As Metro Bank Announces Fees for Using Cards Overseas, Advises Using Cash Instead

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Metro Bank has recently announced that a fee will be introduced for using their cards overseas effective from 18th March 2014. Now all banks charge a fee for overseas use of debit and credit cards adding holiday makers when paying for items abroad.

For all types of card transactions, an 'optional issuer fee' may be added to the wholesale exchange rate. This exchange rate fee typically ranges from 2.75% to 2.99%.

In line with other banks in the UK, now Metro Bank has announced that it will start charging a fee for using its cards overseas. With this announcement, all banks now impose a fee or a monthly charge for using their cards on holiday and a higher exchange rate on foreign currency than the high street.

“We have found that a lot of our customers are getting stung by high fees when using their cards on holiday. With Metro Bank’s recent announcement, customers of all major banks will now face these charges,” says Trevor Samuel, Marketing Manager of

There are many reasons for travellers to avoid using their debit or credit cards while on holiday. Paying by cash is more beneficial and cheaper than using your bank card overseas. South Wales Argus proposed a New Year resolution for travellers “not to pay more to pay” by using plastic.

There are several reasons to use cash instead of plastic:

1.    Most card issuers charge a cash withdrawal fee for using your card in overseas ATMs. The fees can vary from 1% to 3% based on your bank. This can increase the overall cost of holidays.

2.    You will not be aware of exchange rates for your foreign currency purchases until you receive your bank statement at the end of the month and usually the card issuer keeps a margin of over 2.75% on top of the wholesale exchange rates. The Office of Fair Trade says “For all types of card transactions, an 'optional issuer fee' may be added to the wholesale exchange rate. This exchange rate fee typically ranges from 2.75% to 2.99%.”

3.    When using a prepaid card, you will be left with limited options to top up from a different service provider despite adverse exchange rates. There is no option to switch over to another card for free unlike buying currencies with the best exchange rate on a given day.

4.    Unlike cash, it may not be practical to pay for small expenses such as taxi fares or meals using a card. According to MSN Money, “Apart from the risk of having your card stolen, restaurants are one of those rare places where someone actually walks away with your card and you don't see them for a few minutes. It is much better to use cash when dining out.”

5.    Your ability to control your expenses is limited when using cards. While it is easy to run up huge bills on your card, it can be much harder to repay it and this can take a considerable amount of time.

“For these reasons and the fact that Metro Bank has joined the slew of banks charging for using cards on holiday, we recommend using a reputable foreign exchange company like,” said Trevor Samuel.

About Best Foreign
Owned and operated by Thomas Exchange Global, offers the most competitive exchange rates in London and customers that reserve currencies online will be assured the same exchange rate until close of business on the particular day despite any adverse fluctuations. They stock the widest range of foreign currencies in London with over 120 types of foreign bank notes. All foreign currency buy/sell transactions are free of any commission or charges.

Thomas Exchange Global also offers International Money Transfer Service where funds can be remitted to overseas bank accounts within 1 to 2 days. With commission free service for transfers over £10,000 backed by competitive exchange rates, customers are assured of a better deal and a substantial saving compared to banks and money brokers. Thomas Exchange Global branches are located at Strand, Victoria Street, Liverpool Street, Hammersmith, Cannon Street and Wormwood Street.

For further details, visit or call 020 7240 1214.

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Rasika Dissanayake
Thomas Exchange Global
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