How not to get ripped off when using your card abroad

Something that has always irritated me whenever I go on holiday is just how much it costs to use my debit card for overseas spending. We’ve managed to get rid of mobile phone roaming charges in Europe, and some mobile phone companies even let you roam around the world for free (three).

Yet most banks still charge their customers through the nose, just for using their card abroad to make a purchase or withdraw cash. All the major banks are culprits – including Santander, Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest, TSB, Barclays and Halifax. They charge anything from 50p to £1.50 just for making a purchase, and on top of that add up to 3% commission on the real exchange rate. In addition to this, they charge at least £1.50 just to withdraw cash!

I’d like to share with you a clever way to beat the banks at this devious game and drastically reduce the cost of your holiday spending. Best of all, this method is completely free to access. The answer is Curve.

What is curve?

Curve is a card you can use in the UK and abroad without all the hidden currency exchange fees. It allows you to link all your credit and debit cards to it. Whenever you use the curve card at home and overseas, it charges the purchase to your linked card in your home currency. All your spending is easy to track on the app, which is available on iOS and Android.

How do I save money on overseas spending?

When you use your curve card in another country, curve use the mastercard exchange rate and charge your underlying card in British pounds. So as far as your bank is concerned, you’re making the transaction in the UK and so are able to avoid their extortionate charges for overseas spending.

It’s worth noting that Curve do add a tiny percentage (something like 1%) onto the foreign transaction amount, but the effect is you are still able to avoid your UK bank’s penalty fee and outrageous commission for using your card abroad.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one. It’s completely free.

Sounds great! Where do I sign up?

You can sign up to curve by downloading the app and signing up through it. Click here to download.

Don’t forget to use our referral code ODVTO to get 500 Curve reward points (worth £5.00) absolutely free.

This really is a no-brainer. Sign up to curve today!


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