Aqua Reward 3% Cashback - The best card for foreign purchases?

Hey All,

A bit of advice, if poss...2 queries...

1) I've got the Halifax (Reward) Clarity card - and that's billed as the best credit card for foreign use, but is the Aqua Reward Card better for foreign purchases (not cash withdrawals) as a result of the 3% cashback on purchases?

That's assuming you're not going to be going over the maximum £100 yearly cashback amount.

2) Also, for withdrawals abroad, the Halifax Clarity is again billed as the best (unless you are a customer of certain banks (eg N&P, Metro Bank).

An advisor at Halifax told me that if I put my card in credit before I go abroad, I wouldn't be charged interest and would just be able to withdraw at the exchange rate, no loading fee, no interest, so long as I was not actually borrowing on the card through making the cash withdrawals.

I should probably take a paid employee's word for it, but just wondered what you guys thought about this last point also...

Cheers

Replies

  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    If your going to spend, then the aqua is the best bet (because of the cashback). If you are going to withdraw, use the clarity card as you would be charged an ATM fee with the Aqua.

    Of course make sure you pay in full each month.
  • aleph_0aleph_0 Forumite
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    An advisor at Halifax told me that if I put my card in credit before I go abroad, I wouldn't be charged interest and would just be able to withdraw at the exchange rate, no loading fee, no interest, so long as I was not actually borrowing on the card through making the cash withdrawals.

    In general, credit cards are designed not to carry a positive balance, so I would advise against putting your card in credit. I seem to remember that there was a rather long discussion on here a while back about whether the clarity card actually prohibited pre-loading the card or not (in general there are three questions: Whether your T&Cs actively prohibits it, whether one thinks that can be seen as implied consent and whether it will be enforced).

    If you don't pre-load, you will pay very little interest if you pay off the card quite quickly after this, so is still almost the cheapest method.
  • HerbalusHerbalus Forumite
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    Don't preload your card. The best advice here is to send a faster payment after withdrawing the cash. Cash on Halifax is much better on Aqua - the APR is 35%.

    You are right that the purchases on Aqua are better than Halifax because of the 3% cashback. You should be aware though that they are no longer accepting new Aqua Reward applications.
  • Thanks guys - you are absolutely right - i rang up the credit card line at Halifax and the advisor was very annoyed that I had been told that by someone in branch and wanted all their details :o

    I also spoke to the Aqua team (who I think are actually the same as the Halifax team!) and they said that the 3% cashback offer is still there - it isn't on the website, but if you go to the application page it mentions it there - hopefully they told me right about this!

    Another question... :D

    I actually have both a Halifax Clarity and Nationwide Select.

    The Nationwide Select is at interest of 9.9% I think and the Halifax is higher, I think I was in the middle bracket, so something like 17%.

    So, even though Halifax is at higher interest rate, because of the Nationwide Select's other fees, is it still better to use the Halifax Clarity along with the method you described (paying it off quick), or should I do the same but with the Select card because of the lower interest rate I have on it?

    Thanks again
  • edited 25 April 2013 at 5:16PM
    HerbalusHerbalus Forumite
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    edited 25 April 2013 at 5:16PM
    I also spoke to the Aqua team (who I think are actually the same as the Halifax team!) and they said that the 3% cashback offer is still there - it isn't on the website, but if you go to the application page it mentions it there - hopefully they told me right about this!

    I managed to find the Reward page on their website a few days ago (wanted to look at the terms and conditions), but when I clicked 'Apply' it said the card had been withdrawn. If you want this I suggest you apply over the phone.
    I actually have both a Halifax Clarity and Nationwide Select.

    The Nationwide Select is at interest of 9.9% I think and the Halifax is higher, I think I was in the middle bracket, so something like 17%.

    So, even though Halifax is at higher interest rate, because of the Nationwide Select's other fees, is it still better to use the Halifax Clarity along with the method you described (paying it off quick), or should I do the same but with the Select card because of the lower interest rate I have on it?

    You are correct in saying the Clarity card is cheaper. The Select card would immediately penalise you 2.5% (min £3) on each cash withdrawal, plus 9.9% per year, but the Clarity would offer you 17% per year, so a total of roughly 1.41% if you left the transaction on your account for a month. Obviously less if you pay it sooner.

    For purchases it doesn't matter which you use.
  • knightstyleknightstyle Forumite
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    You can arrange for your bank to make payments several weeks in advance. So time your overseas cash withdrawals for a day before an advance bill payment to the Halifax CC. If you overspend as we did you can ring or go online next day to make a bill payment to cover the extra. We did and only had £1.27 in charges for around £600 purchases and £1000 cash withdrawals.
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