Picking the best credit card to take on holiday can help ease the financial strain of a trip away. Using the right card not only offers a cheaper way of spending money abroad; it can even help spread the cost of the trip over time, meaning you’re more likely to get burnt by the sun than your plastic.
Try not to withdraw cash on credit cards abroad
It’s important to choose a card which complements the way you want to spend on holiday. For example, cards with no foreign transaction fees are useful because they allow you to spend like you would at home without incurring extra charges.
If you anticipate a hefty holiday bill, cards offering 0 per cent interest on purchases abroad provide breathing space to pay off the balance afterwards. There are also options that offer airline or hotel loyalty rewards, so your spending on one holiday can help pay for the next one.
As a rule of thumb, try not to withdraw cash on credit cards abroad, as you will likely be stung with an additional 2-3 per cent fee. If you can’t avoid it, check what charges apply before travelling, so you don’t come back to a nasty shock in your next credit card bill.
Bear in mind a new credit card usually takes 10 days to arrive after you successfully apply for one.
Best credit cards to use while travelling abroad
1. Post Office Platinum MasterCard
This card is ideal if you’re looking to make purchases while abroad but also pay off your holiday spending over a longer period. There are no fees for purchases abroad or to buy travel money with the Post Office. It also offers 0 per cent on balance transfers for the first 22 months with no transfer fees. Be aware that while balance transfers won’t charge interest, you’ll still incur interest on purchases if you spend at home or abroad.
2. Halifax Clarity
Voted “Best for Overseas Use” by 10,000 card holders in the uSwitch Credit Card Awards 2016, the Halifax card suits people who are looking to use their card abroad but pay off the balance when they come home. There are no fees to withdraw cash anywhere in the world or transfer a balance. Plus there is no annual fee. However, there is an interest rate of 18.9 per cent APR so make sure to pay the full balance at the end of each month.
Thanks to Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch.com
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