As something of a keen traveller (colleagues sometimes joke I would be better working for Which? Travel, than Which? Money) I already have dedicated credit and debit cards with 0% fees to use overseas. This has worked really well to date, but that could change…
When I was lucky enough to travel for four months over the summer last year I was able to avoid any foreign spending fees and ATM withdrawal fees. Had I not used these special cards I would have easily racked up £100s in additional costs (money much better spent on enjoying the trip!)
But I’ve recently become aware of a few whizzier options for managing my overseas spending.
These options not can only keep costs low, but also have additional features that make them worth serious consideration.
The Revolut card for example, essentially offers an international currency account that you manage via an app on your phone. You can transfer cash into your Revolut account directly from your bank account, then when you spend money on your card it is converted into local currency (at a competitive exchange rate) with no fees. You can also send any money left in your Revolut account back to your bank account, for free.
But one of my favourite things about it is all the additional security features it offers. You can instantly activate and deactivate the card via your phone or make it so that only transactions that happen in the same location as your phone (i.e. you!) will be approved. Cash withdrawals are fee-free, provided you take out less than £500 a month (possibly not enough if you are on a long-trip).
Just this week Travelex also launched its Supercard. It ran a pilot scheme last year, but this time the card is open to everyone. It works by linking your existing credit and debit cards to the Supercard, and then when you spend money overseas the money is deducted directly from your UK accounts, with no fees. But watch out if you’re the kind of person that likes to be able to withdraw cash on your overseas trips as cash withdrawals currently come with a 2.99% fee.
Like Revolut you can monitor your spending via an app. Although at the moment there is not the functionality to instantly block the card (although Travelex says this can be done instantly via its customer services).
Over to you
I can be a bit of a technophobe sometimes, but I think both of these cards are worth serious consideration. And no doubt more innovative products will continue to be launched – watch this space!
Do you already have one of these cards? If not, do you feel tempted to try using one on your next holiday?
Do you mainly use cash or cards for your holiday spending?
Cash (42%, 141 Votes)
Credit cards (31%, 105 Votes)
Debit cards (15%, 51 Votes)
Prepaid cards (11%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 334