In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • What are the fees and charges for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?
    • What are the application requirements for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?
  • Your reviews

Halifax Clarity Card review 2024

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Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard
4.5
★★★★★
Finder score
Representative example:
When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
Foreign transaction charge
0%
Balance transfer fee
0%
Account fee
£0

Our verdict

The nation's go-to holiday credit card is mostly deserving of its status.

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is one of the most popular cards on the market for taking overseas, with zero fees on spending abroad. In fact, it's almost a household name! Cards like the Clarity card use Mastercard currency conversion rates, so as well as swerving the fees, you can rest assured that the charges haven't simply been hidden in an artificial exchange rate. In fact, the Clarity goes a step further than a lot of those similar cards, by giving fee-free currency conversion on cash withdrawals overseas too.

If you do opt to take this card away on your next trip, just bear in mind that if you use it to withdraw non-sterling cash, there will still be catches that you'll want to bear in mind. Let's run through them one by one.

Firstly, the local ATM may still charge you a fee. That's out of Halifax's hands. Secondly, if you withdraw cash overseas, it'll start to accrue interest from the day the funds leave your account (it won't benefit from the grace period that applies to regular purchases when you clear your balance in full each month). Finally, making credit card cash advances will be recorded in your credit file and can hurt your credit score (you can see your own credit score and report for free through Finder).

These cash withdrawal catches are mostly out of Halifax's hands, but all in all, we think they make the card's 0% currency conversion on cash a nice perk, but one to be used sparingly and with caution. If you stick to using the Clarity for non-cash transactions and pay off your balance in full when the bill comes through, you should enjoy a catch-free experience!

As with any credit card offering favourable currency conversion, whenever you're presented with the option to pay in the local currency or for the local merchant/bank to convert to the local currency for you, you should choose to pay in the local currency (otherwise the it will be the local bank or merchant whose currency conversion fee structure will apply, rather than your card issuer's). If you're outside of the EU, some cheeky merchants might also levy a surcharge on credit card transactions (ask before you pay).

As a little bonus, you'll have access to exclusive entertainment and travel experiences through the Mastercard Priceless Cities programme.

If, however, you're planning to use the card for anything other than overseas spending, there are probably more suitable cards available from both Halifax and other card issuers.

Pros

  • No fees for foreign transactions, including purchases and cash withdrawals
  • Any money spent abroad will be set by the Mastercard exchange rate on that day
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Interest will apply to purchases if you don’t clear your balance each month
  • Interest will be charged on cash withdrawals from the date of the transaction, even if you pay off your balance in full
  • No additional perks

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • What are the fees and charges for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?
    • What are the application requirements for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?
  • Your reviews

Details

Product Overview

Issuer Bank of Scotland
Network Mastercard
Representative APR 23.9%
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfers 23.94%
Balance transfer fee 0%
Purchases 23.94%
Purchases interest-free period Up to 56 days
Cash advances 23.94%
Minimum credit limit £0
Maximum credit limit Subject to status
Additional cards available 1
Incentive
Potential costs 4.5 ★★★★★
Doing its job 5.0 ★★★★★
Extras 1.5 ★★★★★
Overall Finder score 4.5 ★★★★★

What are the fees and charges for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?

Minimum monthly payment 2.5% or £5 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance.
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfer fee 0%
Foreign usage charge (EU) 0%
Foreign usage charge (rest of world) 0%
Cash advance fee 0%
Late payment fee £12
Replacement card fee £0
Duplicate statement fee £0
Exceeding limit fee £0
Additional card fee £0
Dormancy fee £0

What are the application requirements for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card?

Minimum Age 18
Availability Available to new customers

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at more than 50 million merchant locations across more than 210 countries and territories.

Road test: The Clarity in action

We took the Clarity Card to Paris and spent 100 Euros in one transaction to see if it’s as good as its word. Yes, we know – tough job, but somebody’s got to do it etc.

According to Mastercard’s currency conversion calculator, on that day the exchange rate was .8485 pounds to the Euro. In other words, our €100 lunch should have cost us £84.85.

The Halifax clarity credit card lying on a restaurant bill on a saucer in a restaurant
Putting the Clarity to the test in Paris Finder UK
Screeshot of the Mastercard online currency conversion tool
The true cost of an omelette-based lunch in Paris, according to Mastercard Finder UK
Screenshot of a credit card payment in Halifax's online banking
Halifax agreeing with Mastercard’s currency conversion calculation – to the penny Finder UK

…and sure enough, when the transaction appeared in the account’s online banking facility moments later, it had indeed been charged at £84.85.

Our waiter never offered to bill us in Sterling. If he had, we would have said no, since we knew Halifax wouldn’t charge forex fees, while the restaurant’s bank might.

The credit card balance was was paid off in full by direct debit shortly after, so the lunch never accrued any interest. All in all, the card delivered on what it promised.

How does it compare?

Halifax's card

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Finder score Foreign transaction fee Foreign cash transaction fee Interest-free days on foreign transactions Interest-free days on foreign cash transactions Representative example Link
Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard
4.5
★★★★★
0%
0%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
View details
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Other popular cards for overseas spending

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Finder score Foreign transaction fee Foreign cash transaction fee Interest-free days on foreign transactions Interest-free days on foreign cash transactions Representative example Link
Santander All in One Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
View details
The Royal Bank Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
View details
NatWest Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
View details
Royal Bank of Scotland Reward Black Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £84 per annum. Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum, your representative rate is 40.7% APR (variable).
Go to site
View details
loading

Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

With no currency conversion fees on overseas spending, the Halifax Clarity credit card is a handy travel companion for those looking for a card to cover everyday spending at home and abroad.

Sure, there are still some fees you’ll need to look out for – such as cash advance and foreign ATM fees, and most people don’t realise that non-sterling cash advances won’t benefit from the usual “up to 56 days” interest-free. But as a potentially low-cost travel credit card, the Halifax Clarity is a solid pick.

For many (including the reviewer), the Clarity will be popular as a second credit card. For spreading the cost of large purchases (like a holiday) over longer periods, or for earning rewards and enjoying perks, more specialised cards are available.

All in all, the Clarity is deserving of its respected status as a go-to travel credit card.

Please note: from time to time Halifax has offered a £20 sign-up bonus on this card (provided you make a purchase within 90 days of account opening). We’ll keep this review updated whenever the offer’s available.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through Halifax's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 944 4555). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.

A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) or losing any promotional rates as a result.

You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.

Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

How to apply for a Halifax Clarity credit card

If you've compared cards and want to apply, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to tell Halifax I'm going abroad?

No, this is no longer necessary. You can use any Halifax credit or debit cards worldwide now, without having to give the bank a heads-up beforehand. Halifax does state, however, that you should ensure it has an up to date mobile number to contact you on (in case it's worried about suspicious card use). Always carry a back-up means of payment when you're abroad, and if you need to contact Halifax while you're away, you can call +44 1733 573189.

What does Halifax consider a cash advance?

The term "cash advance" is a catch-all for "cash-like" transactions. Deep in its T&Cs Halifax specifically mentions:

  • Cash withdrawals – which can mean using an ATM or, say, getting cashback at the supermarket.
  • Buying foreign currency – in other words using your card at a bureau de change to pay for foreign currency.
  • Gambling transactions – which was banned on credit cards anyway as of April 2020. Bear in mind that any transactions (buying drinks, for example) in gambling establishments such as casinos or betting shops are liable to be treated as cash advances.

The Clarity's cash advance fee is 0% but you will start paying interest on these transactions from the day they take place – even if you always pay your full balance off each month.

How long does it take to get a Halifax Clarity credit card?

If you've successfully applied for a Halifax Clarity credit card, your PIN should be delivered by post within 5 working days and your physical card should be with you within 7 working days.

Finder credit card scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts score travel credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like the cost for non-sterling transactions, any caveats or restrictions related to using your card overseas, travel-related perks/benefits, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.

You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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