How To Manage Your Money While Travelling
You’ve bought travel insurance and packed your bags ready to depart on a trip of a lifetime. You’ve been saving hard, for the last few months, or in our case 18 months and now have a pile of cash waiting to be spent around the world in numerous countries and currencies. But how do you exactly go about spending and managing your money while in a different country? If you new to travelling it can be tough and mistakes will probably be made, especially if you’re visiting many different countries, all with different currencies.
We’ve written the guide below to help you find the best way to manage and spend your money while travelling. There are many options with regards to travel money cards and debit/credit cards with zero transaction fee’s, so we’ve compiled a list of the cards we’ve personally used and ones that have been recommended by fellow traveller friends.
Top credit cards to use abroad
While we don’t personally use credit cards for everyday use while travelling we do have them in a case of emergencies. If used correctly and paid off in full they can be very useful, especially for collecting loyalty points, such as air miles.
The Halifax clarity is the credit card we carry and highly recommend. This card has no fees on withdrawing or spending cash abroad, low rates and due to it being a MasterCard it’s widely accepted around the globe.
The interest rate is 18.9% rep APR which you will be charged even if you pay the card off in full, but only on withdrawals not spending abroad. You can also only withdrawal up to 50% of your credit limit in cash.
This is a card which we’ve never heard about until a travelling friend recently recommended it to us. After initial research, this credit card seems just as good as the Halifax Clarity card just not as well known.
There’s no fees for cash withdrawal or spending abroad and the interest rate is only 12.9% rep APR, so lower than the Halifax Clarity card.Picking the right debit/credit card is essential if you want to get the most out of your money!Click To Tweet
Top debit cards to use abroad
The majority of travellers use their debit card to withdraw cash while abroad, with ATM’s widely available in most countries it’s an easy option to get hold of your money. But be aware of high bank charges when withdrawing money abroad, two typical charges are a 2.99% foreign exchange fee and then usually a withdrawal fee on top. It’s alway best to work out how much you’re going to need and take a larger sum out in one go instead of smaller amounts so your only paying the fees once and not numerous amount of times, they soon add up.
Worldwide 0% transaction fees and no cash withdrawal fees. The account does have a £5 per month fee unless you pay in £500 per month or have at least £5000 in the account. The exchange rate is set by Visa which always tends to be slightly lower than MasterCard. The only thing to be wary of is any additional fees added by the ATM provider when withdrawing cash.
While using the Metro Bank debit card in Europe you will incur no withdrawal and transaction fees, but this is just in Europe and not worldwide. The exchange rate is set by MasterCard which is marginally better than Visa’s rates.
The downside is that you can only apply for the account in a branch and they are only located in south-east England and London, so not ideal for the majority of the U.K. Residents.
Top Travel Cards to use abroad
After a successful pilot scheme last year Travelex have fully released the Travelex Supercard. Anyone can apply for it and there’s no credit check, but you do a need a smartphone to use it as its all done via the Supercard app.
The idea is to link your existing debit/credit cards to it and then just use the one card to spend on it, instead of multiple cards. Once you make a purchase the Supercard then charges your linked card in pounds after converting at the MasterCard rate.
The downside of the card is the 2.99% withdrawal fee, which is a downside as the pilot scheme had a 0% withdrawal fee. So it’s best to spend on it rather than withdraw cash.
You will also still earn any cash back or rewards through any of the linked cards on your overseas spending through the Supercard.
The prepaid MasterCard from Revolut is another card that requires an app for it to work with 0% spending fees and withdrawal fees up to £500 a month. If you withdrawal more than £500 a month you will incur a 2% fee.
The Revolut card gives perfect currency exchange rates for most currencies except Thai baht and Russian roubles, for those two currencies, you get the best rate at the time.
With this card you’ve got to pre-load the money before hand so always make sure you’ve got always enough on the card for emergencies in case wifi isn’t available to load more money.
Some Extra Tips…
We’d definitely recommend taking more than one card with you while travelling. We usually take one credit and debit card each, and will now be adding the Travelex Supercard as well for future travels. We also usually take around $300 in cash and keep it for emergencies as dollars are usually accepted in most places worldwide.
We also sign up all our cards to internet banking it makes life so much easier and saves on calls to your bank to sort any problems out.
So that’s how we manage our money while travelling, we’d love to know what tips you have and if there are any other credit/debit cards worth using. Comment below and let us know!
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