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  • Krispy 28 posts

    I currently have the Halifax clarity, which is decent but I find the app isn’t great with notifications straight away/soon after using the card.

    Is there any card that is decent for use abroad, with a bonus if any rewards?

    I know the virgin Atlantic cards are 0% in EUROZONE

    Keen to avoid a debit card for protection reasons

    BBbetter 819 posts

    None.

    Alex G 472 posts

    Most of my overseas spending is on things that I don’t need S75 protection on, so I use the Chase debit card for the cashback, and the Halifax MC for hotel and car hire deposits.

    One thing I will say though is don’t rely on just one credit card. I had a weird situation a couple of weeks ago where I wanted to refill a hire car before returning it. My Chase DC and Halifax MC were both declined, as was my partner’s Chase DC. All three cards had been widely accepted throughout the rest of the trip. In desperation, I offered up my Amex BAPP, which worked fine.

    NorthernLass 8,533 posts

    Same here, I tend to use Curve with Virgin/Barclaycard for most things but carry a couple of actual credit cards as back up.

    Tony5896 16 posts

    Most of my overseas spending is on things that I don’t need S75 protection on, so I use the Chase debit card for the cashback, and the Halifax MC for hotel and car hire deposits.

    One thing I will say though is don’t rely on just one credit card. I had a weird situation a couple of weeks ago where I wanted to refill a hire car before returning it. My Chase DC and Halifax MC were both declined, as was my partner’s Chase DC. All three cards had been widely accepted throughout the rest of the trip. In desperation, I offered up my Amex BAPP, which worked fine.

    I’ve just had this in Rhodes, although the physical card (chase and Santander credit) was declined but using my phone to tap worked .. upon returning to UK. cards worked as normal.

    Harrier25 913 posts

    With so many better cards available these days, I can’t believe that people are still popping up on a points promoting forum saying that they’re still using Halifax Clarity.

    It was a good card…a decade ago.

    Alex G 472 posts

    What would you recommend then?

    Harrier25 913 posts

    In Europe Virgin Atlantic and worldwide, I suppose it’s what you qualify for as some options are business cards or for higher earners, but personally it would be Curve Black Legacy backed with the Hilton Barclaycard at the moment.

    Even using the Barclaycard Rewards credit card would be a better option than Halifax Clarity. At least you’ll still be earning 0.15% in cashback with fee and interest free cash withdrawals, if needed.

    ekposh 247 posts

    I never knew this and guilty as charged, still use Clarity. I guess Barclaycard Reward is better due to cashback but marginal at 0.15%

    davefl 1,474 posts

    Clarity is still great as a backup card. Barclays under reported cashback card is globally fee free but never gets mentioned on here because people would rather have a avio rather than 0.25% cash back

    Alex G 472 posts

    The Hilton Barclaycard is no longer available to new customers and hasn’t been for many years.

    Ditto Curve Black Legacy.

    OP wanted S75 protection, which you don’t get with Curve.

    Barclaycard Rewards is fine, but currently you can only have one Barclaycard, so getting the Rewards card means you can’t have Barclaycard Avios.

    Personally, I find Barclaycard Avios a useful backup to my Amex BAPP, so I will be sticking with Halifax Clarity for non Sterling transactions.

    NorthernLass 8,533 posts

    Is S75 strictly necessary? This was discussed fairly recently but especially if it’s a leisure trip most purchases are going to be F & B, fuel, attraction entry, etc. I’d rather avoid the 3% FX hit (unless using Virgin card in Europe). I suppose it’s a bit different if you habitually buy goods abroad to bring home.

    Reeferman 39 posts

    Am surprised you find a delay with notifications soon after using the Halifax Clarity Card. My experience has been the reverse – almost all of my transactions are instantly available on the App. Am currently using it in France and, for example, restaurant transactions on the App before I leave the table.

    Froggee 1,001 posts

    With so many better cards available these days, I can’t believe that people are still popping up on a points promoting forum saying that they’re still using Halifax Clarity.

    It was a good card…a decade ago.

    There is no wrong/right answer here (well I guess there is wrong if you use a random debit card that charges 3% FX) but generally if I can’t believe something, I stop and check that I’m not doing something suboptimal.

    Anyway, Rob now uses the Currensea card which many on here can’t believe but he rightly makes the point that for the sort of spend he is talking about, he can’t be bothered faffing about with a separate card.

    I still have Curve but, like many on here, I stopped using it after Creationgate. Recent reports sound like customer service with Curve has declined also. So I also use Halifax Clarity outside Europe when I want s75. (Virgin is great for Europe). I use Revolut Metal for day to day spending so 1% cash back and Mrs Froggee has Chase so 1% cash back.

    Everyone is different – you might think I’m wasting my money on the Revolut metal fee but I’m thinking it actually has a negative cost to me as I’m saving money on my FT subscription!

    Some people think s75 is unnecessary. I’ve used it once and it saved a lot of hassle on £700 as one phone call to the card issuer solved my problem. @JDB (who I respect so much I have an I❤️@JDB tattoo on my left buttock) values s75 immensely and happily uses his Amex gold to ensure he gets in when he wants despite happily still using Curve.

    I’m a miser so on my pending US trip, the only substantial US$ expense is a Villa in Orlando and it was booked with Halifax Clarity for s75 reasons. As a sweetener they have a current promotion for me that offers 0.5% cash back. Our internal flight was booked with United in GBP (which weirdly was at better than spot). Our one egregiously overpriced night at a Universal hotel was booked with and billed by Amex in GBP. Car hire with BA in GBP. Airport hotel will be paid on checkout in a mixture of Hyatt gift vouchers and Revolut.

    Curve will stay home.

    So in conclusion many different answers which work for many different people.

    Andrew. 514 posts

    I currently have the Halifax clarity, which is decent but I find the app isn’t great with notifications straight away/soon after using the card.

    That’s odd. I get notifications almost instantly. In fact, I often get double notifications from both the BoS and HfX app.

    Skywalker 764 posts

    @JDB (who I respect so much I have an I❤️@JDB tattoo on my left buttock

    Please can you update your profile pic with this image? 😀

    Benilyn 156 posts

    Upside of credit card easier to deal with any potential fraud issues? Or have a credit card just for abroad and lock it in the app when not in use?

    tw33ty 207 posts

    I travel most weeks for work, For personal spend abroad I use curve during the week or zing at the weekends.

    For business spend, I use Amex bonvoy or whichever card I’m trying to put spend on, don’t care if there’s a charge, not me paying the charge.

    Aston100 1,502 posts

    booked with Halifax Clarity for s75 reasons. As a sweetener they have a current promotion for me that offers 0.5% cash back.

    Tell me more please.

    Aston100 1,502 posts

    I currently have the Halifax clarity, which is decent but I find the app isn’t great with notifications straight away/soon after using the card.

    My one and only issue with Halifax Clarity is that they don’t seem to be able to send 2FA by anything other than SMS.
    I have fallen foul of this on almost every lengthy foreign trip, because my last few phones cannot take multiple SIMs and so I swap my UK SIM for a local one.
    Other card providers can manage to send the 2FA via email. Not sure why Halifax cannot do this.

    On the plus side, I always manage to get some compo from Halifax for the inconvenience.

    Rui N. 888 posts

    but personally it would be Curve Black Legacy backed with the Hilton Barclaycard at the moment.

    2 cards that no one can get then? Really useful *facepalm*

    Harrier25 913 posts

    I did say, ‘personally’ before mentioning them…and I did type 0.15% cashback, when of course the cashback amount on the Barclays Rewards credit card is 0.25%.

    Guernsey Globetrotter 656 posts

    If section 75 is important then of the points earning cards HSBC Premier World Elite may be the ‘least worst’ option, outside the EEA.

    You’ll have a 2.99% FX fee but get double points on overseas spending (so 2 Avios per £), which offsets a fair bit of the charge. The HSBC Premier account bundled travel insurance cover seems decent too.

    However, after the first 2 years (when you receive points bonuses equivalent to 20k Avios pa for hitting spend targets) the annual £195 fee also needs to be factored in.

    JDB 4,884 posts

    @Froggee – your analysis seems fair, although your fear of Curve is, I believe, misplaced. The Creationgate saga was not about Curve per se but rather the abuse it enabled. I don’t have any hesitation in using it where I don’t need s75. It has saved huge amounts of money over the years while earning me points and without getting yet another card; two Amex, HSBC and Barclays Avios+ (and the Curve) are at least one more than I really need.

    I do value s75 as a form of insurance. As @GuernseyGlobetrotter says with HSBC WE one can earn double points on FX spend as one can on the Amex Gold. Both have promotions to take that to 2.5 Avios per £ which gives that insurance for very little vs FX fee. I find Amex rates generally slight better than MC ones. Amex was several % better than MC in Argentina in Feb/Mar, but that’s a specific situation. Curve has been suspended there since December.

    With s75, there is the question of who makes it the easiest to claim and that’s probably Amex as there’s a more automated system but they have got much tighter.

    I haven’t made an s75 claim with Barclaycard for almost 20 years but then they paid out £1000 without fuss for a non delivered purchase.

    Last year I made a claim to HSBC for my wife. The card charge was about £375 but with other associated costs (charged on another card) came to a total claim of £600. The forms were very cumbersome but ultimately they got the £375 on chargeback after an appeal to MasterCard (following rejection by the merchant) and paid the rest under s75 plus £100 for not having paid within the stated time frame. That pays a few years of card fee and a bit of FX.

    Amex was great in Covid for getting refunds from Aeroméxico, Volaris and Aerolíneas Argentinas who basically blocked refunds. You get 3MR for airline purchases plus the 0.5MR so that feels a good deal.

    The focus on the last % of ‘fees’ and agonising as to whether the MC rate will be better/worse makes me laugh when I read what people are overpaying for or endlessly paying cancellation fees etc. etc.

    The other thing I can’t get my head around is that with these fee free cards, sometimes they don’t really seem to work as intended, notably fee free debit cards for cash withdrawal. I was in France last month and took out the max the machine would allow on my fee free First Direct card (MC) and my non fee free HSBC (Visa). Guess which had the lower £ total debit? My son had the same experience in Mexico using a fee free Coutts card vs my (then charging) FD card. Mine was again lower.

    Splitting a bill with a fee free card evangelist (accountant and FD of a big company) in Argentina. Halifax vs Amex Gold. Amex won!

    Froggee 1,001 posts

    Wow @JDB

    I’m surprised you got your wife for only £375 albeit £600 all-in. However I got the impression you’d been married for decades. Although I understand there is no time limit on claims under s75 I would have thought that there would be some reasonableness element to it?

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