Halifax Clarity MasterCard Review: The Travel Card for You?

Halifax Clarity MasterCard Review: The Travel Card for You?

With no FX fees and a low cash APR, the Halifax Clarity can be a solid choice when you travel

Good for

  • Using abroad
  • Paying no fees on cash withdrawals or FX transactions
  • Paying a low cash APR

Bad for

  • Those wanting an interest grace period for cash withdrawals
  • Individuals looking for a 0% promotional period for balance transfers

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

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.

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards for use while abroad. As it charges no fx fees, it is suitable non-Sterling purchases made abroad. However there are reasons you shouldn't necessarily use it for cash withdrawals, despite the lack of fees. Read our review to find out more.

Halifax Clarity Credit Card Review

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is a great credit card for travel use, charging no fees for non-Sterling cash withdrawals and transactions made abroad. Should you use it to get cash from an ATM? Not necessarily, because cash withdrawals start accruing interest IMMEDIATELY. That's the case with most credit cards in the UK.

While it's generally good to avoid withdrawing cash on a credit card due to interest charges, the good news is that the Halifax Clarity charges relatively low interest rates on cash withdrawals for any unavoidable withdrawals. The Halifax Clarity card charges the same rate for cash withdrawals as it does for purchases: 19.9% APR, variable. Just try to pay back any withdrawals ASAP since there's no interest-free grace period.

A chart comparing the interest rates on cash withdrawals for the best UK no-foreign-transaction-fee travel credit cards
Interest Rates on Cash Withdrawals across Travel Cards

Note: While Halifax doesn't charge fees to use their card at an ATM, you might still be charged fees. Some ATM providers charge to use their machines. You should be alerted to any such charge on the ATM screen before you proceed with an ATM withdrawal.

Can I use the Halifax Clarity for balance transfers?

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is open to balance transfers but the fees are higher than you can find in the UK balance transfer market. You are likely to find a lower fee on another balance transfer card, if that's important to you.

Bottom Line: The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is a travel card for both cash withdrawals and purchases made abroad, with a lower-than-average cash APR. Since there is no grace period on cash withdrawals (i.e., interest charges start accruing immediately), pay off your full balance as soon as possible to limit interest charges.

Halifax Clarity Benefits & Features

Halifax Clarity Credit Card Features
Transaction FeesNo non-sterling transaction fees on foreign purchases and cash withdrawals
Cash Withdrawal FeesNone
Eligibility CheckerTo see your odds of being accepted before you apply
Balance TransfersWhile there's no fee to transfer a balance, there's also no 0% APR promotional period
Annual Fee£0
APR (variable)Representative 19.9% variable APR on purchases, cash withdrawals and balance transfers

Why You Should Pay Back Cash Withdrawals ASAP

When it comes to credit card interest charges, cash withdrawals are typically treated differently than purchases. While purchases are given a grace period (e.g., there's no interest charge if you pay off your full every month), cash withdrawals accumulate interest from the day you withdraw the cash until the day you pay off the cash balance.

How much interest will you pay on a cash withdrawal? We've calculated sample interest charges on cash withdrawals of £100, £500 and £1,000, when you pay 30 and 60 days after the original withdrawal (assuming an 19.9% APR).


Estimated Interest Charges on Cash Withdrawals
Outstanding 1 MonthOutstanding 2 MonthsOutstanding 3 Months
£100 withdrawal£1.46£2.93£4.45
£500 withdrawal£7.28£14.67£22.27
£1,000 withdrawal£14.56£29.33£44.53
chart showing the interest charges on ATM cash withdrawals with the Halifax Clarity card

Pay in Local Currency or Pounds When Abroad?

As with all travel transactions, we recommend paying for purchases in the local currency. You’ll almost always get a better exchange rate if the credit card does the conversion, as opposed to the shop where you’re making a purchase. If you elect to "pay in pounds" when abroad, then you're leaving the currency conversion to the local retailer and there are no guarantees as to the rate you'll receive.

As a result, it's advisable to pay in local currency. The Halifax card is a Mastercard, which is known to give consumers some of the best exchange rates.

How does the Halifax Clarity Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

In order to decide if the Halifax Clarity is for you, it’s best to compare it against some of its closest competitors.

Halifax Clarity Credit Card vs Aqua Advance Credit Card

The Aqua Advance Credit Card charges no FX fees on non-sterling cash withdrawals or transactions made abroad, but beware of taking out cash from an ATM because there's still a 3% fee at home and abroad (£3 minimum)—plus cash advances incur interest right away, at a high interest rate. This card will accept those with weaker credit histories, however, so those with poor credit may find it suitable for purchases on holiday.

Quick Takeaway: The Aqua Advance has higher interest rates so is technically not as good as the Halifax Clarity card—but it may accept you if the Clarity card won't.

Santander Zero

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.)

Quick Takeaway: The Halifax Clarity card and Santander Zero are very similar cards, in terms of foreign use fees. The interest rate is a touch lower on the Santander card, plus on the Zero you have access to Retailer offers, if you can use them.

Comments

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.