I have a credit card that I use to collect enough air miles to upgrade my flights and fly about for free. The problem with many cards is the horrendous fees that it charges me when I am abroad.
I just booked a night at the stunning Monte Carlo Bay Hotel in Monaco. I had to use my Amex card as I was booking with an Amex offer. The cost of my room was €486 EUR, which equated to £442.20 GBP. I was given an exchange rate of 1.1319, and I was charged a non-sterling transaction fee of £12.84 GBP. My transaction fee was a hefty 2.9% of my spend. I can’t tell you whether Amex also made any money out of me from the exchange rate they charged, as I did not note down the interbank exchange rate for that day.
Over an average luxury holiday with an overall spend of £5,000 GBP and assuming a similar fee, but without considering exchange rates, which are more difficult to make sense of, you would end up spending £145 GBP in fees if you only use your Amex card.
Let me share even more pain with you; when you withdraw money from ATM’s, the fees and exchange rate are often even worse. Read more about these nasty ATM fees in my review.
Revolut! I have reviewed Revolut in more detail, but in a nutshell, this is a free app and free contactless VISA card that allows you to spend all over the world (130 countries) with no fees. You can also exchange currencies at the interbank rate, which is the rates banks give each other, and which is a far better rate than any bureaux de change. You can also take up to £200 GBP cash out from any ATM around the world with this free card, per calendar month, with no commissions.
Right now this card is only available to my UK and EU readers. If want this card, enter your mobile number here to get your free Revolut card.
The good news is that there are imminent plans to expand the card to North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australasia, so please feel free to register your interest for the card on our Luxury Travel Concierge page. Submit your name and email address to get yourself at the front of the queue. We will personally email you when the card becomes available beyond the EU.
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