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Adam Jolley

The five best credit cards to use abroad


With holiday season upon us, we look at some of the best credit cards to take abroad with you this year.

Holiday credit card

Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee or commission fee when you use your card outside of the UK.

This can be around 3% and soon adds up to a lot over the course of a holiday.

However, travel credit cards are designed to be used abroad.

Five cards worth considering

These cards will not charge you these additional fees, potentially saving you substantial amounts of money during your trip.

What's more, a number of credit cards offer special travel deals such as no fees on overseas cash withdrawals and reduced charges when buying foreign currency.

So, if you're heading off on holiday in the near future, here are five travel credit cards which could be worth taking with you.

1. Post Office

The Post Office credit card charges no fees on purchases made overseas.

What’s more, if you use the card to buy currency from the Post Office, online or in one of its branches, you won’t be charged commission.

2. Saga Platinum

The Saga Platinum credit card is available to people aged 50 and over.

As well as offering 0% on foreign currency fees, cardholders can also get 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first nine months.

A 3% balance transfer fee applies.

3. Halifax Clarity

With the Halifax Clarity credit card, like many travel cards, there is no foreign exchange fee to pay when making purchases abroad.

However, unlike many other travel cards, Halifax also won't charge you a fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM anywhere in the world.

This is quite rare among credit cards, as cardholders are usually hit with cash withdrawal fees both at home and abroad for using a credit card at an ATM.

However, you will still be charged interest from the date that the withdrawal is made so you should make sure you pay your balance off in full when you get home.

4. Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards

Customers get one Lloyds Avios account and two credit cards to use – an American Express credit card and a Mastercard.

You can collect 1.25 Avios points for every £1 you spend on the American Express card.

And 1.25 Avios points for almost every £5 you spend on the MasterCard.

What's more, when your spend reaches £7,000 in a year, you can get a flight upgrade voucher.

This enables you to upgrade either two one-way flights for two people travelling at the same time, or one return journey for one person. 

5. Aqua Advance

Most travel credit cards are only available to people with a good credit score.

But people with less-than-perfect credit needn’t miss out, as the aqua Advance credit card is also available for those looking to improve their score.

You pay nothing for using it overseas - other than ATM fees if you withdraw cash – and you also get SMS alerts when you use it abroad – a useful security feature.

The rate of interest charged is quite high – at 34.9% APR - so you should make sure you pay off your balance in full and on time each month to avoid interest charges.

Compare travel credit cards

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at, says:  "Holidaymakers could make significant savings with a travel card, especially if you go away frequently.

"So it's worth comparing deals to see which one is most suited to you.

"However, if you don't want to take a credit card abroad, or are worried about spending over your holiday budget, prepaid cards might be another option.

"These work by loading up the card before you go, locking in your exchange rate and letting you know exactly how much you've got to spend."


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