Top Picks: Best Debit and Credit Cards for International Travel

Best Debit and Credit Cards for International Travel: Many of us are planning to head south for our holidays this year, so it’s going to be a big year for holidays abroad.

The majority of Brits plan to travel abroad in 2024, so they’re looking for the best deals.

Consider how you are going to spend your money and pay for things on your trip while steering clear of holiday scams when budgeting for your trip.

Almost all credit cards and debit cards allow you to spend abroad, but they charge you. Although your card provider gets near-perfect rates, it usually adds a foreign transaction fee (officially called ‘non-sterling transaction fees’) of about 3% – so £100 worth of foreign currency costs £103.

When you use a debit or credit card with zero fees, you can avoid these charges. You may also benefit from a competitive exchange rate, which means your money will go farther. Some cards even offer cashback on purchases.

Best Credit Cards for International Travel

Make sure that you pay off your credit card bill in full every month if you plan on using a credit card, otherwise interest charges will cancel out the benefits. Whenever you apply for a credit card, you should run it through an eligibility checker, such as Go.Compare’s.

Barclaycard Rewards Visa

  • Spendings and ATM withdrawals abroad are free
  • Cashback of 0.25 percent
  • If paid in full, cash withdrawals are not subject to interest
  • Over-100-pound purchase protection
  • 28.9% is the representative APR

Virgin Money Travel Credit Card

  • Spending overseas is free
  • ATM withdrawals are subject to a 3% fee
  • The representative APR is 24.9% (0% for the first nine months)

NatWest Credit Card Mastercard

  • Fees for foreign transactions are not charged
  • ATM withdrawals are subject to a 3% fee
  • 12.9% representative APR

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Best Debit Cards for International Travel

When you use your debit card abroad, your bank or building society will charge you around 3% – almost 5% if you withdraw from an ATM. You should either open a new current account with a travel-friendly debit card or get a travel credit card.

You can also get a travel debit card that connects to your current account, so you don’t have to open another.

Banks that do not charge fees when you use your debit card abroad are listed here. ATM withdrawal fees, however, may still incur fees, which are often set by ATM providers.

Chase Bank

  • Cash withdrawals or spending fees are not charged at home or abroad
  • For 12 months, you’ll earn 1% cashback on your spending
  • In order to keep getting 1% cashback after 12 months, you must deposit a minimum of £1,500 monthly
  • This account can only be managed in the app
  • In a calendar month, a maximum of £1,500 can be withdrawn from an ATM while abroad


  • Spending fees-free
  • Withdrawals from Monzo as your main bank account in the EEA are fee-free, otherwise you pay 3% on withdrawals over £250 every 30 days.
  • You can withdraw up to £200 every 30 days for free outside of the EEA, anything over that incurs a 3% charge.


  • The Currensea debit card is linked to your current account, so you don’t have to switch banks
  • Spending and ATM withdrawals are free
  • From international ATMs, there is a maximum withdrawal limit of £500 per month, or a markup of 2% on withdrawals over £500 up to £1,500
  • With a flat-fee of 0.5%, you can send £100-£20,000 per transfer

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