No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards
No-one likes throwing money away - or giving your bank money unnecessarily - but that's what many of do if we use the wrong credit card abroad - for car hire, hotels, supermarket spending or in restaurants.
Most credit cards issued in the UK levy a charge, normally between 2.5% and 3% as a foreign transaction fee - meaning you are paying them every time you use your card abroad. There are others who use a poor interest rate when transferring your spend abroad to sterling before sending you your statement.
There are however some cards who use a near perfect exchange rate and don't charge fees - and so we highly recommend getting one - you will save up to £30 on every £1,000 you spend abroad and we think you would prefer having the cash in your pocket rather than giving it away to your card company.
Having these cards also means you can get the best car hire deals, as you can leave a pre-authorisation at the desk keeping your car hire firm happy to offer you better prices. Remember, though, that with all these cards hefty interest applies if you don't pay them off in full - so set up a direct debit to make sure you don't end up with a bill for the interest charge.
None of the following cards adds a sterling exchange fee, so all give near-perfect rates. However, Mastercard's rates tend to be slightly better than Visa's.
Good for purchases made abroad:
A Tandem credit card does not charge any fees for overseas spending (as long as you fully repay the bill on time) and also offers 0.5% cashback whether you are spending at home in the UK or abroad. The downside is that it does charge interest on cash withdrawals. The interest rate is 18.9% rep APR for most customers, but those with a lower credit rating might find a rate of 24.9% is offered.
The Halifax Clarity Credit Card has no fees for spending abroad, but charge interest on ATM cash withdrawals from the day you withdraw even if you pay the bill at the end of the month in full. One way to avoid this is to preload the card so it is in credit when you use the card for withdrawals. The standard APR is 19.9%.
Poorer Credit Rating? The Aqua Reward Card charges no fees abroad and can offer an option for those whop may think getting a credit card is out of their reach. However the credit limits tend to be more modest so check this will cover any deposit as well as the amount you must pay at the desk for your hire car. It has a 34.9% rep APR which is charged on cash withdrawals even if you repay the balance in full. Offers a 0.5% cashback on purchases (up to a maximum of £100)
Remember - a credit card is not for you if you think you may get into financial difficulties, but these cards may well suit the creditworthy who want a bit of extra flexibility, or are looking to save a few pounds by taking advantage of the features they offer.
The team at Clarify Car Hire are happy to provide assistance if you want to call us!