Credit cards you can use abroad

If you want a credit card that you can use abroad, then opt for one that suits your needs and doesn’t involve expensive charges. Here are some top tips to help you make your choice.

Can I use my credit card abroad?

Yes, you can use your credit card abroad just as you would at home. Just be aware that there may be additional fees and charges.

Some credit card companies will charge you a flat fee every time you buy something when you’re abroad. Others might charge you a foreign transaction fee, which is added to your bill each time a transaction is converted from the local currency to pounds.

Something else to bear in mind if you use your credit card abroad is the dynamic currency exchange. When you buy something on holiday, you might be asked whether you want the transaction made in the local currency or in sterling (the British pound). If you’re given the choice, always opt for the local currency as your card provider will work out the best exchange rate to use – meaning you won’t end up paying extra for your purchases.

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What should I look out for when choosing a credit card to use abroad?

As well as flat fees and foreign usage charges, some credit cards will also charge you interest for using your card outside of the UK – even if you pay off the balance in full. You might also be charged if you use your credit card to take money out at a cashpoint.

So, when it comes to choosing a card, think about how you’re likely to use it on holiday. For example, if you intend to use it to take out cash (just be aware that you’ll be charged interest on the withdrawal immediately), then a credit card with low or no cash withdrawal fees would be a good choice. Alternatively, if you know you’ll only use your credit card for purchases abroad, then look for one with the most competitive foreign transaction fee.

You might think by using your debit card abroad you’ll avoid paying extra fees, but while you might not be charged interest, you could still be charged for purchases and withdrawing cash.

What are the benefits of using a credit card abroad?

One great thing about taking a credit card abroad is that you won’t need to carry around a lot of cash, which could make you a prime target for pickpockets. If your card is lost or stolen, you can cancel it and you should be reimbursed for any fraudulent transactions – although ultimately this decision will be down to your credit card provider.

Using your credit card also means you’re protected for any purchases that cost between £100 and £30,000. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you don’t receive something you’ve paid for or the item was faulty, or the company you’ve bought something from goes bust, then your credit card provider (along with the retailer) is jointly responsible.

Credit card security

It goes without saying, you should keep your credit card safe whether you’re at home in the UK or on holiday abroad. Keep it close and don’t reveal your PIN to anyone – shield the keypad when you’re carrying out a transaction or withdrawing cash.

Ensure that you know who to call if your card is stolen. And if you don’t need it while you’re out, then keep it in your hotel safe. It’s worth letting your card provider know that you’ll be using your credit card abroad, or you run the risk of your card being declined because your provider thinks it’s been stolen.

Credit card security

Finding the credit card that’s right for you

We make it easy to search for a card to suit your needs by working with our partners at Lovemoney Finacial Services Ltd to highlight the key features of each one. If you see a deal that appeals, then simply click to find out more. So what are you waiting for? Start comparing credit cards today.

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