Best UK debit cards and banks to use abroad with no foreign transaction fees

Regularly make international purchases or travel abroad? Opt for a current account from a bank with no foreign transaction fees and free European cash withdrawals to save you money.

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Best cards with low overseas fees Read reviews

Whether you’re buying something from overseas in a foreign currency or taking out cash on holiday abroad, you’re often charged when using your debit card for international transactions. You can save money by choosing a debit card that charges no or low foreign transaction fees to use for this purpose. We also have separate guides for credit cards to use overseas and prepaid travel cards that you can top-up before you go.

UK debit cards from banks with no foreign transaction fees when abroad

1 - 12 of 12
Name Product Account fee Overseas cash withdrawals Overseas card transactions Switching deals benefits Incentive Link
Finder Award
OFFER
Current Account - Age 18 and over
Free
£0
£0
Finder Award
OFFER
1st Account
Free
0%
0%
tag iconSwitch to first direct and get £175 plus get access to a 7.00% AER/gross Regular Saver Account.
Go to site
EXCLUSIVE
Revolut Standard
Free
0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month) conversion fee plus cash fee of £0 up to £200 per month
0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)
tag iconGet a £20 welcome bonus when you spend your first £20 (T&Cs apply).
Go to site
Monzo
Free
Europe: UK/EEA - 0% conversion fee plus a cash fee of 0% on up to £400 per 30 days (3% thereafter)
Elsewhere: 0% conversion fee plus a cash fee of 0% on up to £400 per 30 days (3% thereafter)
0%
tag iconMonzo Instant Access Savings Pot earns you 4.10% AER interest (variable), paid monthly into the Pot you create.
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Current Account
Free
£0.01
0%
tag iconEarn interest on your current account balance.
Go to site
Currensea
Free
0.5% FX rate. 2% FX rate over £500pm
£0 plus flat fee of 0.5% FX rate
Go to site
Barclays Bank Account
Free
£5 monthly fee for Barclays Blue Rewards
2.99%
2.99%
tag iconGet more from your everyday banking with Barclays Blue Rewards, with member deals and savings rates. (Eligibility, conditions and a £5 monthly fee apply).
Go to site
OFFER
Everyday Current Account
Free
2.95%
2.95%
tag iconA simple and straightforward current account, with no monthly fee.
Go to site
Bank Account
Free
2.75% conversion fee plus cash fee of 2% (Min £1.75, Max £5)
2.75%
tag iconDiscounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC home&Away.
Classic
Free
Europe: 2.99% conversion fee plus a cash fee of £1.50.
Elsewhere: 2.99% conversion fee plus a cash fee of £1.50
Europe: 2.99% plus flat fee of £0.50.
Elsewhere: 2.99% plus flat fee of £0.50
tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
FlexAccount
Free
2.99%
2.99%
tag iconEligible for Member Credit Card.
Select Account
Free
2.75%
2.75%
tag iconFree 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
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Expert analysis: Finding the best fee-free options for foreign transactions

Cathy Hudson profile pic
Cathy Hudson

Money expert

Paying fees when you make foreign transactions with your debit card needn't be a fact of life. There's a good selection of cards that lets you save money on these. The Chase current account charges no fees for both overseas cash withdrawals as well as overseas card transactions, as does Starling Bank.

There's also the Monese pre-paid multi-currency card, which has no foreign transaction fees on its Classic and Premium plans up to set limits for cash withdrawals. You'll pay a monthly fee for these though.

App-based bank Revolut gives you fee-free foreign card transactions and cash withdrawals on weekdays up to a total of £1,000 a month on its free Standard plan. You can withdraw £200 a month from cash machines before you start paying fees. The big banks generally charge relatively high fees on at least their free accounts.

Alternatively, you can use credit cards that charge no foreign transaction fees to make overseas purchases. These include Santander's All in One credit card and cards from the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest. It's not generally a good idea to use a credit card to withdraw cash as you'll usually pay a fee for this and there's no interest-free period as with purchases. It can also affect your credit score. However, there are some that let you withdraw cash abroad cheaply.

Best debit cards to use abroad

Finder’s best debit cards to use abroad for 2024

BankBest forExpert score
StarlingBest for fee free spending & customer service4.7/5
first directBest for fee free spending & added extras4.5/5
ChaseBest for fee free spending & cashback4.4/5
KrooBest for fee free spending & in-credit interest3.9/5

Best for fee free spending & cashback

Chase Current Account - Current Account
Finder score
4 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

1% AER

Interest (AER)

Receive 1% cashback on everyday debit card purchases capped at £15.
What's better than fee free spending abroad? Earning cashback on your fee free spending abroad. New customers with Chase can earn 1% cashback on their debit card spending for 12 months, up to £15 a month. This applies to groceries, meals out, entertainment, fashion, homeware, travel and holidays. So not only can you earn cashback when booking your holiday, but you can also earn 1% when using your card overseas.
  • No monthly account charge
  • No fees from Chase on spending abroad
  • 5% Interest with a round up account
  • 24/7 in-app customer support
  • No branches if you prefer face-to-face banking
  • Can’t deposit cash or cheques into the account
  • Overdrafts not available yet
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%

Best for fee free spending & customer service

Current Account - Age 18 and over
Finder score
4.7 ★★★★★
Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

3.24% AER

Interest (AER)

Starling has zero fees for spending overseas and was also our winner in the Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards 2023, with 94% of its current account holders saying they would recommend it to a friend. Its app is one of the highest scoring apps in the Apple app store and Google Play Store. Meaning you'll not only benefit from being able to use your card fee free when travelling, but you'll also be able to easily manage your money on the go.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable .
  • No monthly-fees
  • 100% digital sign-up
  • 24/7 UK customer support
  • 'Settle up' feature to split joint bills
  • Pays interest on current account balance
  • Overdrafts available (only on personal accounts)
  • Lower ATM withdrawal limit than some other digital challengers
  • No group savings feature
  • Doesn't have a specific monthly budgeting tool
  • No rewards program
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions £0
Overseas cash withdrawals £0

Best for fee free spending & added extras

1st Account
Finder score
4.4 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Switch to first direct and get £175 plus get access to a 7.00% AER/gross Regular Saver Account.
first direct has joined the small club of banks that don't charge fees for using a debit card abroad. You'll find that first direct often has a cash bonus in place if you switch your current account to the bank. Plus, as a first direct current account holder, you get access to its Regular Saver, which has one of the most competitive rates available on the market.
  • No monthly fee
  • Easy to apply
  • Access to regular saver account
  • Excellent customer service – 24/7 support
  • FSCS protection
  • Interest-free overdraft is only up to £250
  • No interest paid on in-credit balances
  • Cannot bank in branch
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%

Best for fee free spending & in-credit interest

Current Account
Finder score
4 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

4.35% AER

Interest (AER)

Earn interest on your current account balance.
While you may be focused on spending when looking for a debit card to use abroad, don't forget that you can also earn interest on the money you aren't spending. Kroo Bank has a competitive in-credit interest rate on current account balances up to £85,000, in addition to fee free spending overseas. Meaning you can save money when using your card on holiday and earn interest on whatever you don't spend.
  • Free to use
  • In-credit interest
  • No fees for using card abroad
  • 2 trees planted for every new customer
  • Can only be accessed through the app
  • No branches or face-to-face support
  • Card can’t be used in certain countries
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee No
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals £0.01

How we chose these cards

katesteere profile pic
Kate Steere

Editor

To choose the best card for each category shown above, our experts analysed app ratings, overseas fees, exchange rates, customer service, account access and extra features. In this particular case, these were selected from our list of debit cards that have no fees for being used abroad, not the whole market. If we show any 'promoted' picks, these are based on factors that include special features or offers and the commission we receive. If we show any 'best' picks, there are our banking editor's top picks for different categories and are chosen based on factors that include cost, purpose, rewards and extras. What you need from a debit card is personal, so these picks are just a guide to help you with your decision.

Other reviews of debit cards with low or no foreign transaction fees

Revolut - Revolut Standard

Revolut Standard
Finder score
4.3 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Get a £20 welcome bonus when you spend your first £20 (T&Cs apply).
Revolut is ideal for keen travellers. For a start, you can use the Revolut card to spend and withdraw cash abroad and no fees will be charged, provided you stay within your monthly limit and carry out transactions on a weekday. Monthly limits will depend on the plan you have. You can also convert money in 36 currencies within the app, meaning you can convert some spending money into the local currency before you go on holiday. Certain plans also offer other benefits such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, car hire excess insurance and cashback on accommodation if you book through Revolut Stays.
  • Low overseas fees
  • Quick application
  • Earn cashback on spending
  • Set budgets for financial goals
  • Virtual cards for online purchases
  • Easy to transfer money internationally
  • Linked 'Junior' account available for one child
  • 1% currency conversion charge on weekend spending abroad
  • Free cash withdrawals in the UK and abroad both limited to £200 per month
  • Cannot deposit cash or cheques into the account
  • Charged a fee to receive your bank card
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)
Overseas cash withdrawals 0% Mon-Fri (max. £1,000 per month)

Monzo - Monzo

Monzo
Finder score
4.6 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Monzo Instant Access Savings Pot earns you 4.10% AER interest (variable), paid monthly into the Pot you create.
If you open a Monzo bank account, you'll also receive a debit card that can be used for fee-free spending abroad. Whenever you use your card to make a purchase overseas, Monzo uses the Mastercard exchange rate without adding any extra fees to the transaction. What's more, if Monzo is used as your main bank account, you'll also benefit from unlimited fee-free cash withdrawals in EEA countries and up to £200 fee-free every 30 days in countries outside the EEA. Different limits apply to different plans. Some plans also include additional benefits such as worldwide travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.
Assumed arranged overdraft of £1,200. Annual interest rate 39.00% variable. Representative 39.0% APR.
  • Easy to set up
  • Good for budgeting and categorising spending
  • Automatic saving feature
  • Fee-free spending abroad
  • Slick app with face login
  • Overdrafts and loans available
  • Free ATM withdrawals outside the EEA limited to £200,
  • £1 fee for depositing cash at PayPoints,
  • Maximum cash deposit of £1,000 every 6 months
  • No rewards program
Minimum opening balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%

Monese - Monese

Monese
Finder score
4 ★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

The Monese prepaid multi-currency card enables you to access your money at all times. You can withdraw funds wherever you are in the world at the wholesale currency exchange rate. The card can be topped up with cash at more than 84,000 payment points across the UK and Europe, and if you choose the Premium plan (which charges a monthly fee), you can spend on your card and withdraw cash up to a set limit without paying a fee. Should you prefer the free Starter plan, a fee of 2% will apply to foreign transactions.
  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders.
  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check or proof of local address needed).
  • Colourful app that is easy to use, allows you to categorise your transactions and freeze the card if you lose it.
  • Free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad.
  • You can load cash into the account for free.
  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.
  • With a free plan, fee-free ATM withdrawals and cash loads are limited to £200 per month.
  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them.
  • It doesn’t offer anything more than a current account.
  • No physical branches.
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a charge that’s applied by your bank whenever a currency conversion is required. For example, if you make a payment online using your UK debit card on a US website, your bank needs to exchange pounds sterling to US dollars to process the payment, and it might charge you a fee for this.

The foreign transaction fee is usually around 3% of the transaction value. This can end up being costly if you’re making a large purchase, or if you’re spending abroad on a regular basis. For example, if you bought something on a US website for £300 and the bank applied a 3% foreign transaction fee, you’d be hit with a £9 fee. This may not seem like much, but if you’re making payments like these every month, it can quickly add up.

What are debit cards with no foreign transaction fees?

You usually receive a debit card when you open a current account. You can use this card to access the money in your account to make everyday purchases in-store or online and withdraw cash from an ATM. Depending on the provider, some debit cards won’t charge a foreign transaction fee when you spend on them abroad or make a purchase on an overseas website. Using one of these cards could save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Image of a tourist taking a selfie along a stat: The total value of UK debit card transactions abroad was £40.4bn in the year to February 2023

What are the benefits of using debit cards with no foreign transaction fees?

Here are some of the benefits you can expect from using a debit card with no foreign transaction fees:

  • Save money on international purchases made online. Debit card foreign transaction fees typically vary from 2-3% of the transaction value. If you often buy things from overseas websites, a debit card with no foreign transaction fees could lead to significant savings.
  • Save money when using your card overseas. The same applies when travelling internationally. Debit cards with no foreign transaction fees let you use your card overseas just as you would at home and so you won’t have to worry about transaction fees. Not only will this save you money, but it will save you the hassle of getting a travel debit card just for your trip.
  • Global and easy. If you have a Mastercard or Visa debit card, you can use your card in over 200 countries and territories across the world. You’ll be able to use it wherever you see the Mastercard or Visa sign.
  • No overspending and no interest accruing. Unlike a credit card, a debit card only lets you access the cash in your current account. This can help keep your spending in check as you’re only spending what you actually have available in your account. You also won’t rack up interest on your spending, as you would with a credit card.
  • Keeping it simple. A debit card gives you a simple way to access your own money, no matter where you go. You don’t have to worry about loading foreign currency onto your card, you don’t have to exchange cheques for cash and you don’t have to worry about applying for a credit card.

What fees are normally involved when using a debit card for international purchases?

Although using your debit card when overseas gives you quick and easy access to money, it pays to find out just how much you’ll end up paying in other fees and costs. Some cards might charge the following:

  • Foreign transaction fee. This fee is a combination of what your card provider charges along with what the payment processor charges. You might have to pay this fee when you use your card to pay in foreign currency, which your card provider converts into pound sterling. It is usually between 2% and 3% of the transaction value.
  • Overseas ATM fees. When using your debit card to withdraw money from an overseas cash machine, your card provider might charge a fee for the privilege. Again, this is likely to be around 3% and it will be on top of the foreign transaction fee. In some cases, the ATM you’re using might charge a separate fee.
  • Foreign exchange rate margin. Banks make money by adding a margin (or a markup) on top of the real exchange rate when transferring one currency into another. Each bank will charge a different margin, so will offer different exchange rates. While this cost is not as transparent, if your bank is offering a poor exchange rate, you could be losing money when using your debit card overseas.

Susan chose Starling for its lack of fees on spending abroad

Susan Boyle profile pic
Susan Boyle

Cambridge

I chose Starling because I was attracted by the monthly interest rate on any balances held in a current account. Also the lack of fees that are normally charged on any foreign transactions or cash withdrawals abroad.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of getting this, what would it be? It would be the fact that I would not be charged interest on foreign transactions like restaurant bills, holiday shopping and cash withdrawals whilst on holiday.

How do these debit cards compare to prepaid travel money cards or credit cards?

There are multiple options to consider when it comes to spending money overseas. Here’s how debit cards compare to popular alternatives like prepaid travel money cards and credit cards:

Bank accounts and debit cards to avoid when travelling

Although it can be easy and convenient to stick with your existing bank account and use your existing debit card for purchases and cash withdrawals on holiday abroad, doing so could work out to be very expensive. Some debit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of around 2.99% on all overseas purchases. So, if you were to pay for a meal costing £100, this would add an extra £2.99 to your bill that your bank would pocket. It might not sound like a huge sum, but it can quickly add up each time you spend over the course of your holiday.

What’s more, if you withdrew £100 cash on your card abroad, you’d be charged the 2.99% foreign transaction fee (£2.99), plus a cash advance fee on top. This cash advance fee is also often around 2.99%, so that’s another £2.99 to pay. In total, your £100 cash withdrawal would cost you £5.98.

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Account fee Overseas cash withdrawals Overseas card transactions
Spend & Save
Free
Europe: 2.99%
Elsewhere: 2.99% conversion fee plus a cash fee of 1.5%
Europe: 2.99%
Elsewhere: 2.99% plus flat fee of £1
Current Account
Finder Award
Current Account
Free
2.75%
2.75%
Barclays Bank Account
Free
£5 monthly fee for Barclays Blue Rewards
2.99%
2.99%
Everyday Current Account
Free
2.95%
2.95%
Bank Account
Finder Award
Bank Account
Free
2.75% conversion fee plus cash fee of 2% (Min £1.75, Max £5)
2.75%
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What are the pros and cons of using a debit card with no foreign transaction fees?

Pros

  • Access your own money. Since you’re accessing money from your own bank account, you don’t have to worry about repayments, paying interest or overspending.
  • Low or no foreign transaction fees. If you’re outside the UK for a considerable length of time and end up using your debit card regularly, low or no foreign transaction fees can lead to noticeable savings.
  • No transfers required. Since your debit card gives you direct access to money in your bank account, you don’t have to worry about transferring money from your account to another account or card.

Cons

  • No access to extra emergency funds. You can only access funds in your bank account, so in an emergency, a credit card could work better.
  • Limited choice of providers. While a number of UK financial institutions provide debit cards, not many offer debit cards with no foreign transaction fees, so your choices remain limited.
  • Conditions to meet. Fee-free foreign transactions and cash withdrawals might be limited to a set amount per month.

Bottom line

There’s no need to pay foreign transaction fees when you’re using your debit card abroad or buying something from an overseas website. There are a number of fee-free options to choose from that will save you money. Otherwise, you could end up paying fees of up to 3% of the value of the transaction, which will add to your costs significantly, especially if you’re on holiday abroad for days or weeks.

Frequently asked questions

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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