When it comes to travel money, you have various options. You can exchange cash for the local currency in advance in the UK or use your credit card abroad, but travel credit cards have emerged as a popular and economical way to spend money abroad.

But you need to be savvy when using these cards to make the most of your money.

Read on to find out how you can benefit by using a travel credit card on your next trip abroad.


The benefits of travel credit cards

The main benefit of using a travel credit card is that it avoids the need to carry cash and you can also make payments in the local currency which means you get the best possible exchange rate. The advantage of using a travel credit card as opposed to standard debit and credit cards is that you will not be charged a non-sterling fee on transactions and, in most cases, you can avoid ATM fees.

First and foremost, you must ensure that the travel credit card you choose does not have exchange fees when you use the card to make purchases abroad. Ideally, you should also select a card which does not charge a fee when you withdraw cash via an ATM.


Look for the best sign-up offers

There are travel credit cards on the market which not only offer a 0% fee when you withdraw cash and a 0% fee when you use your card abroad, there is also no annual fee.

The Halifax Clarity credit card gives you all this and you can also benefit from sign-up offers with the opportunity to earn £20 cashback on the first purchase you make within 90 days of opening your account. You should be aware that you need to stay within your credit limit and make your repayments on time to qualify for this promotional offer.

Another option is the Barclaycard Rewards card which offers 0.25% cashback on new purchases, no fees on purchases made abroad and no charges on withdrawals from cash machines abroad. As an added incentive, the card gives you five months of free access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. Sign-up offers such as these are a tried and tested strategy to attract customers in a wide range of competitive industries.

Apple also offers a free seven-day trial to its Apple TV+ streaming service in a bid to convince subscribers of the quality of its offering, with the same offer available on Paramount Plus, another video-on-demand service looking to challenge the hegemony of Netflix.

In the iGaming industry, welcome offers to new customers are an essential way to stand out in a crowded market. Buzz Casino offers new players bonus spins on new slots, plus a wide range of ongoing offers in order to generate customer loyalty. These sign-up offers highlight the importance of shopping around for offers.

You should also be aware that not all applicants will be eligible for some of these cards, so new customers may have to trade off some of the benefits when looking for a travel credit card. But one advantage when using any credit card is that when you spend over £100 and up to £30,000, you are protected by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.


The golden rule of credit cards

It goes without saying that when using a travel credit card you should always ensure that you pay off your balance in full each month. Failure to do so will result in high interest charges which will wipe out any of the benefits of using a travel credit card. Most travel credit cards give you the option of setting up a direct debit to do this, so you will never miss a repayment. 

So, you should now be good to go. There is nothing to stop you from taking advantage of fee-free withdrawals when you are on your travels. You could also adopt the same approach and shop around for the best deal on new mobile phones following the news that Tesco Mobile has announced that users can roam free of charge for the rest of 2023 in 48 nations including France, Spain and Germany.

Travel credit cards are a useful addition to your checklist of essentials when travelling abroad. Just make sure the card you choose has no fees on ATM withdrawals or when using it abroad and avoid operators with annual fees to benefit from all the pros of this payment option without any of the cons.