The Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card is a top-notch card for travel use, good for both purchases AND cash withdrawals in a foreign currency while abroad. There are no FX fees or foreign cash withdrawal fees, plus by paying your full balance on time you won't pay interest on ATM withdrawals abroad—a highly unusual and potentially valuable feature.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card Review
The Barclaycard Platinum Travel card is currently one of the best travel credit cards on the market, particularly for anyone who plans to withdraw cash while abroad and can pay their entire credit card bill each month. There are no foreign-currency transaction fees on cash withdrawals or purchases made abroad or non-sterling cash handling fees. Plus you won't be charged interest on cash withdrawals, if the full balance is paid on or before the next statement date. This feature is likely to save money over other travel cards that tend to charge interest immediately, from the date of withdrawal, until the balance is paid off.
Given the Barclaycard Travel card’s high interest 27.9% variable rate on cash withdrawals, you’d always want to pay off your cash transactions in full and on time, anyway. The chart below shows what you could potentially save in interest charges using the Barclaycard on a £500-valued cash withdrawal (taken in the local currency) by paying the full balance by the next statement date (assumption: statement date is 50 days from the transaction date).
Promotion Ends: After 31 August 2022, the Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card will start charging 2.99% fees for non-sterling cash withdrawals and purchases made abroad.
Pay in Pounds or Local Currency? As with all transactions abroad, it is very important to pay in the local currency. This means, when you're asked if you want to "pay in Pounds or Euros," for instance, you should say "Euros." You’d rather have your credit card do the currency exchange for you than the shop, as you'll get a better exchange rate that way.
While you can transfer a balance to the Barclaycard Platinum Travel card, we don't recommend it. The card does not offer a no-interest period, which can be found on a number of other balance transfer cards in the market. If balance transfer is your goal, look elsewhere.
Finally, as a purchases credit card, you'll also get up to 12 months of no interest on new purchases.
Bottom Line: Those planning a trip abroad can use this card without incurring any additional costs, benefiting from significant cost savings—if you don't need to carry your balance over from month to month.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Card Benefits & Features
|Barclaycard Platinum Travel Card Features|
|Transaction Fees||No non-sterling transaction fees on foreign purchases and cash withdrawals at ATMs abroad until 31 August 2022 (then 2.99%)|
|Travel Cash Interest||No interest charges on non-sterling cash withdrawals if you pay off in full before your next statement due date|
Income Requirement: There is a recommended £20,000 minimum income requirement on the Barclaycard. Those with lower incomes may want to consider the Aqua Advance for foreign purchases (but not for foreign ATM cash withdrawals—you'll pay a fee and interest).
The stand-out feature of this card is the beneficial treatment of non-sterling cash withdrawals: as long as you pay off your balance in full, on or before your next statement date, you won’t be charged any interest on non-sterling cash withdrawals abroad. Most travel cards charge interest immediately from the date you’ve withdrawn cash until you pay it off.
The downside of this card is the high interest rate on cash withdrawals, which you will pay on non-sterling cash transactions if you don’t pay off the full balance each month. This card is clearly aimed at cardholders who will pay off in full and on time.
Keep in mind that some ATMs will charge their own fee for using the machine. So even though Barclays will not charge a fee for withdrawing cash with this card, you may still incur a fee when using some ATMs.
The following table shows the interest charges for £200, £500 and £1,000 worth of non-sterling cash withdrawals that isn't paid off for 60 days, 90 days and 180 days—these charges can be totally avoided by paying your full balance on time.
Interest on Cash Withdrawals at 27.9% APR When Balance Not Paid Off in Full
|Cash Withdrawals of...||60 Days||90 Days||180 Days|
The Barclaycard Platinum Travel card's 27.9% APR (variable) on cash withdrawals is roughly average across travel credit cards, as shown in the chart below.
How Does the Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card Compare Against Other Credit Cards?
In order to decide if the Barclaycard Platinum Travel credit card is for you, it’s best to compare it against the closest competitors. Below we discuss the differences between the Barclaycard travel card and some other popular cards, so you can decide which is best for you.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card vs Halifax Clarity Credit Card
The Halifax Clarity Credit Card charges no fees on non-sterling cash withdrawals or transactions, making it an ideal travel card. The only aspect of the card to be aware of is that, like most credit cards, interest on cash ATM withdrawals starts accruing immediately. By getting online and paying back your cash withdrawals ASAP (even while you're still abroad), you can mitigate this potential cost.
Quick Takeaway: The Barclaycard Platinum Travel card may be better to use abroad for those who will pay off their balances in full every month; but the Clarity sports a lower cash interest rate.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card vs Creation Everyday Credit Card
The Creation Everyday Credit Card is arguably the best travel card, since it charges no fees on cash withdrawals or transaction in a foreign currency plus it sports the lowest interest rate on cash withdrawals. This is important because cash transactions start accruing interest immediately. As with most cards, you'll save money by getting online to pay back your cash withdrawals as soon as possible, even when you're away.
Quick Takeaway: If you'll always pay off your balance in full before your next statement date, you will likely find more savings on the Barclaycard. If you will carry a balance on your cash withdrawals, the Creation Everyday card will incur smaller interest charges.
Barclaycard Platinum Travel Credit Card vs Saga Over 50s Platinum Card
The Saga Over 50s Platinum card provides cardholders with perks like discounts on Saga holidays and purchases made aboard its cruises, plus as a travel card it doesn't charge a fee on overseas transactions. One drawback is that the card charges a fee on cash withdrawals of 2% (£2 minimum). While this is lower than many cards' fees of 3% (min £3) on cash withdrawals, it is nonetheless an avoidable expense.
Quick Takeaway: The Saga Over 50s Platinum could be the travel card for you if you book Saga holidays and don't plan on drawing cash from an ATM while you're travelling. If you will need to withdraw cash while abroad, you may save money with the Barclaycard.