The best way to use the Halifax Clarity Card

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LCFC_FoxileLCFC_Foxile Forumite
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Hi fellow MSErs,

I've used a Halifax Clarity Card for the last few years for our annual holiday abroad, but have always arranged to take some Euros with us in advance, to use for cash purchases.

For the first time, I can see the MSE foreign money tool inform us that the Halifax Clarity Card is best for cash now as well.

So, my query is, does this mean withdrawing Euros once we are at our destination, is now cheaper than taking any cash with us, as we would normally do?

Thanks in advance!
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  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    Yes, it has always been that way. Exchanging cash is a pointless expense and hassle when you have a Clarity card.

    Just beware of DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion), a legal scam whereby a foreign ATM, especially in Spain, detects your UK card and attempts to convert your pounds at its own lousy exchange rate. Always look for and choose the option to decline, 'Without Conversion' or similar, so that your card does the conversion at the ideal MasterCard rate.

    Daily interest on the withdrawal will be incurred, but it's not significant if you pay it off early.
    Evolution, not revolution
  • zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    Some cashpoints in Spain charge for withdrawals, maybe about EUR1.50 or so, but still much cheaper than changing cash before going
  • LCFC_FoxileLCFC_Foxile Forumite
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    Should have mentioned, it's Crete we're heading to this year, though I'm guessing the charges are similar there too.
  • millermiller Forumite
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    eDicky wrote: »
    Daily interest on the withdrawal will be incurred, but it's not significant if you pay it off early.

    I've recently received an update to my clarity terms and conditions, coming into effect in September. AIUI payments made before the direct debit is taken will no longer reduce the direct debit amount.

    So, let's say you receive a statement with £500 of UK spending on and pay off £500 immediately. 25 days later your direct debit of £500 will be taken. You've not breached the section in bold IMO - granted they could still return the funds, which I think is unlikely so you would potentially benefit from interest free cash withdrawals up to the value of £500.
    You must not pay us more than you owe when you make payments to your account, or transfer funds from another credit or store card if this creates a credit balance on your account.If there is a credit balance on your account at any time, we may apply it to any recent transactions not yet shown on your account, or to transactions made after the date your account goes into credit. We may also return any credit balance to the account from which the money has been sent or pay the funds into a deposit account you hold with us. We do not pay interest on any credit balances or take them into account for the purpose of any reward schemes.
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    miller wrote: »
    I've recently received an update to my clarity terms and conditions, coming into effect in September. AIUI payments made before the direct debit is taken will no longer reduce the direct debit amount.

    So, let's say you receive a statement with £500 of UK spending on and pay off £500 immediately. 25 days later your direct debit of £500 will be taken. You've not breached the section in bold IMO - granted they could still return the funds, which I think is unlikely so you would potentially benefit from interest free cash withdrawals up to the value of £500.


    Havent the terms always said that
  • chattychappychattychappy Forumite
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    miller wrote: »
    you would potentially benefit from interest free cash withdrawals up to the value of £500.

    But that's not such a great benefit over operating Clarity more conventionally....

    My Clarity rate is 12.9%/year (I think the current rate offered is a bit higher). I pay a day or two after the withdrawal. So on £500 I would pay nothing to 30p, depending when it goes through.

    No need for DD, no need to break T+Cs, no risk of having funds returned or AML blocks or whatever.

    Oh and in your example, you are obtaining your "interest free cash" at the expense of "interest free purchases", because you are paying your statement balance immediately on receipt.
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    But that's not such a great benefit over operating Clarity more conventionally....

    My Clarity rate is 12.9%/year (I think the current rate offered is a bit higher). I pay a day or two after the withdrawal. So on £500 I would pay nothing to 30p, depending when it goes through.

    No need for DD, no need to break T+Cs, no risk of having funds returned or AML blocks or whatever.

    Oh and in your example, you are obtaining your "interest free cash" at the expense of "interest free purchases", because you are paying your statement balance immediately on receipt.


    Thats how I do it, also at 12.9%
  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    photome wrote: »
    Havent the terms always said that
    No, at present "One-off payments received 2 clear working days before the day your payment is due will reduce or stop the Direct Debit from leaving your account for that month." (Printed on statements.)

    The reason for the change is unclear, in the letter it mentions that "This change means that any additional payments to your account will no longer affect your Direct Debit payments, helping you pay off your balance more quickly." (?)
    Evolution, not revolution
  • DenebDeneb Forumite
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    I find that most foreign ATM transactions usually appear in Halifax online banking within 24 hours or sooner, albeit with an estimated sterling amount subject to confirmation of the conversion rate. I always transfer the estimated amount to the Clarity card straight away. You would have to be very unlucky in timing to then get more than a few pounds difference between the estimated and confirmed amount applied to your direct debit payment. In fact, I suspect the ATM transaction wouldn't appear on your monthly statement until the exact sterling amount had been confirmed anyway?
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    eDicky wrote: »
    No, at present "One-off payments received 2 clear working days before the day your payment is due will reduce or stop the Direct Debit from leaving your account for that month." (Printed on statements.)

    The reason for the change is unclear, in the letter it mentions that "This change means that any additional payments to your account will no longer affect your Direct Debit payments, helping you pay off your balance more quickly." (?)

    Ok thanks, it won’t make any difference to me as I don’t pay by DD
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