In this article, we’ll explore international credit cards UK (no foreign transaction fee) style.
In other words, we’re looking at the best credit cards to use while traveling in another country with a different currency than the one your credit card is issued i.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Credit Card UK [No Foreign Transaction Fee]
- Credit Cards in the United Kingdom
- Benefits of UK Credit Cards
- Factors to Consider Before Applying for Credit Cards
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Explore Your Options?
Credit Card UK [No Foreign Transaction Fee]
Credit cards in the UK with no foreign transaction fee are available from most major banks. These include cards from Barclays, Halifax, NatWest, and Virgin, just to name a few. However, many of these cards have other fees associated with them. So, it’s important to consider all applicable fees when choosing the card that is best for you.
Credit Cards in the United Kingdom
Not surprisingly, the United Kingdom’s credit card market is focused on serving the needs of domestic residents. And, while this may be disappointing to hear if you’re a non-resident individual or the owner of a non-resident UK company, you might find that there are better options available elsewhere.
Of course, if you are a UK resident and need a UK credit card for your local purchases, then it makes sense to explore the available options. However, if you are like most people and you are looking to obtain credit cards that offer attractive bonuses, you may want to consider some of the international alternatives as well.
But, before diving into the alternatives, let’s explore the benefits that cardholders can unlock with a UK credit card.
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Benefits of Having UK Credit Cards
The specific benefits that UK credit cards offer differ from card issuer to card issuer, and card to card. For this reason, when choosing a UK credit card, best practice usually entails searching for cards based on the actual benefits that you are looking to access.
Here’s a look at some of the specific benefits that credit cards in the United Kingdom can offer cardholders.
Benefits of Credits Cards in the United Kingdom
Here are a few of the benefits that UK credit cards offer. However, it’s important to reiterate that not all cards offer the same benefits. So, make sure you check with the card providers directly before deciding which card is best for you.
- More secure than carrying cash
- Consumer protection from fraud
- Earn travel rewards points
- Ability to build a strong credit history
- Save on insurance and other expenses
Factors to Consider Before Applying for Credit Cards
There are a number of different factors that should be taken into consideration when applying for credit cards. These factors range from the costs to maintain a card to the benefits that they unlock.
A few of the factors to consider include:
- Annual rate applied to purchases
- Travel rewards you receive per dollar spent
- Bonuses you receive when passing initial milestones
- Foreign transaction fees applied to foreign currency purchases
- Savings on insurance
- Store credits for qualifying purchases
- And the many other benefits that credit cards can offer
Credit Cards With Rewards Programs
Not surprisingly, rewards programs are one of the most popular reasons that people look for new credit cards. After all, credit card issuers are constantly coming up with new incentives to attract customers away from their competition.
Many of the available incentives include points that can be redeemed for travel, hotel stays, car rentals, and more. That said, credit cards also offer cash to be redeemed during travel. And, in many cases, they offer insurance on qualifying rentals and certain cards even insure your stay at hotels and delayed flights.
That said, the cards that are available in the UK pale in comparison to other options like those available in the United States. If you would like to explore these options, you can access our credit card content under USA Banking from the menu above.
Exchange Rate on International Transactions
When using your credit card to make a purchase in another currency, the card issuer normally charges you a foreign transaction fee. That said, if you choose the right credit card, you can avoid any foreign transaction fee at all.
However, outside of the foreign transaction fee, the credit card issuer still needs to convert your purchase from the purchasing currency to your home currency. This is a separate conversion outside of the foreign transaction fee.
In most cases, credit card companies use what is known as the “interbank exchange rates”. Interbank exchange rates are the rates that banks charge each other when conducting currency trading. In other words, it’s the exchange rate that your credit card issuer needs to pay another bank in order to make the conversion on your behalf.
How to Avoid a Foreign Transaction Fee?
If you’re planning on making purchases in a foreign currency, the best way to avoid a foreign transaction fee is to use a card that doesn’t charge one. The second best way is to pay cash, though you will likely pay a higher fee when converting from your home currency to the local currency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into a credit card in the UK with no foreign transaction fee. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Which UK Card Does Not Charge Foreign Transaction Fee?
Many UK credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees, including those issued by some of the largest UK banks. This includes cards from Barclays, Halifax, NatWest, and Virgin, just to name a few. That said, foreign transaction fees are not the only consideration you should look at when choosing a card, you should also consider the withdrawal fees, annual card fees, and more.
Which Credit Card Is Free for International Transactions?
There are a number of credit cards that offer free international transactions. That said, there are differences in the way that international transactions are charged. For example, while many credit cards offer “no fee” foreign transactions they may still charge for ATM withdrawals, including at a high daily rate until the balance is paid.
Does AMEX UK Have Foreign Transaction Fees?
UK AMEX does have foreign transaction fees. According to the American Express website, they charge a currency conversion fee of 2.99% on all purchases that are made in a foreign currency. In other words, non-GBP purchases. This fee is applied to qualifying purchases that are made online as well as purchases made in person while you’re traveling
Ready to Explore Your Options?
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Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.