairly quickly.
You can add Nationwide to that list as well :)
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
I use Curve, which has been very good. It's an intermediary card rather than a pre-paid card, so passes the charge along to whichever card you want to use.

e.g. in Spain recently, I paid for stuff with my Curve card which then passed it onto my First Direct Visa card. Fees are very low.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
At the moment, I'd say the best overall deal is Barclaycard's Platinum Cashback Plus.
- fee free overseas; no commission, wholesale rate used without any % turn
- fee and interest free ATM cash withdrawals. ATM cash is interest free ONLY overseas and, again, wholesale rate with no % turn; UK withdrawals still attract interest from day 1.
- and 1/4% cashback on turnover.
Overall, therefore, this card costs less than nothing to use. These terms are stated as fixed until August 2023.

Otherwise, several others mentioned above already are close. Tandem has greater cashback, but doesn't give interest free ATM use.
 

psychopomp1

Member
At the moment, I'd say the best overall deal is Barclaycard's Platinum Cashback Plus.
- fee free overseas; no commission, wholesale rate used without any % turn
- fee and interest free ATM cash withdrawals. ATM cash is interest free ONLY overseas and, again, wholesale rate with no % turn; UK withdrawals still attract interest from day 1.
- and 1/4% cashback on turnover.
Overall, therefore, this card costs less than nothing to use. These terms are stated as fixed until August 2023.
Except that Barclaycard will almost certainly withdraw the above perks after 2023 whereas the likes of Halifax Clarity & Creation Everyday cards have the forex fee perk as a permanent feature. Also Barclaycard don't offer free cash withdrawals in UK unlike Halifax & Creation, which can be very useful in an emergency. Add to that Barclaycard's horrible overseas support which will often drive you nuts.
 
Last edited:

psychopomp1

Member
I was going to apply for the NAtionwide one, but one of their criteria was that you had to have an account with them already, which I haven't.
Correct, Nationwide's Select Credit Card (forex fee free) is only available if you hold a Nationwide Current account which will put many people off. Many years ago (around 2005) Nationwide's cards were arguably the best to use for overseas use as both their Flexaccount Debit card and their standard credit card charged zero for forex use. However they introduced fees later on and IMHO aren't that great anymore.
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Just to add about tandem I think they give no fee wholesale rate conversions and give 0.5% cashback. I only went for it as it was recommended in the trip planning forum on here. I think it got bad reviews when first launched but I haven't had any issues. It's replaced my previous mastercard. I used it buy some Florida tickets where I had the option to pay in £ € or $. I did a few calculations and chose $. When it went onto my card I had saved a few £ vs just going for the £ option.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Correct, Nationwide's Select Credit Card (forex fee free) is only available if you hold a Nationwide Current account which will put many people off. Many years ago (around 2005) Nationwide's cards were arguably the best to use for overseas use as both their Flexaccount Debit card and their standard credit card charged zero for forex use. However they introduced fees later on and IMHO aren't that great anymore.
Also, if you don't have their Select Credit Card and have their normal one, you have to accumulate your commission free foreign exchange allowance by using the card. You don't have to do this with the Select version.

Normal credit card:

The Nationwide Credit Card | Nationwide

Select Credit Card:

Select Credit Card With Cashback | Nationwide
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
At the moment, I'd say the best overall deal is Barclaycard's Platinum Cashback Plus.
- fee free overseas; no commission, wholesale rate used without any % turn
- fee and interest free ATM cash withdrawals. ATM cash is interest free ONLY overseas and, again, wholesale rate with no % turn; UK withdrawals still attract interest from day 1.
- and 1/4% cashback on turnover.
Overall, therefore, this card costs less than nothing to use. These terms are stated as fixed until August 2023.

Otherwise, several others mentioned above already are close. Tandem has greater cashback, but doesn't give interest free ATM use.
But do they muck around with exchange rates. I’m a suspicious person and believe that you pay for currency exchange one way or another.

Take high street currency exchange places. In my younger years they were always exchange rate swing plus commission. Then a few started popping up saying ‘commission free’ (these days barely any charge commission) but looking closely I could see that their exchange rates were worse. So they were still making the same amount of money off you, they had just restructured it to look like they had removed a fee.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
But do they muck around with exchange rates. I’m a suspicious person and believe that you pay for currency exchange one way or another.

Take high street currency exchange places. In my younger years they were always exchange rate swing plus commission. Then a few started popping up saying ‘commission free’ (these days barely any charge commission) but looking closely I could see that their exchange rates were worse. So they were still making the same amount of money off you, they had just restructured it to look like they had removed a fee.

Cheers,

Nigel
Of course. Nothing is free ;)
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Philips OLED+935 impressions, Denon AVC110 Review, Film Reviews, News and More...

Latest News

LG SIGNATURE OLED R TV now available in South Korea
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
LG Display teams with Disney for OLED Projects
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Campfire Audio updates Vega and Dorado earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Oppo launches S1 and R1 4K smart TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Lithe Audio AirPlay 2 ceiling speakers world's first
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom