Halifax Clarity Card review 2020

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If you plan to use your card overseas at merchants and atms, but aren’t so keen on the fees, this popular card has become the go-to. But many people don't realise that non-sterling cash advances won't benefit from the usual “up to 56 days” interest-free.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

0%

Balance transfer fee

19.9%

Representative APR

0%

Foreign transaction charge

£0

Account fee

Details

IssuerBank of Scotland
NetworkMastercard
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers19.95%
Balance transfer fee0%
Purchases19.95%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances19.95%
Min credit limit£0
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by


Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.

Expert review

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is one of the most popular cards on the market for taking overseas, with zero fees on spending abroad. 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 inflated exchange rate.

If you do opt to take this card away on your next trip, just bear in mind that if you use it to withdraw cash, the local ATM may still charge you a fee. If you’re outside of the EU, some merchants might also levy a surcharge on credit card transactions.

There’s one other important catch to note too: 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 if you clear your balance in full each month).

If you do opt for the Clarity, whenever you’re presented with the option to pay in the local currency or for the local merchant/bank to convert your funds to the local currency for you, 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).

Being a Mastercard, you’ll be able to use it at over 43 million locations worldwide. Plus, as a little bonus, you’ll have access to exclusive entertainment and travel experiences through the Mastercard Pricless 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 and cons

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases.
  • No cash withdrawal fees when you’re abroad (on any other card, this would be one of the worst things you could do).
  • No annual fee.

Cons

  • Cash advances at home or abroad don’t benefit from interest-free days (and “cash advances” includes buying foreign currency).
  • No 0% introductory offers.
  • No rewards.
  • Balance transfer fee.

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 this card compare?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated February 21st, 2020
Name Product Purchases rate Foreign transaction fee Foreign cash transaction fee Interest-free days on foreign transactions Interest-free days on foreign cash transactions Representative example
The Royal Bank Credit Card
9.9%
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
The NatWest Credit Card
9.9%
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
Tandem Bank Journey Credit Card Mastercard
24.9%
0%
0%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Ulster Bank Credit Card Mastercard
9.9%
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
Metro Bank Personal Credit Card Mastercard
14.9%
0% within the EU and 2.99% in other countries
0%
0 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 14.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 14.9% APR (variable).
Santander Zero Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
0%
0%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
Nationwide Member Credit Card All Rounder Offer
0% for 15 months reverting to 19.9%
0%
2.5% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Nationwide Member Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
0%
2.5% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard
19.95%
0%
0%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents 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.

Repayment options

When it comes to repayments, you can make manual repayments online or over the phone (0345 944 4555), or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit is a great idea because it protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee 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 the Halifax Clarity

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

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