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Compare Our Top-Rated Travel Credit Cards

Updated: 16th March 2022

What to consider when comparing travel credit cards:

While we believe that our ratings will help lead most readers to the best travel card for them, everyone’s situation is a bit different. That means it’s also important to know how to compare these cards on your own, so you can choose the best travel credit card for you.

Here are a few things to consider when comparing travel credit cards:

  • Foreign transaction fees: The biggest difference with travel credit cards is that they don’t charge a foreign transaction fee. If you’re looking for a card for overseas travel, confirm that it definitely doesn’t charge this fee.
  • Annual fees: While some cards do charge an annual fee, there are plenty of travel cards available that do not. All else the same, it’s better to avoid an annual fee, but be sure to consider all aspects of a card, as sometimes it comes with a deal that makes the fee worth it.
  • Rewards, cashback and other perks: Once you’ve (ideally) found a card that has no foreign transaction fees, charges no annual fee and has a reasonable APR, then you can narrow down your choices further by opting for a card that provides rewards on your spend, discounts on your travel or that offers an introductory 0% interest period.
  • Required credit rating: If you have a high credit score, you should be able to qualify for most or all of our top picks. But if you’re still establishing your credit or rebuilding your credit, there are a few cards on our list that don’t charge foreign transaction fees and accept applicants with lower credit scores. You can check your eligibility for free before applying, with our Credit Card Eligibility Checker.

Check Your Eligibility

Discover a list of credit cards you may be eligible for. Only takes a few minutes and will not affect your credit score.

Here are our top-rated travel credit cards to use abroad:

Credit Card Great For Star Rating
Santander All In One Credit Card * 0% offers, cashback and travel benefits in one card
The NatWest Credit Card * Low APR and no foreign transaction fees
The Royal Bank Credit Card * Low APR and no foreign transaction fees
Tymit * controlling and monitoring spending and repayments
Nationwide Select Credit Card 0% interest for Nationwide customers
Santander Zero Credit Card Avoiding fees while travelling
B Credit Card Travel and low standard interest rate
Virgin Money Travel Credit Card No foreign transaction fees plus 0% interest offers
Creation Everyday Credit Card No fees for spending abroad plus an attractive APR
Halifax Clarity Credit Card Avoiding foreign transaction fees while traveling

Credit card offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with a *.

Top-rated travel credit cards reviewed:

Filter Results

Great For: 0% offers, cashback and travel benefits in one card

Santander All In One Credit Card *

4.5 stars ?

23.7%

£36**

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

A highly multi-functional card that should serve a wide variety of users. The All in One card offers 26-month 0% periods on balance transfers and 20 months 0% on purchases. During the promotional period, there’s no balance transfer fee – a very nice benefit.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest for 26 months from account opening on balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee
  • 0% interest for 20 months from account opening on purchases
  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee (if you pay in local currency)
  • Special cashback offers of up to 15% with Retailer Offers (you must sign up for this)
  • ** The fee for this card is £3 per month, charged monthly (£36 in total annually)
  • Note: You can apply for a credit card if you’re a permanent UK resident aged 18 years or over, have a guaranteed annual income of £7,500 or more (before tax), have a good credit record and have not been declared bankrupt, had a CCJ or an IVA within the last 6 years.

KEY SCORES

Perks 5/5
Fees 5/5
APR 2/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

17.9% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. This is equivalent to 23.7% APR representative (variable) based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200. Monthly fee: £3.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can either Check Eligibility or Apply Now!
on Santander's Secure Website

Great For: Low APR and no foreign transaction fees

The NatWest Credit Card *

4 stars ?
Apply Now!

On NatWest's Secure Website

9.9%

£0

Apply Now!

On NatWest's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

Where the NatWest Credit Card excels is being that solid, take-everywhere card. With a low standard APR for qualified applicants, and no foreign transaction fees, this card can find a place in many peoples’ wallets. However, if you’re looking for rewards, cashback or a sign-up bonus, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% p.a. (variable) for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance-transfer fees
  • Even lower balance-transfer rate of 6.9% (variable) for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

KEY SCORES

Perks 1/5
Fees 5/5
APR 5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can Apply Now!
on NatWest's Secure Website

Great For: Low APR and no foreign transaction fees

The Royal Bank Credit Card *

4 stars ?
Apply Now!

On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

9.9%

£0

Apply Now!

On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Royal Bank Credit Card loses some ratings points because of what’s not there — no rewards, 0% offers, etc. But thanks to the low standard APR for qualifying applicants, and no foreign transaction fees, this is still a very solid card, especially for travellers.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% p.a. (variable) for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance transfer fees
  • Even lower balance transfer rate of 6.9% p.a. (variable) for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

KEY SCORES

Perks 1/5
Fees 5/5
APR 5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can Apply Now!
on Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

Great For: controlling and monitoring spending and repayments

Tymit *

4 stars ?

19.8%*

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The main feature of this card is that it lets you spread the cost of your purchases over 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 months. You only pay interest on the purchases you put into instalments, not on your entire balance. The 3-month plan attracts no interest while the others have an APR ranging from 15.1%-29.7%.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Credit limit of £500-£15,000
  • APRs of 15.1%-29.7% for purchases repaid over 6 to 36 monthly instalments
  • You can manage your instalment plan through the app, and see interest charges or costs in advance
  • Interest is on instalments only and not on entire balance
  • Free spending abroad (no foreign transaction fee)
  • No cash withdrawal fees, up to £200 per month
  • No charges for going over your limit and no penalty for first late payment
  • *The card’s representative APR for purchases repaid over 6 to 36 monthly instalments is 19.8%

KEY SCORES

Perks 3.5/5
Fees 5/5
APR 4/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.8% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 0% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can either Check Eligibility or Apply Now!
on Tymit's Secure Website

Great For: 0% interest for Nationwide customers

Nationwide Select Credit Card

4.5 stars ?

15.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

If you are looking for a credit card that offers a wide range of features, the Nationwide Select Credit Card is likely to be appealing. It has a 12-month introductory 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, as well as no balance transfer fee. Although there are longer 0% interest rate periods available elsewhere, the card’s lack of foreign exchange fees could help it stand out from its rivals. Note though that it is only available to existing customers of Nationwide who have their main current account with the provider.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest for 12 months on purchases
  • 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Note: This card is only available to Nationwide current account customers (see issuer for full details)

KEY SCORES

Perks 3/5
Fees 3/5
APR 5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 15.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 15.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200
Great For: Avoiding fees while travelling

Santander Zero Credit Card

4.5 stars ?

18.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

You can use the Santander Zero Credit Card abroad and not worry about being charged fees. It offers the double benefit of no foreign transaction fee and no cash withdrawal fee both in the UK and abroad, making holiday spending with the card easy and relaxed.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cash withdrawal fees
  • 0% interest on all purchases for 12 months
  • Up to 3 additional cardholders

KEY SCORES

Perks 4.5/5
Fees 5/5
APR 3.5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Monthly fee £0
Great For: Travel and low standard interest rate

B Credit Card

4 stars ?

9.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The B Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees or annual fee. This makes it a great potential travel companion, since non-sterling card fees can add up even for infrequent travellers. And while you’re better served paying down your credit card balance, this card also stands out for its low interest rate.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Low 9.9% APR
  • Well-liked app for managing your spending
  • No annual fee
  • 0% balance transfer fee

KEY SCORES

Perks 3/5
Fees 5/5
APR 5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 9.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200
Great For: No foreign transaction fees plus 0% interest offers

Virgin Money Travel Credit Card

4 stars ?

21.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

This card charges no fees for overseas use, so making spending abroad more affordable, plus it offers 9-month interest-free introductory periods for purchases and balance transfers, so that you can pay for your holiday in the first place. Add to that travel discounts for Virgin Holidays and the offer of cashback on travel insurance, and you have a good all-round travel package.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 0% interest for 9 months on purchases
  • 0% interest for 9 months on balance transfers

KEY SCORES

Perks 4/5
Fees 5/5
APR 2/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 21.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 21.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200
Great For: No fees for spending abroad plus an attractive APR

Creation Everyday Credit Card

3.5 stars ?

12.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Creation Everyday Credit Card has no foreign transaction fee, which makes it an attractive travel card. And since it lacks an annual fee, it could be a worthwhile travel companion, even for consumers who rarely make international trips. A lack of rewards and offers, though, limits the card’s wider appeal.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Online banking to manage your account on the go

KEY SCORES

Perks 1/5
Fees 5/5
APR 5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 12.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 12.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200
Great For: Avoiding foreign transaction fees while traveling

Halifax Clarity Credit Card

3 stars ?

19.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card makes an appealing travel card offering. It features no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, which makes it a simple offering that’s easy on the wallet. Other credit cards, though, may be more suitable for day-to-day use since this card has no cashback, rewards or sign-up bonus.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Mobile banking app to manage your account on the go

KEY SCORES

Perks 1/5
Fees 5/5
APR 2.5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 19.95% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200 over 12 months

What is a travel credit card?

Travel credit cards are cards that do not carry a fee for use abroad but still operate as standard credit cards in the UK. The main difference with a travel credit card is that they do not have that non-sterling transaction fee, which means you pay less while spending abroad.

Typically, credit cards carry a charge for ATM withdrawals, which could be anything from 2.50% to 2.99%. But some travel credit cards have no fees for cash withdrawals made abroad and often waive the cash advance fee for withdrawals made outside the UK.

While some of our favourite credit cards for travel are actually called ‘travel’ cards by the credit card issuer, not all of them are. In fact, some of our top picks for spending abroad are not labelled ‘travel’ cards, but are simply great all-round type cards that also have no non-sterling transaction fees.

How does a travel credit card work?

What’s great about travel credit cards, is that there’s nothing particularly special that you need to do to get the main benefit of no foreign transaction fee.

Here’s the main thing you need to remember when travelling: Pay as you normally would, in the local currency. That last bit is critical. Often, merchants in other countries will give you the option of paying in sterling. If you have a travel card, don’t do it. Choose to pay in the local currency.

While it may seem nice that merchants would offer the option to pay in sterling, the exchange rates they give you usually aren’t very good. When you pay in local currency, your bank will exchange at the network’s exchange rate (that is, the wholesale exchange rate for Visa, Mastercard or American Express, depending on your card type). And those exchange rates tend to be very good and very close to the ‘spot’ exchange rate.

This works similarly if you’re overseas and take a cash advance at an ATM. If you take out local currency from that ATM and have a travel card that doesn’t charge a foreign currency fee on cash advances, then you’ll get that currency without an added fee on top.

When you have this fee-free cash advance option open to you, it can be a helpful option in a pinch. But only in a pinch. Here’s why: When you pay for a purchase with your credit card, you don’t pay any interest on that amount as long as you pay off your balance at the end of the month. But if you take out a cash advance, you start paying interest on that money right away. So, if you have a travel card with no non-sterling transaction fees on cash advances, then you may not have to pay fee for your ATM withdrawal, but you will end up paying interest.

Fees on travel credit cards

There are three main types of charges that may apply when using a travel credit card:

  1. Non-sterling transaction fee – This is a percentage of each transaction, often up to 2.99%. However, most specialist travel credit cards waive this fee.
  2. Non-sterling cash fee – You will often pay a fee of around 3% when you withdraw money from a cash machine.
  3. Interest on cash withdrawals – When using a credit card – even a travel credit card – you will usually pay interest on cash withdrawals, which can be at a much higher rate than the interest on purchases. 

Types of travel cards

There are three main types of travel cards. They are:

Airline credit card

An airline credit card is a type of travel credit card that allows you to accumulate airline miles and other rewards with a particular airline every time you use the card to make a purchase.

Hotel credit card

With a hotel credit card, you earn points when you use the card for purchases. Points can be exchanged for free nights in the hotel chain, discounted rates and upgrades, and often the opportunity to climb the ranks with the hotel’s loyalty scheme. Also, most hotel credit cards add on bonus points for transactions in some spending categories, such as hotel spending, dining, or airfare.

Prepaid travel card

While not a credit card, a prepaid travel card is a card that you pay money onto prior to your travels, and then use for your holiday spends. Prepaid travel cards allow you to carry less cash and, unlike a credit card, there is no risk of overspending or accumulating interest on debt.

What rewards can I get with a travel credit card?

The rewards depend entirely on the travel card you select. Some travel credit cards offer nothing beyond having no foreign transaction fees, but several cards on the market offer something for your spending.

  • Cashback cards – These cards offer you cashback as a percentage of how much you spend. For example, a card might offer 0.5% cashback on your spending. Therefore, if you were to spend £100, you would earn yourself 50p in cashback. The thing to check with travel cards that offer cashback is whether there is a cap on how much cashback you can earn over a period of time.
  • Reward cards – These cards offer you reward points for your spending that you can then convert into spending or perks with specific companies. With schemes such as this, just be aware of any spending requirements in order to earn the points, and whether the card carries an annual fee.
  • Travel discounts – Some travel cards offer travel discounts as part of their package. This could be anything from discounts on holidays with a specific travel operator to money off travel insurance policies.

The benefits of a travel credit card

Whether you travel for business or are just looking for some R&R, using a credit card abroad can be a convenient way to manage your overseas spending. But what are the real benefits of choosing a travel credit card over a standard credit card?

  • No foreign transaction fees – This is the big winner with a travel credit card. It means that you can use your card abroad without any additional fees piling on. While 3% may not sound like much, when you do the math across all your spending while on holiday, it really adds up!
  • Rewards when you spend – Some travel credit cards offer additional rewards such as cashback, travel discounts or vouchers based on your spending. Combine that with no foreign transaction fees, and you’re earning on your spend whether at home or overseas.
  • Preferable exchange rates – The exchange rates offered on travel credit cards are typically competitive, and almost always better than the rate that an overseas merchant or exchange office will offer.
  • Protected purchases – Using your credit card to make purchases means that anything that costs between £100 and £30,000 is covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means that if you don’t receive something, or the item is faulty, or the company you’ve bought from goes under, your credit card provider is jointly responsible with the retailer.
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals – To be clear, we generally don’t recommend getting cash advances from credit cards. That’s because you start getting charged interest as soon as you pull that cash out, and often face cash advance fees. But if you’re overseas and in a pinch, a travel card that doesn’t charge additional fees for withdrawing cash from an overseas ATM can take some of the sting out of grabbing some emergency cash.

Potential disadvantages of a travel credit card

While travel cards may seem like the most sensible option if you’re planning to go away, there are still things you should be aware of before you apply.

  • You may not be accepted – Not everyone is guaranteed to be accepted for a credit card, and travel cards typically require you to have a ‘good/excellent’ credit score.
  • High interest rates – Many travel credit cards have higher APRs. If you do not pay off your balance each month, you will incur interest charges, and the higher APRs could potentially erase any savings you’ve made with the fee-free card. Additionally, any cash withdrawals made abroad that sit on your balance will also be charged at the card’s cash advance APR, and will start accruing immediately.
  • Annual fees – We’ve tried to select cards that do not carry an annual fee. Some travel cards that offer higher travel rewards do, but sometimes require you to pay an annual fee.
  • Sterling transactions – You may be charged fees by the retailer if you do not use the local currency when using your card abroad. If you were to make a sterling transaction with a foreign retailer, that retailer may charge you a transaction fee to cover the cost of converting sterling into the local currency. Therefore, be sure to always make purchases or withdrawals in the local currency.
  • Card acceptance – While Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted worldwide, there may be some places where cards in your card network will not be accepted and therefore your card won’t work. It is best to have some sort of backup when travelling, so in addition to your travel credit card carry some cash in the local currency, traveller’s cheques or a debit card.

Which credit card is best for travel?

The best credit card for travel will depend on which features are most important to you. Take time to compare the best travel credit cards on the market.

Ideally, search for a travel credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Using your standard UK credit card when you’re abroad can become expensive. You will often pay around 3% on cash withdrawals and for each transaction in a foreign country.

Should I get a travel credit card?

A credit card for travel can be a good option for spending abroad, but is not for everyone. Here are three things you should ask yourself to determine if a travel card is the best card for you:

  • Do you travel abroad at least once a year? If you travel abroad at least once per year, you’ll get the most use out of a travel card. If you don’t travel abroad very often, you won’t benefit from features such as no foreign transaction fees.
  • Is your credit score good or excellent?  Most travel cards require applicants to have a ‘good/excellent’ credit score. All our reviews have guidance on what level of credit score is required for each card. If you don’t know your credit score, you can find it out using free services such as Noddle or Experian.
  • Do you pay your credit card bill in full? Something to bear in mind with travel cards is that they typically don’t offer any introductory 0% interest period on purchases. Therefore, any purchases you make will be subject to interest charges if you don’t pay off your bill in full. Similarly, any cash withdrawals made abroad will be subject to interest charges, so make sure that you can pay off whatever you put onto your card.

If a travel credit card doesn’t seem the right fit for you, then consider the other options available. For example, prepaid travel cards are great if you prefer to set aside a spending budget before you go away – you can load the card with this before you travel.

Alternatives to a travel credit card

If you’d rather not apply for a travel credit card, consider instead using one or more of the options below:

  • Prepaid cards: Prepaid travel cards are a great alternative as you can pre-load them with money before you travel, and then spend abroad without the risk of getting into debt. Be aware that some prepaid cards charge an application fee and sometimes charge for withdrawing cash. Check out our top-rated prepaid cards to find one that might be right for you.
  • Cash: Cash is an easy option with no chance of technical difficulties or overspending. However, try to avoid carrying large amounts of cash, in case you lose it or it’s stolen.
  • Debit cards: You can use most debit cards in many countries around the world. However, there are usually fees for using your debit card in a foreign country, and you may be charged fees for withdrawing cash, and foreign currency fees on all transactions.

How we picked the best travel credit cards of 2022

The main feature we looked for in our top travel credit card picks was the absence of foreign transaction fees. If a card charges a non-sterling transaction fee, it won’t make our list.

Beyond that, we rate the cards based on a variety of factors to help The Motley Fool readers find the cards that offer the best overall package.

Here’s a look at some of the specific elements we considered:

  • Overseas usage fees – As mentioned, this is key for a travel credit card. If a credit card has a foreign transaction fee, it won’t appear on our list of the top travel cards.
  • Reward offers – Whether it’s rewards points or cashback, getting rewarded for spending at home and abroad is a nice plus in any credit card.
  • Travel discounts – Some travel cards offer discounts for travel-related spend, while a few offer deals when purchasing foreign currency.
  • Introductory 0% offers – These cards may not be focused on balance transfers or 0% purchases periods, but it doesn’t hurt to have that thrown in, right?
  • Standard APR – If you end up having to pay interest on a balance, a lower APR is naturally better.

Why you can trust us to compare travel cards

The Motley Fool has been a trusted name in the UK for more than 20 years for helping people from all walks of life improve their financial lives. We’ve analysed thousands of individual credit card data points to help our readers find the cards that will make their financial lives easier and more rewarding. When it comes to travel cards, our team has travelled all over the world, from Atlanta to Zagreb, and Tokyo to Tel Aviv. And on those travels we’ve paid with credit cards, cash, traveller’s cheques, debit cards, and in at least one case, barter.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does my credit card give me travel insurance?

It might! It's best to check with your issuer for full details. They'll be able to not only tell you if your card offers travel insurance, but also how you can access it. In many cases, even if your card offers it, you may need to enrol in the programme to activate the coverage.

Do I need to notify my credit card issuer when travelling abroad?

This used to be an easy 'yes'. Credit card issuers would watch your card for unusual purchases and block your card if one popped up. That could cause a lot of inconvenience if using your credit card abroad, so the best practice was to call your issuer prior to heading overseas on holiday or business. That's changing thanks to smarter algorithms that credit card companies are using. However, it doesn't hurt to ring your issuer prior to departing. If they tell you that it's not necessary, you can note that for the future.

Can I buy travel money with my credit card?

You almost always can pay for travel money with your credit card. But in many cases, you're better off not doing that. Most credit cards will treat a purchase of travel money just like a cash advance. That means that you'll pay a fee and will be charged interest starting from the day of the transaction. There are, however, a select few issuers that don't charge extra fees for buying travel money, and may even provide attractive rates. So check on the details of the specific card before swiping it for that foreign currency.

How can you keep your credit card safe while travelling?

Keeping your credit card in a safe place on your person is probably the best that you can do. While you don't want to make it easy for someone to snatch it, you do need it easy enough to access so that you can actually use it. Don't forget to pick up your card after paying for a meal, and don't let your card out of your sight while it's being used to transact. It's also a good idea to keep the contact numbers for your credit card issuer in a safe place separate from your card. This way, if your card is lost or stolen, you can quickly contact your issuer to let them know, so they can block it from unauthorised transactions.

Which credit card is a good choice for European travel?

If you're heading to Europe in particular, any of the top travel credit cards should serve your needs. Most of Europe uses the Euro, and a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees should work perfectly well for paying in Euro for shopping or dining. Of course, it's worth remembering that acceptance of credit cards is not as broad in all countries as it is in the UK. Germany is a good example, where many small shops don't accept card payment.

 

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The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.