Using a credit card abroad
Tips and information to help you make the most of your time away.
Credit cards are very useful when you’re abroad or travelling. You can use them just as you would at home as a way of paying for things. Plus, if you need to, you can take out a cash advance at an ATM or use to obtain local currency.
- At Lloyds Bank you don’t need to tell us in advance about where and when you’re going (this may vary depending on your credit card provider).
- In case of any travel emergencies, it’s worth bringing a few different ways to pay.
- You might pay foreign transaction fees for using your credit card abroad
Understanding the cost of using your credit card abroad
Most credit card providers charge you a fee for currency conversion when you’re abroad – and for withdrawing cash abroad you may also be charged a cash withdrawal fee. Your exchange rate will be set by your payment scheme provider – either Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
How fees work in practice
The exchange rate used below is for illustrative purposes only. We also assume that you convert the currency from euros to sterling. Depending on the provider you choose to convert your currency, there may be an additional charge added and they may use a different exchange rate, which could cost you more.
Should I pay in sterling or local currency?
When using your credit card abroad, you’ll often be given the option to pay in local currency or convert to sterling. To make an informed decision, you’ll need to check your card’s terms and conditions to see all of the costs in detail.
If you choose to pay in local currency...
- Your credit card provider will use a conversion rate offered by Visa, Mastercard or American Express. This will usually be better than the rate you would get from the retailer or ATM.
- Expect a small currency conversion fee and, if you’re withdrawing cash, a cash transaction fee.
If you choose to pay in sterling...
- This means the retailer or ATM will convert the currency to sterling for you. This will usually be at a less competitive exchange rate than you’d get from your credit card provider.
- You may also be charged a fee by the retailer or ATM for this service
Things to do before you go
Frequently asked questions
You can, but this will incur a cash advance fee and interest. We recommend only doing this in an emergency.
There is no quick answer to this question. It depends on what you’re using your card for.
Withdrawing cash will, most likely, be more expensive with a credit card.
To limit your interest costs in addition to any transaction fees, you may want to pay off your balances as soon as possible. For this, there are a range of different ways to pay your card.
If you're registered for Internet Banking, you can report your credit card lost or stolen online.
Or use your mobile app.
Or call us on 0800 096 9779.
If you're outside the UK, call +44 (0) 1702 278 270.
Speak to an advisor Mon-Sun, 7am – 11pm.
Don’t forget, if you think you’ve temporarily misplaced your card rather than it being lost or stolen, you can use the Card Freezes function on the mobile app. That way your card is temporarily frozen rather than blocked.
Important legal information
Lloyds Bank plc. Registered office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales No. 2065. Lloyds Bank plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278.