Watch Our Video About The 4 Best Travel Money Cards In UK
A Youtube Creator at Monito, Jonny helps you understand all you need to know about hidden fees, exchange rates and the best services to move your money across borders.
Byron has a BA Honours in Journalism and has spent over four years writing extensively about financial topics. He has a keen interest in the intersection of personal finance and technology and strives to bring these subjects to life insightfully and enjoyably.
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This video is a comparison of the 4 Best Travel Money Cards video in UK in 2022 . Take a close look at their money transfer service by delving into its fees, comparing how they works and much more.
4 Best Travel Cards in UK Video Transcript
If you ever go abroad, whether it’s on holiday or for work, it’s very likely you’re going to need to spend money. This is a great opportunity for banks and other providers to profit from your transactions. Whether that’s when you buy food, purchase a gift for Granny or withdraw money from an ATM. Banks love this because they not only get to charge fixed fees on transactions and withdrawals but also hidden fees in bad exchange rates.
However, with the right travel cards you can avoid all of this.. And in this video we’re going to share our favourite cards for traveling and also what we look for when picking a travel credit and debit card. And to help you save a little extra while you’re abroad, during the video I’ll also share with you Monito’s top travel money tips.
When we think about what a good travel card is, we want to look for something that’s fee-free on both transactions & ATM withdrawals and one that only uses the correct exchange rates.
This is important because transfer providers and banks rarely offer the real, mid-market exchange rate which is the one you can see on Google. For example if you typed in 1 GBP to EUR, Google will show you the real exchange rate right now.
Unfortunately, instead of this rate, you and I are typically given a much worse exchange rate, and the provider or bank pockets the margin between the real rate and the poor rate, and that’s basically known as a hidden fee.
So I’m going to share with you a credit card and a debit card that uses only a fair exchange rate, and is free of both fixed fees and hidden fees.
The debit card I would recommend for traveling is from Starling Bank. It’s available to people in the UK, and with the Starling debit card, both international transactions and ATM withdrawals are free. You can withdraw up to £300 per day, and no more than 6 times in one day. You’ll be able to use the card anywhere that accepts Mastercard, which is a lot of places. Unless you’re going to visit North Korea.. And to that I would say good-luck. Also Starling does have a page dedicated to countries that it’s not available in and you can find that on their website. You’ll also receive Mastercard’s exchange rates which are more or less on par with the real, mid-market rate that I mentioned earlier.
And this is also our first travel money tip of the video. In order to receive Mastercard’s exchange rates when paying internationally, or withdrawing money, you must always select the option to pay in the local currency. This is key, as if you choose to pay in your home currency, you’ll be charged a fee known as dynamic currency conversion. These fees can sometimes be as much as 10% or more of the value of the transaction. So let’s say you buy something for 100 euros, the fee could be more than 10 euros. So wherever possible, always select to pay in the local currency.
Starling Bank is also super easy to register with, they don’t require a credit check and you just need to download the app, approve your identity with your ID, so a passport for example and you can be verified within just a couple of hours.
Now I’m not suggesting Starling becomes your main current account. What I would recommend in the context of traveling is that you transfer an amount of money that you want to budget for your trip to your Starling Account. You can then access that while you’re on holiday. Remember, this is a debit card so you can only spend what you have deposited. This can be a great way to stick to a budget while you’re abroad, however there is a chance you could run out of money and that’s where a credit card can come in handy.
It is useful to have a credit card while you’re traveling, not only as a means of financial back-up or security but also for payments that require pre-authorisation. For example, hotels often require deposits, if you rent a car you’ll likely need a deposit for the insurance excess, and even at a petrol station you can often need to pre-authorise before they let you fill up. With a credit card you also get the added benefit of Section 75 protection. This basically means that you get purchase protection on any goods or services you buy that cost more than £100 and less than £30,000.
Section 75 is actually very consumer friendly, and does really protect you from being let down by a retailer or trader and I definitely recommend you read up further on its benefits.
The credit card that I recommend right now for traveling is the Barclaycard Rewards credit card. However, as interest rates and products that banks offer are always changing, this recommendation might not be the best in a few months. That’s why you need to check to see if a credit card you’re considering matches the criteria I mentioned earlier in terms of the ideal travel card. Right now though, the Barclaycard Rewards credit card is the ideal card.
It charges no fees or interest on spending overseas and if you withdraw cash and repay it in full you’ll be charged no interest or fees. You’ll also receive Visa’s exchange rates which again are more or less on par with the real, mid-market rate. There’s also 0.25% cashback on pretty much everything you buy and it comes with five months free access to Apple TV. Just make sure you schedule to cancel after 5 months, unless of course you want to pay the subscription fee.
(Change of set) I actually have a current account with Barclays. This isn’t related to the credit I just mentioned, and if I was to use this abroad I would incur fees on transactions of up to 2.75%. So if I spent $500 I could incur fees of around $15. So while I am recommending a credit card from Barclays, this doesn’t mean Barclays in general are always going to be the best option. And that’s our second travel tip, when you’re abroad, never use a traditional debit card or credit card from your bank. It’s likely, like mine, they’ll charge you between 1.75 and 4.25% to withdraw cash or pay in a foreign currency. Always look for specific products, or cards that have those pre-requisites I mentioned earlier, so fee-free transactions & withdrawals as well as a fair exchange rate.
These are specific types of cards that allow you to actually own and hold various foreign currencies, which you can instantly access when you pay with your card abroad. For example, with this Wise Multi-Currency card, you could have both a pound sterling and euro account.
Let’s say you’re traveling to Europe. You could login to your Wise account, deposit pounds and convert them to euros within the app. You could then use your card while you’re abroad to spend these Euros just like a local would. This would mean both fee-free transactions and ATM withdrawals. Although Wise does have a monthly £200 fee-free limit on withdrawals.
It is super easy to sign up for this card though, and like Starling you’ll just need to verify your identity and you could be registered within just a few hours.
When it comes to exchanging currency Wise are renowned for having great rates as they only use the real, mid-market exchange rate and just charge a small fee..
And this is our final travel tip of the video. You may have seen Bureaux de Change in airports and tourist hotspots like Covent Garden and the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
They’re often a popular choice for tourists to exchange currency and often advertise that they don’t charge commission fees. Instead, they typically charge hidden fees through poor exchange rates. We did a study at Monito and found Bureaux de Change in Paris, at various locations that can charge an exchange rate margin of up to 16.6%. That’s why it’s really important to pay attention to the exchange rates you’re being offered, and it’s always a good idea to use a company like Wise that only uses the real, mid-market exchange rate.
I’m off to Switzerland in a couple of weeks to visit Monito’s head office and I will be traveling with my Starling Bank card that I’ll deposit money into from my Barclays account. That way I can use it to withdraw and spend Swiss Francs fee-free. I’ll also be traveling with my Capital One credit card, which has zero fees on international transactions and only uses Mastercard’s exchange rates.
Hope you enjoyed today’s video, if you did make sure to subscribe and give it a thumbs up. And let me know in the comments if you have any questions about travel cards and I’ll see you in the next video. Good-bye.
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