This is my review of the Post Office Money Platinum credit card.
Link to apply: The Post Office Money Platinum credit card application page
Key facts: No annual fee, representative APR 17.8% variable
The Post Office credit card is provided by Bank of Ireland UK. Post Office Ltd is a credit broker and not a lender.
This review was first published in January 2015 and was updated in May 2016. All of the information is correct as of that date.
If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here for a free 30-day trial of Equifax’s online credit report service. Note that a monthly fee of £14.95 will be charged if you do not cancel during the 30-day free trial period.
Head for Points mainly looks at credit cards which give you frequent flyer miles or hotel points when you spend on them. After all, that is what this site is all about!
However, it is important to remember that credit card miles are not free miles. You need to compare the miles you get against what you could get from a cashback credit card. When travelling abroad, you need to see if the miles you earn justify the foreign exchange fee charged by your credit card company.
It is almost always a bad idea to use a mileage card for overseas spend. This is because all miles and points cards – and indeed almost all other UK credit and debit cards – charge a foreign exchange fee of 2.75% to 2.99%. Most card issuers hide this fee so you don’t realise you are paying it, because they simply adjust their exchange rate by 2.75%-2.99% rather than breaking the fee out.
This is why I like the look of the Post Office Money Platinum credit card.
It does NOT offer you any loyalty points when you use. It DOES, however, make everything you buy abroad up to 2.99% cheaper than it would be if you used a different credit card. And that is a substantially better deal!
There are about five credit cards on the market which do not charge foreign exchange fees on purchases. However, some of them have an annual fee (eg Lloyds) whilst others (eg Nationwide) are only available if you have a cheque account as well.
The Post Office credit card keep everything nice and simple:
There is no annual fee for the card
There is no foreign transaction fee. Your transactions are converted at the wholesale exchange rate set by MasterCard, which to all intents and purposes is the ‘spot’ rates.
You do not pay commission when using the card to purchase travel money at a Post Office.
You pay 0% interest on all purchases for the first three months
At the time of writing, you can make 0% balance transfers – good for 22 months – for no fee within your first three months of having the card
As a MasterCard, it is widely accepted wherever you travel
The only point which is not made entirely clear in their advertising is that the ‘no FX fee’ deal only applies to purchases. If you use your credit card to withdraw cash from a foreign ATM, you will be charged a 3% foreign exchange fee as well as the standard cash withdrawal fee. This is not a major problem for most people, though.
How do I apply?
Overall, I rate The Post Office Platinum credit card as a worthwhile addition to your wallet when travelling. You won’t earn any airline miles or points when using it, but you will get a 3% smaller credit card bill when you get home – and I know which is the better deal.
You can apply online via this link – there is no need to visit a Post Office branch to sign-up.