Don’t purchase traveller cheques or exchange hundreds of $#€ before you depart. Get a travel card that works for you.
All of these cards for travelling provide a competitive exchange rate that beats most banks or bureau de changes.
Just remember to make the purchase in local currency and don’t accept the conversion to GBP or USD, this will be at the lower merchants rate and not the cards rate which makes a significant difference on any purchase. These cards won’t avoid fees from ATMs which charge either so be careful where you withdraw cash and always protect your PIN!
1. Halifax Clarity Mastercard
A great credit card for booking hotels in foreign currency with no exchange fees on bookings or ATM withdrawals. You can also make ATM withdrawals making this one of the best cards for travelling. Making big ticket purchases by credit card gives you peace of mind as you will be insured against purchases, even if you only pay a deposit with it. You never know when the next ‘Monarch’ collapse may happen…
2. Starling bank card
Open an account on your mobile in minutes and enjoy rate free purchases with a handy app to top-up balances with apple pay or debits from your checking account and smart alerts as soon as you made a purchase. You can also block the card if you temporarily lose it via the app.
Free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month with a 3% charge on amounts over this. They also allow free currency exchange up to £5,000 per month.
No fees for making purchases abroad but a charge of 3% is applied on when you withdraw more than £200 cash every 30 days
Not strictly a card but if you really don’t like the idea of using ATMs abroad, the best exchange rates on foreign currency is in London from Thompson Exchange. We usually take a little bit of cash here for places we are unsure of ATM availability where we are visiting.