UK debit cards with low or no foreign transaction fees

Regularly make international purchases? Opt for a debit card with no foreign transaction fees to save you money.

Compare overseas fees of banks Compare fees
Cards with low overseas fees Read reviews

If you often buy from foreign websites or frequently travel internationally, you’re likely to have encountered your bank charging you fees for foreign transactions. The good news is that some banks charge far less – or nothing – for these purchases. This guide shows you the banking apps that don’t charge for foreign transactions and gives tips for choosing the right card for you.

UK debit cards with low or no foreign transaction fees

1 - 9 of 9
Name Product Account fee Overseas cash withdrawals Overseas card transactions Switching deals benefits Incentive Link
Select Account
Free
2.75%
2.75%
Free 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
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OFFER
First Direct Current Account
Free
2.75% conversion fee plus 2% cash fee
2.75%
£175 for accounts switched using Current Account Switching Service or a £20 welcome cash offer to open an account.
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OFFER
Everyday Current Account
Free
2.95%
2.95%
Sign up for Santander Boosts to receive cashback, vouchers, offers and prize draws from selected retailers.
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Current Account - Age 18 and over
Free
£0
£0
No fees overseas.
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Bank Account
Free
2.99%
2.99%
Eligible for Barclays Blue Rewards.
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Chase Current Account - Current Account
Free
0%
0%
Receive 1% cashback on everyday purchases for 12 months from account opening.
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Bank Account
Free
2.75% conversion fee plus 2% cash fee
2.75%
Eligible for Regular Saver product.
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Classic
Free
Europe: 2.99% conversion fee plus £1.50. cash fee
Elsewhere: 2.99% conversion fee plus £1.50 cash fee
Europe: 2.99% plus flat fee of £0.50.
Elsewhere: 2.99% plus flat fee of £0.50
Everyday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Lloyds Bank credit or debit card.
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FlexAccount - Funded
Free
2.99%
2.99%
£200 for accounts switched when at least 2 direct debits are switched using the Current Account Switch Service.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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

Starling Bank - Current Account - Age 18 and over

Current Account - Age 18 and over
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
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£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0.05% AER

Interest (AER)

No fees overseas.
This online-only current account offers free ATM withdrawals abroad, alongside fee-free spending when overseas. The smartphone app which customers use to manage their account contains a wealth of features, including an analysis of your spending, the ability to freeze your debit card if it is lost or stolen, and instant notifications every time you spend money. Customers can pay in cash via the Post Office. Meanwhile, cheques can be cashed via the “Cheque Deposit” feature within the app. Account holders can also easily transfer money to their friends using the “settle up” and “pay nearby” features.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable .
  • Free UK current account, usually up and running in a matter of minutes. Card delivered within a week.
  • Slick mobile app packed with budgeting and saving features, including spending categorisation and saving goals.
  • Safe and secure, fully licensed by the FCA and PRA.
  • While Starling offers a wide range of services, it’s still a fairly new bank, so does not yet offer more complex services such as mortgages.
  • There aren’t any bank branches, but you can use the Post Office to deposit and withdraw cash.
Interest rate 0.05% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions £0
Overseas cash withdrawals £0

Revolut - Revolut Standard

Revolut Standard
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
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£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Get 3 months of Premium for free. For new customers only, T&Cs apply.
If you open a Revolut Standard account, you'll be able to spend on your card fee-free on weekdays at the interbank exchange rate in 150 currencies. Should you need to spend on your card at the weekend, you'll be charged a markup of either 0.5% or 1%, depending on the currency. Foreign transactions are limited to £1,000 a month and if you exceed this, a 0.5% fee will apply. Fee-free cash withdrawals are limited to £200 a month, after which a 2% fee applies. The account also lets you hold and send money in more than 30 different currencies worldwide.
  • Quick application,
  • No credit check or proof of address,
  • Set budgets and save 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
Interest rate 0% AER
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)

Monese - Monese

Monese
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Go to site Read review

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Get a free £10 bonus when using your card to make a transaction for the first time using the promo code FINDER22 plus earn up to £30 from each friend you refer.
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 either the Classic or Premium plan (which charge 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 and a fee of £1.50 will apply to cash withdrawals.
  • 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.
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Account fee £0

Chase - Chase Current Account - Current Account

£0

Min. opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Receive 1% cashback on everyday purchases for 12 months from account opening.
The Chase current account comes with a Mastercard debit card that won't charge any fees whenever you spend or withdraw cash on your card abroad. Chase uses the Mastercard exchange rate when paying in the local currency, making it a competitive offering. However, there is a monthly withdrawal limit of £1,500. There is no monthly maintenance fee with the Chase account and you can earn 1% cashback on everyday spending in the UK and abroad for the first 12 months. The account also links to a savings account and has a round-up feature to round up your spending to the nearest pound.
  • No monthly account charge
  • No fees for spending or making cash withdrawals abroad
  • 1% cashback on a wide range of purchases
  • 5% interest on savings generated by the “round ups” feature
  • 1.5% interest on balances in the linked Chase saver account
  • 24/7 in-app customer support
  • 1% cashback and 5% interest offers only run for 12 months
  • No branches if you prefer face-to-face banking
  • Can’t deposit cash or cheques into the account
  • Overdrafts not available yet
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee No
Account fee £0
Overseas card transactions 0%
Overseas cash withdrawals 0%

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is 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, so it will charge you a fee for that.

The foreign transaction fee is usually around 3% of the transaction value, which is quite high if you’re making large payments. For example, if you bought something on a US website for £300 and the bank applies 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, which lets you access your own money to make everyday purchases in-store or online and withdraw your own money from a cashpoint. Some of these debit cards come affiliated with Visa or Mastercard, so you can use them to buy things while travelling without having to pay foreign transaction fees.

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 low foreign transaction fees:

  • Save money on international purchases made online. Debit card international transaction fees typically vary from 2-3% of the transaction value. If you often buy things from overseas online, 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 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 can use it at cashpoints and also for online transactions on international websites from within the UK and when you’re travelling.
  • 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.
  • 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?

While 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:

  • Foreign transaction fee. This fee is a combination of what your card provider charges along with what the payment processor charges. You 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 cashpoint fees. When using your debit card to withdraw money from an overseas cash machine, the cashpoint owner charges a fee, as does your card provider. You can lower your cashpoint-related costs by withdrawing money from your provider’s international cashpoint partners, withdrawing large sums to reduce your cashpoint visits or switching bank accounts to one which charges no or low international cashpoint fees on its associated debit card.
  • 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.
  • International money transfer fee. If you’d like to send money to someone overseas from your regular bank account in the UK, your bank is likely to charge you a hefty fee, sometimes over £20. To avoid this, opt for a dedicated international money transfer service when sending money to someone overseas rather than using your bank.

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

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

Credit cards

Credit cards, like debit cards, attract international transaction fees and cashpoint fees. Credit cards can give you access to extra funds outside of your available debit balance, which can come in handy during emergencies.

Since a credit card gives you access to money you don’t really have, overspending can become a problem and you could end up accruing high amounts of interest if you’re unable to pay your balance in full. Also, be aware that using your credit card to withdraw funds from a cashpoint, or to buy foreign currency or traveller’s cheques, is considered a cash advance transaction, which attracts an additional fee. You can compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees here.

Travel money cards

A travel money card gives you the ability to load multiple currencies onto a single card to avoid currency conversion fees, and you can lock exchange rates in place before you travel. Depending on the card you’re using, you may be charged a fee when loading funds on the card or withdrawing money from cashpoints.

Make sure you compare your options, though, as different travel money cards will offer different exchange rates and load fees. You can compare some prepaid travel money cards here.

What are the pros and cons of using a debit card with low 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.
  • No conversion required. Using your debit card to pay in foreign currency is easy and does not require you to carry out complicated calculations. Your card provider does this for you using current exchange rates.

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. There may be account conditions you’re required to meet in order to enjoy no foreign transaction fees.
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The bottom line

Foreign transaction fees from spending abroad or buying from foreign websites can be a pain, but it is possible to reduce these fees by choosing the right bank account with the right debit card.

A foreign transaction fee is applied by your bank whenever a currency conversion is required, and these fees can add up t0 as much as 3% of the transaction value.

By using the right debit cards you can spend your own money overseas and avoid foreign transaction fees, while benefiting from some of the best exchange rates on offer.

Frequently asked questions

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