Using your credit card abroad

If, for whatever reason, you frequently use your credit card overseas then a badly chosen card could lead to you constantly shelling out over-the-odds thanks to some hefty charges.

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A typical currency conversion fee is 2.75% of the value of the transaction, which may seem like a non-issue if you spend the odd tenner when you are abroad. However, if over the course of a year of regular travelling you spend in the region of £1,000, you will have spent almost £30 on conversion fees.

There are also a number of additional hidden charges that can result in you paying around £6 for every £100 you spend on your card. If you do travel regularly and tend to eat out when you do, or buy electrical goods because they are cheaper, or whatever, it could very well be worth getting one of the few cards that are offered (by issuers such as Nationwide Building Society)that do not levy this fee.

On a separate note, when you are abroad you should be wary of any restaurant, shop or hotel that offers you the chance to pay in sterling rather than in the local currency. The exchange rates used if you should opt for this seemingly innocent option are often very unfavourable, they can indeed be the equivalent of double the standard 2.75% currency conversion fee that most credit card issuers charge.

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