Best No-Foreign-Transaction-Fees Travel Credit Cards

We've analysed dozens of credit cards to find the best ones to use abroad when travelling overseas. Check out our recommendations, which we chose after taking into account features like foreign transaction and ATM fees, interest rates and grace periods. If you want to learn more about FX fees check out our guides Foreign Transaction Fees Explained and How Does a Cash Withdrawal Work.

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

  • Learning
    How Does a No-Fee Travel Credit Card Work?
  • Choosing
    How To Pick a No-Fees Travel Card for You

According to our analysis of the market, the following cards stand out as objectively the best for certain purposes. The best card for you will depend on your individual situation.

Comparing the Best UK No-Foreign-Transaction-Fee Cards

If you don't want to rack up fees for using your credit card while you're on holiday, it's important to have a card that doesn't charge for non-sterling transactions while abroad. With so many available in the market, there is a good travel card for nearly everyone, even a travel card for people with a weaker credit history.

All of the cards discussed in this article are "no fee" for purchases made abroad in a foreign currency. But only some are "no fee" on cash withdrawals. Here's a quick summary of the fees you'll pay to use these UK travel cards for purchases and cash advances when you're abroad, as well as the cash advance interest rate (this is critical because interest charges start accruing right away):

Best No FX Fee Credit Cards in the UKFX Fee on PurchasesFee on Foreign ATM WithdrawalsCash APR (variable)
Halifax Clarityn/an/a19.9%
Santander Zeron/an/a18.9%
Santander All In Onen/a3% (min £3)29.9%
Barclaycard Rewardsn/a2.99% (£2.99) + FX fee27.9%
Aqua Advancen/a3% (min £3)44.9%

Best No-Foreign-Transaction-Fee Travel Credit Cards

Below is our choice of the best travel credit cards for use abroad, chosen after considering fees on ATM withdrawals, fees on non-sterling transactions, interest rates on cash withdrawals (which are often higher than the purchase APR) and other perks, when available.

Halifax Clarity Credit Card

Consider this if you don't want to pay any fees when you use your card abroad.

Purchase Rate (variable) 19.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee none
Cash Fee none

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is another solid card to use abroad as it won't charge a fee on foreign transactions, whether that's a charge at a retailer or an ATM withdrawal, plus there's no additional "cash" fee. While ATM withdrawals won't incur a fee, however, interest will start accumulating from day 1—there is no grace period on cash withdrawals on the Clarity card. That said, at least the interest rate on cash withdrawals is lower than average, at 18.9% variable APR. Since interest charges on cash transactions start accruing immediately, it's best to pay back any ATM withdrawals as soon as possible if you must take out cash with this card (even before your next due date).

Summary

  • No fees on non-sterling ATM withdrawals or transactions abroad
  • Lower-than-average variable 18.9% interest rate on cash withdrawals
  • 19.9% variable purchase APR
  • Eligibility checker
  • No annual fee

Santander Zero Credit Card

Consider this if you don't want to pay any fees when you use your card abroad.

Purchase Rate (variable) 18.9%
FX Fee 0%
Cash Fee 0% (min £0)

The Santander Zero Credit Card is a solid choice for people to use abroad, because it doesn't charge FX fees on purchases or ATM withdrawals made in a foreign currency when you're overseas. And the interest rate on cash withdrawals is reasonable—18.9% variable. (But since there's no grace period on cash withdrawals and interest starts accumulating immediately, if you have to take out cash then try to go online and pay it back as soon as possible.)

Summary

  • No fees on non-sterling ATM withdrawals or transactions abroad
  • Lower-than-average variable 18.9% interest rate on cash withdrawals
  • 18.9% variable purchase APR
  • Eligibility checker
  • No annual fee

Santander All In One Credit Card

Consider this if you don't want to pay fees on purchases when you use your card abroad.

Purchase Rate (variable) 15.9%
0% on Purchases for up to up to 26 months
0% on Balance Transfers for up to 26 months
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 0%
FX Fee 0%
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Santander All in One Credit Card is a decent choice for people to use abroad because it doesn't charge FX fees on purchases. But it does charge a fee on foreign currency ATM withdrawals. Plus the interest rate on cash withdrawals is higher, making it less desirable than the Zero in this respect. This card gives 0.5% cashback on purchases, but charges £3 a month.

Summary

  • No fees on non-sterling transactions abroad
  • 3% (min £3) fee on cash transactions (at home and abroad)
  • 29.9% variable interest rate on cash withdrawals
  • 15.9% variable purchase APR (21.7% representative variable APR)
  • Eligibility checker
  • No annual fee

Barclaycard Rewards Credit Card

Consider this if you don't want to pay fees on purchases when you use your card abroad.

Purchase Rate (variable) 22.9%

The Barclayard Rewards Credit Card is another good choice for people to use when travelling because it doesn't charge FX fees on purchases. Plus cardholders get 0.25% back on purchases. While this is less than the best rewards cards, it is at least something for a travel card. However there is a fee to get a cash advance from an ATM when you're on holiday.

Summary

  • No fees on non-sterling transactions abroad
  • 2.99% (min £2.99) fee on cash transactions (at home and abroad)
  • 27.9% variable interest rate on cash withdrawals
  • 22.9% variable purchase APR
  • Eligibility checker
  • No annual fee

Best Travel Card for Student and Weak Credit: Aqua Advance Card

Consider this if you want a credit-builder card to use abroad.

Purchase Rate (variable) 34.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee none
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Aqua Advance Credit Card is a great card for those with poor credit or limited credit to use abroad, as it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees and is also open to applications from students who are not yet employed or those with weak histories. However, due to higher-than-average interest rates starting at 34.9% (variable), Aqua Advance cardholders should try to pay off their full balance every month, on time. Doing so, and staying within your credit limit, may result in the interest rate dropping by 5% a year over three years to a closer-to-average 19.9% (variable).

Summary

  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • 3% (min £3) fee on cash withdrawals
  • Higher-than-average initial interest rates (which can drop every year with good behaviour)
  • 44.9% variable cash APR
  • 34.9% variable purchase APR
  • No annual fee

How much is a cash advance on a travel credit card?

To compare the best UK travel cards, we calculated the cost of withdrawing £500 worth of cash in a foreign currency at an ATM abroad. Some cards charge a withdrawal fee and you'll also pay interest charges. The chart below shows the estimated charges you'd incur on these cards, assuming the balance is paid back in 30 days and before the next statement due date.

A graph comparing the costs, including non-sterling transaction fees and interest charges, of £500 worth of Foreign Currency Withdrawals across 5 of the Best UK Travel Cards Used Abroad
The Cost of £500 worth of Foreign Currency Withdrawals across 5 UK Travel Cards

Summary of No-Fees Travel Credit Cards

Below is a summary of some of the UK's travel cards across different categories. This list is by no means exhaustive. There may be a card with better features that we do not mention below.

Best For...CardQuick Overview
OverallHalifax ClarityNo fees on non-sterling transactions or ATM withdrawals; 18.9% variable interest on foreign cash withdrawals
Santander ZeroNo fees on non-sterling transactions or ATM withdrawals; 18.9% variable interest on foreign cash withdrawals
Santander All In OneNo fees on non-sterling transactions but a 3% (min £3) fee on foreign cash withdrawals; 29.9% variable interest on foreign cash withdrawals
Barclaycard RewardsNo fees on non-sterling transactions but a 2.99% (£2.99) + FX fee on foreign cash withdrawals; 27.9% variable interest on foreign cash withdrawals
Student & Poor CreditAqua AdvanceNo fees on non-sterling transactions; ATM cash withdrawals incur fee of 3% (min £3); Higher-than-average 44.9% (variable) cash APR

How FX Fees and Travel Cards Work

All of the travel cards listed on this page are "no fee" for non-sterling transactions abroad. This means you won't incur any extra fees for using your card to pay for a candle-lit dinner for two in Florence or a new swimsuit in the Canary Islands. One area in which the travel cards tend to differ is in their treatment of cash withdrawals. Be on the lookout for two types of charges relating to taking local cash out of an ATM:

  • The fee charged for withdrawing cash—this usually ranges from "no fee" to a 3% fee (£3 minimum)
  • The interest charged on cash withdrawals—be aware of the interest rate, which is often higher than your purchase rate
  • If there is a grace period (i.e., when you pay your balance off in full and on time, no interest is charged on cash withdrawals)

How to Choose a No-Fees Travel Credit Card for You

Choosing the best travel credit card for you will depend on your individual situation and spending habits. When deciding which card to choose, pay attention to the purchases and cash APR. Cash advances in particular tend to be expensive for three reasons:

  • Cash handling fee
  • Higher interest rate
  • Interest starts accruing immediately from transaction date

FAQs

In the UK, the Halifax Clarity, Santander Zero, Santander All In One, Barclaycard Rewards, Aqua Advance, and Virgin Travel card are some of the best credit cards for foreign transactions because they don't charge What are foreign transaction fees?.
Most credit cards in the UK charge 2.99% of each non-sterling transaction. There's usually no minimum charge for each international transaction. Here is a list of cards that don't charge a foreign transaction fee in the UK.
Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.