Some credit cards better than others !

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By Rowena Noon

Posted on August 31st, 2005

When we go on holiday we tend to pay for as much as possible with our NationWide credit card. Not only do we not have to purchase as many travellers checks in advance but we get a much better exchange rate than using Travelex.

About a year ago I read a very interesting article in one of the daily papers. It discussed the fact that most but not all credit card companies charge a conversion fee when you purchase items abroad in a foreign currency. This fee is normally 2.65 - 3% of the purchase value and equates to approximately £1 for every £30 you spend. Most people are unaware of this as credit card companies cleverly hide this charge within the exchange rate you see on your statement. For example if the exchange rate is 1.8 and the conversion charge is 2.75% then instead of receiving an exchange rate of 1.8 you will receive an exchange rate of 1.75 (1.8 / 100 * 97.25).

Out of the hundreds of credit card companies out there only 2 as far as I know, NationWide and Lombard Direct do not charge a conversion fee.

Obviously this is not only handy for our frequent trips to our villa but also for any other foreign trips we go on.

I'd advise you to apply for one of these credit cards ASAP so you can start saving money too.

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