Travel Credit and Debit Cards – Luton Airport Guide

Using a specialist credit for your holiday spending can be one of the cheapest ways to make transactions while travelling in different countries, but you need to have applied for one in advance and keep it purely for spending abroad.

Credit Debit Card Benefits

  • Best cards are cheapest FX possible.
  • Great online exchange rates
  • Secure and safer than cash
  • Section 75 purchase protection on credit cards

Credit Debit Card Drawbacks

  • Exchange rate load may be added
  • Cash withdrawal fees may apply
  • Interest charges even when paid in full
  • Some may charge spending penalties

Credit and Debit Cards – The Basics

You spend, they add their fee on top of the conversion rate. In some cases interest can be charged, too. You can, and in most cases will, be charged for withdrawing cash. Often pretty heftily too. Look at cards offering such travel benefits closely and check that they fit with how you plan on spending. These cards are all meant for application in advance of your trip to, from or through Luton airport, however if + you don’t have time to apply for one then you could try getting one of the pre-paid currency cards or ordering cash or travellers cheques for pick up at Luton airport.

Specialist Travel Credit Cards

What makes them special? Won’t I still be charged just as much?

No, with these credit cards the hidden charges are low or there are none at all. If you spend £50 worth of Euros, that’s all you spend.

Can I withdraw cash on these credit cards?

In most cases you will still be charged for withdrawing cash, however some may offer no fees for cash withdrawal abroad.

Can I get one of these cards and use it as my main credit card?

With these credit cards it is best to keep them for abroad use only – this is where the advantages lie. Have a separate card to use in the UK. The providers of these cards are hoping that you will use them at home too, and charge extra for this.

I don’t want another credit card, are there any debit cards that do the same?

There used to be, but these are being phased out. It is also a lot more hassle to change your current account than it is to apply for a second credit card.

Is my spending protected?

If you choose to get one of these specialist travel credit cards, you receive Section 75 purchase protection, just as you would on a normal credit card.

As always, to take advantage of these credit cards, you will need to pay off your balance in full every month.

Some examples of travel credit cards are below. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and that whilst we endeavour to keep this information up to date, it is best to check with the credit card company directly.

Post Office

  • 0% foreign currency fees
  • 2.5% or £3 (whichever is greater) fee on cash withdrawals
Post Office Credit Card


  • Only available to those who hold a Nationwide main account
  • 0% foreign currency fees
  • 2.5% or £3 (whichever is greater) fee on cash withdrawals
Nationwide Credit Card


  • 0% foreign currency fees
  • 2% or £2 (whichever is greater) fee on cash withdrawals, however there is 0% interest for the first 55 days
Saga Credit Card

Note:This information was last updated on the 5th February 2015.