04 October 2015

The information contained within the following news articles have been pre published. The articles were published on the dates indicated and the information contained within these issues include references to taxation, legislation, regulation and other issues or concerns that may no longer apply

Going on holiday. Take a fee free flexible friend


With the school holidays now in full flow, yours may well be one of the many families heading abroad for summer holidays. And like many Census Financial customers, you’re probably tired of having to pay a premium on credit card use overseas.

 Using the wrong type of card could significantly increase the cost of your overseas trip. The good news is that with a bit of planning now, you may well avoid having to pay a premium on your credit card usage.

Did you know that when you use your credit card abroad, most providers add a substantial 2.75% to 3% ‘foreign usage charge’ to your fee.   What is more – think twice before you withdraw cash when overseas.  Most credit cards charge 3% for cash withdrawals, with a minimum fee of £3. This means that the average credit card additional charge for a £100 purchase abroad is £2.87.  If you withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) the charges rise to a hefty £5.60 for the average credit card withdrawal.

When it comes to credit cards, it pays to shop around, because some cards do not apply the foreign usage fee and some also waive the cash withdrawal fee. Cards that do not currently charge a fee on cash withdrawals or a foreign exchange fee on overseas transactions include:

  • Halifax’s Clarity Credit Card – this also has the low interest charge for cash of 12.9% from the date debited to the cardholder’s account
  • Metro Bank Personal Credit Card - this only has an interest charge of 13% from the date of withdrawal, with no foreign usage fee and no charge for cash withdrawals
  • Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card – this offers interest-free credit on purchases and cash advances if the cardholder repays the entire balance on time every month. There is a charge of £5 per month but there are a range of offers including free family travel insurance
  • Santander Zero Credit Card does not levy a foreign usage fee or cash withdrawal fee, but it has a relatively high interest charge of 27.9% on cash advances from the date debited to the account.

 A number of other cards offer no foreign usage fee (although there may be a cash withdrawal fee) include the Post Office Credit Card, Saga Platinum Credit Card (only available to those aged 50 plus).

Remember - if you are applying for a new card before you set off on holiday, close any you are no longer using.  It’s not a good idea to accrue debts on a variety of different cards and the card companies may turn you down.

The figures were correct at the time of writing.


Paul Dixon

Chartered Financial Planner

KEYWORD TAGS:investmentssaving

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