Using Debit Cards Abroad

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Nationwide flexaccount did offer free use of Debit and Credit cards overseas but this has recently been changed but they still don't load exchange rates so although they are no longer free to use overseas, they are still competitive. Although the flexaccount debit card may appear to be appealing, you must remember that this doesn't offer the Section 75 protection that using a Credit Card would, and so you should always keep this in mind when choosing which form of currency to use.

Also, be aware when using a Debit Card Abroad that some providers such as Halifax, RBS, Natwest, Lloyd's TSB or IF add an additional charge for every time you use your Debit Card abroad. These charges can range from £1 to £1.50 and these are in addition to Cash Withdrawal and loading fees which are applied.

If you happen to have one of the Cards mentioned above you would probably be much better off finding another form of currency to use whilst you are overseas. But even knowing the charges you could incur, you still want to use it when overseas then you would be better off withdrawing a larger amount of cash from an ATM, instead of making a number of purchase transactions. When making a cash withdrawal there will be a fee of around 2.5%, but a minimum £3 fee applies so you would be better off making 1 larger withdrawal than a number of smaller ones. If you decide to do this, make sure you:-

1) Take care that no one sees the pin number you enter
2) You keep the cash in a safe place
3) Check if the ATM you are going to use has a fee as many do

It might be worth you checking how much each will charge to find to most competitive.

Back to Using Credit Cards Abroad.

Updated on 29th April, 2009

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