One of the least exciting parts of going overseas, is working out how you'll spend money. Using card is an option if you don't want to carry cash, so we've put together the best travel cards to use in the UK.

With lots of different cards you'll need to find the one that best suits your needs.

To help narrow your options, here is a list of the best Travel Cards and the key benefits and pitfalls of each one.

 

Best Travel Cards to Use in the UK

What are Travel Cards?

Travel cards are a good alternative to carrying cash. They can be either prepaid, debit or credit cards designed specially for using overseas. You can use travel cards to make purchases online, in stores and to withdraw money at ATMs.

1. Prepaid Travel Cards

For prepaid cards, you're able to load the card with a set amount of money in the currencies you need. Ideally you do this before your trip, but often you can reload them as well.

Most prepaid travel cards allow for multiple currencies to be loaded onto the card. So it's important to know what currency you'll be using on your travels. Airlines also offer prepaid cards so the money you spend can earn you reward points.

With prepaid travel cards you need to be careful, as they can have numerous fees and charges which can make it more expensive than other options. But if you're organised and travelling to multiple cities a prepaid travel card is a good option.

Best Prepaid Travel Card: The Travelex Money Card

Travelex Travel Money Card

The Travelex Money Card is our best value prepaid travel card. With this card:

Tick There are no ATM fees so you can withdraw cash at no extra cost
Tick You can access Travelex's online rates
Tick You can lock in your initial loading cross currency rate
Tick Ideal for the organised traveller.
Tick C
an load up to 10 currencies including AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, CAD, THB, SGB, HKD and JPY.

Pros Cons
Check MarkSmartphone App & Free Wifi CrossLimited Currencies
Check Mark$0 overseas ATM fees (Australia excluded) Cross5.95% currency conversion rate
Check MarkFree Replacement Card Cross$100 minimum initial load
Check Mark24/7 Global Support Cross2.95% Australian ATM withdrawal fee

Go to the Travelex Money Card site for a discount

2. Travel Credit Cards

Credit cards have obviously been around for a long time. But now there are specialised travel credit cards. Generally, these cards give you longer to pay back what you've spent but the interest rates after this time can be quite high.

The main advantage with credit cards are the reward points you get in return for your customer loyalty when you spend. But it only works if you pay off the balance in full each month.

Credit cards are great to use for car hire, restaurants and accommodation - larger expenses that are easier for you to pay back over time. Some services only take credit cards to hold purchases so they can definitely be handy while you're travelling.

Best Travel Credit Card: 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard

The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard is our best value travel credit card. With this card:

TickThere are no annual fees
TickNo overseas purchase fee or currency conversion fee
TickYou get 55 days interest free on purchases
TickAccess to free 24/7 concierge service
TickEmergency card replacement worldwide

The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard has additional benefits including shoppers and repayments benefits cover. For more information read our review.

Pros Cons
Check MarkCan have 9 additional cardholders CrossNo introductory offers or rewards
Check MarkNo overseas purchase fee, or currency conversion fee CrossHigh interest rates after the initial 55 days
Check MarkNo foreign transaction fee CrossMinimum credit limit is $6000
Check MarkFree replacement card

Visit 28 Degrees

3. Debit Cards

Debit Cards offer the convenience of a credit card, but work differently. They draw money directly from your bank account when you make a purchase. It is designed for everyday money transactions and means that you're not accumulating debt.

If you have spending issues, it's a better option to use your debit card whenever possible, because it will prevent you from falling into credit card debt. And for daily purchases, we think a debit card can help you stick to your travel budget, because you can't overdraw money from your account.

Generally, we recommend having a combination of a travel debit and travel credit card for safety, flexibility and convenience on your trip.

Payment with credit card or debit card

Best Travel Debit Card: Citibank Plus Everyday Account

Citibank AccountThe Citibank Plus Everyday Account is our best value travel debit card. With this card you can benefit from the following:

TickWithdraw cash at no extra cost with no overseas ATM fees
TickFree cash withdrawals from over 3000 ATMs Australia-wide
TickNo monthly fee or minimum opening balance
TickTransfer funds to friends and family anywhere in the world for free in 25 countries and currencies
TickFree bottle of wine at Citibank Dining Program partner restaurants if you pay with your Citibank card

Please be aware, there are daily transfer and withdrawal limits. $10,000 for online transfers and $1,000 for ATM withdrawals and EFTPOS transactions.

Pros Cons
Check MarkNo international ATM or transaction fees CrossCash deposits available within 24-48 hours
Check MarkFee-free international money transfers to any account worldwide CrossCan’t have two cards active at the same time
Check MarkSMS notifications through Citi Alert Cross$5 account closure

Visit Citibank

Need to know more about travelling to the UK?

Helping You Save Money on Currency

Buying travel money or transferring money overseas can be expensive and confusing. So how do you make the best choice and get the most out of your money?

An easy way is to use a comparison table for either international money transfers or currency exchange. These tables list and compare the banks with other large foreign exchange companies.

We’ve also put together tons of helpful videosguides and reviews that will help you make the right decision. You can work out a cheaper way of converting currency while still keeping your money safe.