Using Debit Cards and Credit Cards Abroad

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Bank Accounts Debit Card charges abroad

Are you considering using your debit card or credit card abroad, before you do read the information below as it could cost you more than you bargain for.

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Using Debit Cards and Credit Cards Abroad

Planning your next holiday and thinking about taking your debit card or credit card abroad? You may not be protected and with some providers pay more than you bargain for when making a transaction.

Did you know that when buying goods in retailers or paying a bill in a restaurant in a different currency they have the option to get you to authorise your bill in their currency but then recharge your card in sterling. This system is called dynamic currency conversion (DCC).and they can charge you an additional service fee of up to 4%.

Beware of extra credit and debit card fees whilst abroad.

Dynamic currency conversion (DCC) guidelines from Visa say that UK cardholders should be offered the option to either have their credit card or debit card charged in the same currency or to have the transaction changed into sterling before it goes through. Without this choice many retailers are charging in sterling automatically with the extra 4% fee.

Have credit card and debit card transactions done in the same currency.

Check your bank to see if they charge you when you make a transaction abroad, some banks charge 2.75% foreign currency fee when using debit cards abroad as well as credit card providers. Our advice is to get a travel money card in the currency you intent to travel to. There are now travel money cards available in US dollars, Euros, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, New Zealand dollars and South African Rand.

Some of the main benefits of travel money cards are there are no transaction fees and some even allow you to withdraw cash from ATM's for free.

Also don't be fooled by 0% commission free advertising outside the bureau de change. They might not charge commission but their currency rates are never cheap.

Whilst abroad try not to withdraw Euros using credit of debit cards.

Unless it is an emergency do not be tempted to use your credit card to withdraw cash as interest will be charged from the minute the money leaves the cash dispenser.

Take care when entering your pin numbers anywhere and don't use the same pin number for all your debit cards and credit cards. Work some way of remembering them.

Remember to have funds on your Debit Card before you go abroad.

Before going abroad ensure you have available funds on your debit card account, Debit cards are unlike credit cards as the money will be taken from your current account immediately and s unless you have an agreed overdraft a transaction may be declined or you may find a large bill on the door step when you get back.

See below a list of travel money cards on offer which offer no transaction fees when you use abroad unlike debit cards.

Useful information - Travel Money Cards


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