Money Mensch: Plastic fantastic

By Martin Lewis, November 11, 2010

Do you have a Nationwide debit card for the fee-free foreign transactions? It's time to dump it.

This month a raft of fees have been added so it's no longer cheap. Yet you can still spend cheaply abroad, getting the best exchange rate, by using a specialist overseas-spend credit card. Just ensure you repay the balance off in full every month.

Most cards add a hidden 2.75 per cent 'load' to exchange rates. Yet the Halifax Clarity is load -free worldwide and has no ATM withdrawal charge - though you pay 12.9 per cent APR on the cash withdrawn, even if you repay the balance in full.

Alternatively, Nationwide's cheap overseas credit card is still load-free in Europe, and comes with perks of a year's extended warranty on UK-bought electrical goods, and you can shift debt to it for 15 months at 0 per cent, though there's a 3 per cent fee (16.9 per cent APR after). See

Last updated: 4:14pm, November 11 2010