While I tend to use two pieces of plastic overseas I actually take no fewer than eight credit cards abroad. Paranoia against card failure means my six back up cards come with me, despite having a c3% charge on them for foreign transactions. Not the end of the world and better than exchanging currency, but fortunately so far I’ve not needed to use them.
My favoured card for withdrawing cash overseas remains the Halifax Clarity Credit Card. Pay it off quickly to avoid interest and you can get your hands on local cash at an exchange rate that doesn’t have a spread making a financial institution a large amount of money. The Halifax card used to have the added advantage of paying me a fiver if I spent £300 a month on it. Alas, thanks to the EU that little treat has been abolished.
But I don’t do much in cash anyway. Perhaps buying a bus fare, afridge magnet for the kids or a street ice cream. Hotels, food and trips are pretty much the exclusive reserve of a card payment.
Which is where my unreliable Travelex Supercard comes into play. It piggy backs my other Halifax credit card which dates back to 1999 and still pays me 1% cashback when I spend on it. This netted me a good £20 when I booked my Australia flights back in January. In other words, I spend on it, it immediately charges my Halifax credit card and I earn my cashback.
I call it unreliable because it has a tendency for transactions to fail. Not the end up the world as I have the Clarity, and more often than not it works.
But they’ve just announced its demise. They’re withdrawing the product on 24th July. This is pretty rubbish as its when I’m in Chile with Chris. It’s also summer holiday time so just when customers are about to dust it down and start spending on it.
So I lose my little cashback earner. A way to offset some of the costs of my globe trotting. And I’m a bit irritated by it.
Up yours Travelex.
For those wanting an overseas credit card with great exchange rates Barclaycard, Halifax, Santander and Creation offer them. Just make sure you pick the right card from their range!