Best debit cards for use abroad


Just in case you had any doubt…

(May need to refresh page to see the article)


Given how paying in the US works around restaurants and tipping all on the card would a tandem credit card be better than my starling card? Specifically as the credit card would have more credit than my account balance?

Edit - I know I’m asking about credit cards :grinning:


I’ve applied for the Tandem card since it also gets MasterCard rate to cover the scenario in my last post


Yeah, for that and hotel/rental car deposits etc it’s useful to have a credit card as well.


Revolut seems to be a good candidate when comparing the overal cost of the overseas purchase


Yes, Revolut is good at what it does, but beware weekends when their rates are likely to be less competitive. I like the lock-in facility, however, and the multi - currency feature.


Absolutely right about the weekend issue , when staying abroad on holiday I can see myself having to navigate round that
The flexibility of having the borderless account is good
We have friends that have realy benefited with the lock in facility


Are we able to mention Curve here.


Of course


Let’s not forget that with the Curve functionality nearly all uk credit/debit cards become equally good


Not really. Curve add a 1% surcharge to non-GBP transactions, and a £2 fee for foreign ATMs, so whilst it’s better than using a lot of debit cards directly, it’s still inferior to Starling/Monzo/Revolut/a lot of travel cards.


Know the thread was originally on Debit cards but I also have the Aqua Reward Credit Card.

Zero fees on overseas POS and 0.5 % cashback up to £100 per annum (doesn’t sound a lot but at 0.5% you have to spend 20k to get this…).

Interest rate is terrible - given target market - but I always clear in full immediately after use, normally when abroad.


Just pointing out about Curve
Equally good to what Curve brings and yes those charges have now been pointed out
Curious about all those travel cards.


yes and no :wink: If you add a GBP card and do a non-GBP transaction such as Euro that is the case, however if your card is say a Euro card and you do a Euro transaction (i.e. non-GBP) that is not the case but it would be if you used GBP. You can also edit the currency of the card in the settings so for example it normally thinks the card is a GBP card when you are in the UK, but if you go to say Italy if you leave it on GBP they will try and convert the transaction to Euro, had you changed the card currency to Euro they would think it is in it’s home currency and not convert hence leaving it to your bank to convert. If the card is Starling or Monzo it is best to amend the card currency to match the transaction currency prior to purchase, but with high street banks leave it in GBP so Curve convert.


Thanks for the tip, Richard.

I’m off to ES tomorrow and have now configured Curve to charge Starling in EUR.

Hopefully I won’t forget to change it back to GBP on my return! :slight_smile:


I have to say I haven’t put this to the test myself but heard it from an attendee at a recent fintech working group. Let us know if this does actually work.


I discovered another big plus from Curve (apart from being a secondary card on an account, or, cashback at retailers) is effectively making a non contactless card into a contactless one!


It’s a good product with a lot of use cases.

I do wonder how they intend to make money? It made some sense when it was “for business use only”, as their BIN was MC Commercial.

However, the newly issued Curve cards have a MC Debit BIN (only 0.2% interchange?).


Good point. For those that don’t know the interchange % is higher for commercial cards than regular debit cards


Keep us posted, Ben.