Money and Travel

Money and Travel

Considering the current climate, most of us would agree that it is much safer to pay by card or contactless payment when we are out and about. So, I thought I’d review a few cards I have used when travelling abroad and why I think they are great. FYI, this is just my opinion and is based solely on my experience. ( I am not a financial adviser so, if you need more information, please speak to a qualified professional ).

Monzo

This was the first mobile banking card I signed up for, and to be honest, it has worked just fine since. I still use Monzo today, especially when saving towards particular destination pots. The account is easily accessed through the Monzo mobile app and there is a feature that allows you to freeze your card if you lose it. One of the great things about Monzo is that spending abroad is free and you are only charged the exchange rate at the time of transaction.

The app is also good for monitoring spending, receiving notifications for paydays, setting up bill payments and saving pots. There is an option for your salary to be paid in a day early. The salary sorter is a great feature that helps organise your finances and prevent overspending. Monzo also allows you to earn interest on savings. (visit Monzo for more details). It is easy to switch your accounts to Monzo and use it as your main debit account if that is your preference.

Sterling Card

Sterling card works like a debit card or pre-paid cash card. It is free to sign up for and does not charge any annual fees. Like Monzo, it can be managed through a mobile app which is very easy to use. You can simply transfer money into it your Sterling account and use it as a pre-paid cash card or equally if you prefer, it can be used as a debit card.

Another key advantage of using the Sterling card is that there are no withdrawal fees when using this card abroad. So, you can withdraw and spend as much as you like. You will only get charged the local exchange rate at the time. The app also has a feature that allows you to freeze the card if you lose it.

Tandem

This card is also free and has no annual fees or international fees when spending abroad. It does, however, charge fees for withdraws, so, if you chose to use this card, avoid making cash withdraws. It is better to use the card for purchases instead. It gives 0.5% cashback when you spend. Like all credit cards, make sure you pay the balance back in full each month to avoid penalties or ruining your credit score. This one comes with an easy to use app that gives you notifications to help you track spending. You can also freeze your card if you do lose it. ( visit Tandem for more information)

Curve

This product allows you to add both your debit and credit card into on card. With a Curve card, you don’t need to carry all your cards around with you. They are all accessible through the Curve card. It is operated through a mobile app where you can add your credit and debit accounts, then simply chose which account you want the money you are spending to come from.  The account is free to open. Cash withdraws of up to £200 per month and spending of up to £500  per month is free with Curve. Like many mobile banking accounts, you will only be charged the exchange rate at the time of transaction. But please note that a 0.2% fee is charged if you exceed these limits.  The added advantage of using this card is that you will avoid any fees that your other cards might charge while travelling abroad. There are added fees for weekend travel spends. (please read terms and conditions). It may not suit weekend travel.

It is always wise to have spare money in cash when you travel in case of emergency. Please wear gloves to reduce the spread of Covid -19 and wash your hands regularly.

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