Travel Credit and Debit Cards - Doncaster Sheffield Airport Guide

Using a specialist credit or debit card for your holiday spending can be one of the cheapest ways to make transactions while travelling in different countries, but it can also be one of the most expensive if you don't have one of the cards below..

Credit & Debit Card Benefits

  • Best cards are cheapest FX possible.
  • Great online exchange rates
  • Secure and safer than cash
  • Section 75 purchase protection on credit cards

Credit & Debit Card Drawbacks

  • Exchange rate load may be added
  • Cash withdrawal fees may apply
  • Interest charges even when paid in full
  • Some may charge spending penalties

One option is to spend on a card you already have, or if you don't have one of the recommended cards by Robin Hood Airport Guide below, then you can apply to try and get one before travelling. This will work out as a cheap, secure and hassle free option and will allow you to spend and withdraw cash in the same way that you do at home with a few extra charges for the privilege of doing so. You need to be very careful to look at the fees and interest charges that your bank will charge you for your specific card before you start to spend abroad otherwise you could end up forking out a lot more that you want to!

We have researched and compared the best and worst travel credit and debit cards to use below. The card that is best for you will depend on your spending habits, and whether you are someone who pays their balance off in full, want to withdraw cash abroad or spend on your card, and of course whether you have time to apply for one of these cards before leaving home.

We have explained the charges that you might be hit with on our Money Saving Tips page, to help you make the best decision.

These cards are all meant for application in advance of your trip to, from or through Doncaster Sheffield airport, however if you don't have time to apply for one then you could try getting on of the pre-paid currency cards or ordering cash or travellers chequesfor pick up at Robin Hood airport.

Specialist Travel Credit Cards

If you have one of these credit cards then you are in luck because it will be one of the cheapest ways for you to spend abroad. If you don't already have one and have enough time to apply for and receive your card before travelling (usually around 4 weeks) then why not apply for one and take advantage of the great exchange rates you will get.

The trick with these cards is to save them for spending abroad only. The providers can offer good rates and charges because they take the chance that you will also spend on the card in the UK where they will make their money back. If you can limit yourself to only using this card while travelling then you will be quids in!

There are of course some changes involved with spending abroad, whichever method you use for getting your foreign currency, but depending on your needs you can cut these down as much as possible with these cards. Read our Travel Money Saving Tips guide to find out what charges you might be hit with and how to avoid spending more than you need to!

Santander Zero

Santander Zero

The Santander Zero credit card is the best credit card for spending abroad on the market at the moment (August 2009) You get the great exchange rates with no additional load added on for purchases made anywhere in the world. There are also no ATM fees so you can withdraw cash without being charged too! However, an annual interest charge does apply to cash withdrawals of 27.9% even if you pay your balance off fully within a month. This only works out to around an extra £2 for every £100 withdrawn though, and is still cheaper than other methods of spending abroad.

Post Office

Post Office Credit Card

The Post Office also have a great credit card for using while on holiday. Like Santander they offer 0% loading worldwide on purchases, but they do charge 2.5% for cash withdrawals (min £3). But don't let this put you off, it is still a great card and beats other methods so if you have one or can get hold of one then use it as you will get the best exchange rates and you can just take less cash out abroad to keep those charges down!

Nationwide

Nationwide Credit Card

Nationwide's credit card charges no loading on their exchange rate but only for European transactions, anywhere else in the world you will be charged 0.84%. There is a low cash withdrawal fee of 2.5% (min£3). You will need to pay interest on cash withdrawals even if you pay the card off fully at the end of the month. Nationwide are charging 27.9% for this service. This is still a great card and beats many other ways of getting your holiday cash.

Saga

Saga Credit Card

Saga only offers their credit card to the over 50's but if you fall into this age group you could make big savings by using a Saga credit card while spending abroad. They have low ATM fees, 0% exchange rate loading in Europe and just 1% for worldwide transactions. Best of all, they don't charge interest for cash withdrawals when you repay your debt in full!

Rewarding Credit Cards

If you are a frequent traveller then you should consider using rewarding credit cards. Most reward credit cards offer a range of travel rewards including travel insurance and air miles.

Here you can find some credit cards with superb travel rewards:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card

  • Get American Express Rewards
  • £125 annual fee (£0 in first year)
  • No interest charges, just pay off the balance each month
  • No pre-set spending limit
  • Travel Insurance
Amex Reward Card

The Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a great choice for people who look for superior travel rewards and benefits when they spend. You can redeem points with a wide range of travel partners, plus earn double points on travel and overseas spend. Redeem Membership Rewards points directly for airline tickets on hundreds of airlines through the Membership Rewards Travel Agency. Plus, receive two complimentary lounge visits a year at over 350 airport lounges worldwide. The card also comes with built-in purchase protection and travel insurance on all your trips and expenses.

Apply now and get a Preferred Rewards Gold Card completely for free during the first year. Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months. In addition, earn double points on all spend made while abroad, as well as on petrol and major supermarkets purchases for one year (Terms and Conditions apply).

Specialist Travel Debit Cards

The main difference between spending on a credit card and a debit card abroad apart from the charges is that debit cards have no Section 75 protection for purchases. So if you make a purchase between £100 and £30,000 then you will not be protected should the company go bust or if something else disrupts your purchase.

If you time before going on holiday or travelling then it is worth applying for this card which you can do below. Otherwise if you still want to spend using a card rather than cash then consider getting a pre-paid currency card, which also works out as a cheap and secure way to spend. It would be a good idea to apply for a currency card at the same time as a credit or debit card, in case you get turned down.

Nationwide Flexaccount

Nationwide Flexaccount

The main debit card that it is worth using for your holiday spending is the Nationwide Flexaccount visa debit card. it charges a load of 0% on European spending and just 0.84% worldwide. There is no charge for cash withdrawals, apart from the load on the exchange rate. No spending penalty applies, which is unique to debit cards and is charged by many of the other debit card issuers. Unless you have this Nationwide Flex Account debit card it is not worth using your debit card to make purchases or withdraw cash abroad, and you would be better off using a currency card. Otherwise, you could try to apply for a Nationwide Flexaccount

Compare Credit & Debit Cards

It can be hard to find the best deal on foreign currency and walking into your local bureau de change for help will only mean they will sell you their product and you may not find the unbiased information you need on the different products available from various travel money providers. We have thoroughly looked into the small print each provider publishes, the fees, terms and conditions, availability and ease of use of each card so you don't have to and compared them all below for you. If you need help understanding the charges outlined below, we've covered that too in our Money Saving Tips page!

 

Worldwide Load


European Load


ATM Fees


Interest when paid in full (cash withdrawals)


Spending Penalty


Santander Zero Credit Card

0%

0%

None

27.9%

N/A

Post Office Credit Card

0%

0%

2.5%
(min £3)

20.83%

N/A

Nationwide Credit Card

0.84%

0%

2.5%

27.9%

N/A

Saga Credit Card.

1%

0%

2%
(min £2)

None

N/A

Nationwide Flexaccount Debit Card

0.84%

0%

None

None

None

This table was last updated on the 1st August 2009. While we endeavour to keep this information up to date, some changes may occur so please check the rates with the card provider.