Money Mensch: The cheapest way to spend abroad

By Martin Lewis, July 17, 2008

There is a new “cheapest” way to spend when abroad. In the past, I have recommended using Nationwide and Post Office credit cards. But a newcomer trumps them.

It’s called the Abbey Zero, and, just like the previous two, if offers the best possible exchange rate that you can get. However, whereas Nationwide and Post Office cards will charge you if you withdraw cash on them, this one won’t, meaning it’s a new winner for spending abroad.

By using this instead of converting cash into foreign currency or using a regular credit card, you will be around six per cent better off on your holiday spending. So, sign up for the card, put it in your wallet, only use it when you spend abroad and make sure you pay it off in full at the end of the month so there is no interest charge.

It’s also worth pointing out that debit cards are usually cheaper than credit cards when it comes to withdrawing cash abroad — but not always. And some debit cards charge a fee every time you spend. These include Halifax, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Intelligent Finance and Lloyds TSB. Spend £5 in foreign currency, and they may add a fee of £1.50.

Last updated: 2:57pm, September 16 2008



Tue, 08/12/2008 - 14:40

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Using cards abroad will definitely be the way forward but currently and historicaly all banks and building societies have historicaly taken advantage with exchange rates along with charging to cash your own funds. Boutiques or specialists can save you money like jn-fx