Metro Bank introduces fees for withdrawing money abroad | Debit cards

Metro Bank customers who use their debit and credit cards while on vacation outside of Europe will have to pay fees starting in March, the company said.

The bank, which claims to be “reinventing the rules of retail banking,” currently offers free transactions for using the card abroad, but from March 18 it will impose a fee of 1.9% on all transactions outside of Europe and 1.9% on cash withdrawals plus a £ 1 fee.

The “overseas loading fee” will be charged whenever a customer uses a Metro Bank debit card to withdraw money or complete a “point-of-sale” transaction, such as paying a bill. hotel.

Craig Donaldson, Managing Director of Metro Bank, said: “The overwhelming majority of our customers’ card transactions occur in the UK or Europe, so we are confident that by offering completely free transactions in Europe and a exceptional value in the rest of the world our customers will continue to enjoy. “

So are there any cards that allow travelers to make completely free transactions abroad?

The Halifax Clarity Mastercard and Post Office Mastercard Classic and Platinum are free of charge. However, if you plan on withdrawing money during your trip, the only debit card that doesn’t charge is Nationwide’s FlexPlus, but it comes with a packaged account costing £ 10 per month.

Overall, you should avoid using a credit card to withdraw money abroad, as you would at home, as most providers charge an exchange fee of up to 3%. , warns Rachel Springall of

“Check before you go what your card provider charges, as many vacationers hit vacationers with fees of 2.75% or more on transactions, so Metro Bank’s fees aren’t as high as many,” says -she.

The exception is the Halifax Clarity credit card which, as long as you pay off your balance in full at the end of each month, has no fees, including cash withdrawal.