As many prepare for their summer holidays they will be anxious about not overspending, so how can you make sure you get the best deals overseas?
Martin said on This Morning today: “Over the past few years the pound has been in the doldrums. Before the EU referendum vote in summer 2016, a pound bought €1.43 – since then it’s dropped significantly and hasn’t recovered much.
“It’s currently at around €1.11 mark, which is pretty similar to last year.
“Against the dollar, the rate is just $1.26, less than last summer’s $1.32, and around a decade ago it bought roughly $2. It’s similar with most other currencies.”
Best deals on your travel money – how to get them
Apply now for a cheap overseas spending card
Martin said: “The easiest and cheapest way to spend abroad is on the right plastic, but they can take a couple of weeks to arrive, so early planning helps.”
Best credit cards for travel
Top for cheap spending, reliability and a free £20: The Halifax Clarity card gives near-perfect rates on spending everywhere, plus apply before 29 August, and spend on it (abroad or in the UK) within 90 days and you get £20 cashback.
The card’s been around a long time, and has very good feedback.
Cheap spending & cash withdrawals, plus no credit check: The debit card from app-only Starling Bank has no charge for spending abroad and no cash withdrawal fee. Plus unlike a credit card there’s no credit check, (unless you want an overdraft) so the vast majority of people can get it – though it does do ID checks.
Technically it’s a current account, but you can just add cash to it for spending abroad as you needn’t switch to it or make a min pay-in.
Top card if you want it for spending abroad AND at home: The Tandem credit card also gives near-perfect exchange rates on spending worldwide, plus 0.5 per cent cashback on spending in the UK and abroad.
So if you want to trouser just one card to pay off in full and spend everywhere, this is a good option.
Worst debit cards for travel
Not only do these debit cards add around 3 per cent to the exchange rate and an ATM fee, they also add charges every time you use them overseas. They are the standard debit card from:
– Bank of Scotland (50p fee per transaction)
– Halifax (50p fee per transaction)
– Lloyds (50p fee per transaction)
– Santander (£1.25 fee per transaction)
– TSB (£1 fee per transaction)
– Clydesdale/Yorkshire (no spending fee but minimum £1.50 exchange fee per transaction)
– NatWest/RBS (no spending fee but minimum £1 exchange fee per transaction)
Any other card, including a credit card (provided it is repaid in full), is cheaper to spend on than these.
Martin Lewis discussed the end of bank charges in his recent column for Express.co.uk.
He wrote: “After 14 years I’m delighted to say bank charges are going to end.
“Back in 2005, early in my career, I was the big gob behind a campaign to get people to reclaim unfair bank charges for busting their overdrafts.
“I drafted template letters, a staggering 6m+ were downloaded and over £1 billion was repaid as ‘goodwill’ by banks scared to go to court.
“Eventually the banks agreed to a test case against the Office of Fair Trading.”