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Best credit cards for overseas use

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BEST CREDIT CARDS

Unfortunately, the list is very short, as most banks use credit cards to generate extra cash from holidaymakers. However, we pick out the best cards around, and highlight the different charges to watch out for.

Foreign currency exchange rate fee: Debit and credit cards should charge you what the going exchange rate is, but most will simply add 2.75% to the bill.

Cash withdrawal fee: Again, most banks will charge a 2.75% fee or a minimum charge, which is typically set at £2.75 for withdrawing money out of a cash machine on your debit and credit card. Some will charge a flat fee regardless of the size of the withdrawal.

Till charge: It's not just cash machines that hit consumers' pockets. Some banks have started charging a fee when a credit card is used at a retailer's till.

Dynamic currency conversion: Some overseas retailers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and car hire firms will charge you in sterling, rather than the local currency. By doing this they can make a nice profit on the exchange rate, so you should insist on paying in the local currency.

Top credit cards
Abbey Zero – (Withdrawn from the market until May – Find out more)
Foreign currency exchange rate fee: Nothing
Cash withdrawal fee: nothing
Typical APR: 18.9%
Extras: 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 6 months. No transfer fee
Contact: www.abbey.com

Post Office Classic Mastercard
Foreign currency exchange rate fee: Nothing
Cash withdrawal fee: 2.5%, minimum £3
Typical APR:19.9%
Extras: 0% on balance transfers for 10 months, 0% on purchases for 3 months. 2.75% transfer fee
Contact: www.postoffice.co.uk

Nationwide Gold Card
Foreign currency exchange rate fee: 0.84%
Cash withdrawal fee: 2.5%, minimum £3
Typical APR: 19.9%
Extras: 0% on balance transfers for 10 months, 0% on purchases for 3 months. 2.5% transfer fee
Contact: www.nationwide.co.uk Nationwide abandoned its aim to not charge for overseas tranactions in May. Customers of this card have been paying a fee of 0.84% from 6 May 2009, but this will not be raised to 1% from the first of July as planned. Abbey and the Post Office are now the only cards that do not charge a fee for overseas use.

 
 

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