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No Overseas Fee Credit Cards FAQ
Using standard credit cards overseas could mean that you end up being hit with a host of additional fees and hidden charges. In fact, withdrawing cash on your credit card from a foreign cashpoint could mean you'll owe an additional 3% on the amount you'd typically have to pay back.
While charges for using standard credit cards abroad aren't new, credit card providers and banks have begun to place these fees on statements since the beginning of 2014 - bringing them to the attention of savvy shoppers. Fortunately, there are credit cards that you can use to help you avoid extra fees abroad.
Should I get a credit card with no overseas fees?
Whether a credit card that does not include fees for purchases made overseas is right for you or not, depends on your typical spending habits and needs. If you usually take your credit card with you abroad, then a travel credit card could be a great way to save cash. However, if you're not prone to regular travel and you're looking to get the cheapest credit card deal, you may be better served looking for a card with a low interest rate for use in the UK instead.
Do I need to pay off the balance in full each month?
Though specialist travel cards are different to regular cards in the way that they allow you to avoid paying additional fees when you use your credit abroad, they still require regular repayments to be made if you want to avoid extra interest costs. The interest on overseas cards can quickly add up if you are not disciplined enough to pay them off in full each month, which is why most experts recommend using a direct debit to ensure interest charges don't dwarf your other no-fees-abroad advantages.
What are the benefits of using these cards overseas?
Credit cards designed specifically for use abroad are particularly beneficial to those who travel a lot, and want to avoid incurring extra charges when they use their credit card on vacation. Travel cards can give you access to free cash withdrawals at overseas ATMs, as well as better rates on your travel money, reward points for flights, and sometimes even discounts on travel insurance. Additionally, some travel cards will not charge any extra for making purchases overseas in a foreign currency, or when you buy products from overseas websites.
What will my credit limit be?
As with any other type of credit card, the limit on your travel card will depend on various factors, including your credit score. While most providers advertise an average limit with their travel cards, you may not be able to access this full amount. Instead, your provider will give you an insight into the credit limit you can use after you have filled out an application form.
Will my credit history be important?
The better your credit score is, the more likely it is that you will be accepted for a travel credit card that features a low-interest rate and competitive APR. Your credit history may also affect the kinds of rewards you can access with your new credit card.
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Helpful links for credit card issues
Money Advice Service - The government's Money Advice Service website provides concise, unbiased information on choosing and using credit cards as well as handy tools such as credit card calculators.
The UK Cards Association - The British trade association for card payment companies has an extensive range of guides on their website covering all the types of payment cards available to UK consumers including debt, credit and prepaid cards.
Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK - The Financial Fraud Action website features important advice on using payment cards safely and securely as well as information on the latest scams.
Financial Ombudsman Service - If you've already made a complaint to your card provider and have not had your issue resolved satisfactorily then the next step is to take up your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman.