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Nationwide & Thomas Cook credit cards to charge

New charges for using your credit card abroad

Thomas Cook and Nationwide are to start charging transaction fees for purchases made abroad.

Nationwide credit card

Nationwide Branch

In a disappointing move, Nationwide is to abandon its policy of not charging fees for using your credit card and debit card for purchases overseas. 

Whether you have to pay the new fee will depend on the country you’re visiting and will initially only apply to Visa credit and Visa debit transactions. 

If you have a Nationwide FlexAccount with a MasterCard you currently won’t be affected, although this may change in the future.

The new rules come into force on 6 May for Nationwide Visa credit cards and 1 June for Visa debit cards.

Thomas Cook credit card

Thomas Cook is also going to charge a foreign exchange fee on purchases abroad from 18 April 2009. If you plan to withdraw cash with your Thomas Cook credit card, you’ll also have to pay an additional cash handling fee of 2.99%, making this an expensive way to fund your holiday spending.

Get the best credit card for using overseas

To get the best credit card for your holidays, check out Which? Best Buy credit cards for overseas use.

Martyn Saville, credit card expert at Which? said: ‘Nationwide’s decision to start charging customers fees for most purchases outside Europe is incredibly disappointing. 

‘Nationwide had been a shining light to the credit card industry with its no-fee policy on overseas purchases – it’s a shame they’ve now fallen into line with the rest of the market.

‘With Thomas Cook also introducing credit card fees on overseas purchases from next month, consumers are left with very few good choices when taking a credit card abroad – only Abbey Zero and the Post Office credit card now fly the flag with no foreign exchange fees on worldwide purchases.’

We are currently reviewing both cards to see if they still qualify as Which? credit card Best Buys. 

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