Why Shouldn't I Just Use My Credit or Debit Card Abroad?

Most UK debit card providers charge around 3% for spending in a foreign currency, and usually levy an additional 2-3% charge for all foreign cash withdrawals. On top of this, several major debit cards charge an additional flat fee for all transactions, somewhere between £1 and £1.50. Putting all of these fees together means that using your debit card to spend €1000 could easily costing you an additional £40.

Charges are similar for credit cards, with most providers also typically charging around 3% for spending and another 2-3% for foreign cash withdrawals. However, most will also charge interest on cash withdrawals, even if you repay in full at the end of the month. Always check the terms and conditions for your credit or debit card to get a clear idea of foreign usage charges.

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