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  • FIRST POST
    • JustAnotherSaver
    • By JustAnotherSaver 2nd Jan 18, 9:28 PM
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    JustAnotherSaver
    Halifax or Barclaycard for going abroad?
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    Halifax or Barclaycard for going abroad? 2nd Jan 18 at 9:28 PM
    My sister is looking at ways of setting up legit direct debits after Tesco gave notice of them ending this feature on their savings. So she's looking at a credit card to use.

    She's also off on holiday (Spain) in the summer so it may as well be a card that will be of some use to her, so i was having a look & saw the Halifax Clarity and the Barclaycard Platinum.

    Just trying to figure out what would be best for her - hence why i'm here.

    She'll be going in the middle of the year so looking at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards that wipes out the 20 cashback offer from Halifax.

    She'll also be paying the card off in full.

    So on that note, looking at the two, the Barclaycard one appears to be the better one i would say - since you can withdraw from a cash machine abroad without charge, unlike the Halifax card where you get charged interest until it's paid off. Yes she could go online banking that day but for ease-of-use the Barclaycard one sounds better there.

    Is there any reason to go for the Halifax one then in this case, since the 20 cashback wont apply here?

    Like i say the Barclaycard one then appears better due to the cashback being unavailable but i don't know if i'm missing something.

Page 1
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 2nd Jan 18, 10:19 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:19 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:19 PM
    Two cards is better than one.

    Give Barclays priority, but why not take both?
    • JustAnotherSaver
    • By JustAnotherSaver 2nd Jan 18, 10:45 PM
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    JustAnotherSaver
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:45 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:45 PM
    Two cards is better than one.

    Give Barclays priority, but why not take both?
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I can't tell if you're being serious or not - the problems of just words on a screen

    Why not take both - well why take both? Why is 2 cards better than one when they're pretty much the same thing?

    If she was going abroad now or if the cashback deal lasted longer then i probably wouldn't even ask - i'd just say go ahead & get the Halifax one.

    But it's going to be the summer before she goes so that's the cashback out the window.

    One has a higher interest rate than the other but this also becomes pointless as she's paying off in full.

    So then looking for more differences & i found that one allows you to withdraw at a cash machine with absolute zero charge (if paid off in full on time) whereas the other doesn't.

    But i have a habit of missing key details which is why i'm here to see if i've missed a reason as to why Halifax is better.

    Why would you take out both then, out of interest?

    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 PM
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    YorkshireBoy
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 PM
    Why is 2 cards better than one when they're pretty much the same thing?
    Originally posted by JustAnotherSaver
    One is Visa. One is MasterCard. What if one network is down? What's her back up?

    What if Barclaycard block her account whilst she's abroad? Halifax would be a good back up. And vice-versa.

    Some general comments:

    MasterCard generally gives a better exchange rate.
    Two credit cards would give her 2 DDs (for your Tesco replacement activity).
    Re Halifax, why can't she buy something before she travels?...on the internet for a dollar?...or a euro?...or a whatever?
    When I travel abroad I carry 4 cards, all with favourable terms.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 2nd Jan 18, 11:47 PM
    • 7,354 Posts
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    buglawton
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:47 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:47 PM
    I've been pleased with the currency conversion savings using the Clarity card, but you must set up auto direct debit to pay off entire balances monthly.
    • JustAnotherSaver
    • By JustAnotherSaver 3rd Jan 18, 9:15 PM
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    JustAnotherSaver
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    One is Visa. One is MasterCard. What if one network is down? What's her back up?

    What if Barclaycard block her account whilst she's abroad? Halifax would be a good back up. And vice-versa.

    Some general comments:

    MasterCard generally gives a better exchange rate.
    Two credit cards would give her 2 DDs (for your Tesco replacement activity).
    Re Halifax, why can't she buy something before she travels?...on the internet for a dollar?...or a euro?...or a whatever?
    When I travel abroad I carry 4 cards, all with favourable terms.
    Originally posted by YorkshireBoy
    And this is why i like to ask on the forum - there's always a different way of looking at things (and you make some good points).

    Regards the buying something in foreign currency before she travels ... how? It's not something i've ever done myself aside from physically going abroad.

    Obviously she doesn't want to be spending 20s worth just to get 20. She'll want it as low as possible for maximum gains, but how?

    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 17,264 Posts
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    zx81
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:19 PM

    Regards the buying something in foreign currency before she travels ... how? It's not something i've ever done myself aside from physically going abroad.
    Originally posted by JustAnotherSaver
    I believe the internet contains some foreign websites which may charge in unusual currencies.
    • JustAnotherSaver
    • By JustAnotherSaver 3rd Jan 18, 10:10 PM
    • 3,013 Posts
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    JustAnotherSaver
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:10 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:10 PM
    I believe the internet contains some foreign websites which may charge in unusual currencies.
    Originally posted by zx81
    Yes, obviously, but when you don't really want anything in foreign money it's a bit tricky looking for something to spend on that you don't particularly want/need.

    What about a cheap item on foreign eBay? A piece of paper for 1 euro or something, which ships to the UK.

    Does that sort of thing qualify? Can you use your normal eBay account, do you need a (for example....) Italian one?

    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 4th Jan 18, 12:25 AM
    • 6,805 Posts
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    chattychappy
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:25 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:25 AM
    I've been pleased with the currency conversion savings using the Clarity card, but you must set up auto direct debit to pay off entire balances monthly.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Err.... no.

    If you are making purchases only, then the situation is just as if you are making UK purchases. Use DD if you want to. Pay off the full balance if you want to avoid interest. Up to you.

    If you are making cash withdrawals, then best to pay these off as soon as is convenient, even before statement generation. Interest is charged daily. Wait for DD day, and you could have as much as 7 weeks' interest.

    Interest is reasonable (at least on my Clarity) so I don't break my neck trying to pay it off instantly. But I'm online most days so it gets paid in a couple of days so I'm paying pennies interest. Oh and I usually pay the entire balance showing at that time, to avoid any issues of payments being applied to purchases ahead of ATM withdrawals.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 4th Jan 18, 7:59 AM
    • 7,354 Posts
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    buglawton
    Err.... no.

    If you are making purchases only, then the situation is just as if you are making UK purchases. Use DD if you want to. Pay off the full balance if you want to avoid interest. Up to you.

    If you are making cash withdrawals, then best to pay these off as soon as is convenient, even before statement generation. Interest is charged daily. Wait for DD day, and you could have as much as 7 weeks' interest.

    Interest is reasonable (at least on my Clarity) so I don't break my neck trying to pay it off instantly. But I'm online most days so it gets paid in a couple of days so I'm paying pennies interest. Oh and I usually pay the entire balance showing at that time, to avoid any issues of payments being applied to purchases ahead of ATM withdrawals.
    Originally posted by chattychappy
    Paying off the entire balance when due by DD is of course what I meant (and standard MSE advice for any credit card).

    The Ts&Cs of the Clarity card state that any earlier repayment than the due date is not permitted. Unsurprising that'll be because the only way the card issuer can make money is via charging interest. I've used my card for as many foreign currency purchases as possible when traveling, plus cash withdrawals whenever needed. As we know, by paying all off on due date by DD, purchases attract no interest, only cash withdrawals do.

    The total interest I've paid is very reasonable based on paying all off by DD on due date. I did a comparison to see how much I saved even with the interest, compared to old methods of normal credit & debit cards, and it worked out very well.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 4th Jan 18, 8:26 AM
    • 3,515 Posts
    • 1,696 Thanks
    eDicky
    A non-sterling purchase with the Clarity card from an overseas website, for example amazon.com, can be made for something that is wanted or needed anyway, and may even be cheaper than buying it on the UK site.

    But make sure that you are actually billed in the foreign currency, often a website or PayPal will detect the UK card and try to bill you in pounds, imposing their own exchange rate. There is usually a choice or opt-out available. Paying in pounds of course will not qualify you for the reward.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 4th Jan 18, 8:51 AM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,656 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Paying off the entire balance when due by DD is of course what I meant (and standard MSE advice for any credit card).

    The Ts&Cs of the Clarity card state that any earlier repayment than the due date is not permitted. Unsurprising that'll be because the only way the card issuer can make money is via charging interest. I've used my card for as many foreign currency purchases as possible when traveling, plus cash withdrawals whenever needed. As we know, by paying all off on due date by DD, purchases attract no interest, only cash withdrawals do.

    The total interest I've paid is very reasonable based on paying all off by DD on due date. I did a comparison to see how much I saved even with the interest, compared to old methods of normal credit & debit cards, and it worked out very well.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    You can pay what you want (up to account balance) between statement issue and due date. Same applies before the statement is issued.

    It's putting the account in credit that's not allowed (but rarely penalised).
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 4th Jan 18, 8:56 AM
    • 6,805 Posts
    • 3,699 Thanks
    chattychappy
    The Ts&Cs of the Clarity card state that any earlier repayment than the due date is not permitted. Unsurprising that'll be because the only way the card issuer can make money is via charging interest. I've used my card for as many foreign currency purchases as possible when traveling, plus cash withdrawals whenever needed. As we know, by paying all off on due date by DD, purchases attract no interest, only cash withdrawals do.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    (emphasis added).

    No, the T+Cs don't say that. You are entitled to pay off any transaction as soon as it has been processed. You don't need to wait for statement and you certainly don't need to wait for the due date. If you are making purchases only and you pay off in full by the due date you won't pay interest, whether not you pay by DD.

    In the case of cash withdrawals, (or if you are not paying the full balance or both), then the sooner you pay the less interest you will pay. If you have the money in your current account, the worst thing you can do is wait until the due date to pay, be that by DD or manual payment because you will pay the most interest*.

    What is prohibited is pre-loading - ie making payments to put a positive balance on your CC in attempt to avoid interest on cash withdrawals.

    (* of course if you are travelling it may well be that making earlier manual payments is not practical. So that might be a good reason to leave it to a DD. Paying interest could still be good value compared with hours wasted trying to get dodgy wifi connections working)
    • takman
    • By takman 4th Jan 18, 10:06 AM
    • 3,393 Posts
    • 2,996 Thanks
    takman
    Yes, obviously, but when you don't really want anything in foreign money it's a bit tricky looking for something to spend on that you don't particularly want/need.

    What about a cheap item on foreign eBay? A piece of paper for 1 euro or something, which ships to the UK.

    Does that sort of thing qualify? Can you use your normal eBay account, do you need a (for example....) Italian one?
    Originally posted by JustAnotherSaver
    Just get something off a site like Aliexpress, for the equivalent of 1 euro you can get much more than a piece of paper including shipping to the UK.
    • LuSiVe
    • By LuSiVe 4th Jan 18, 11:33 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 1,113 Thanks
    LuSiVe
    The cashback offer will likely reappear for Clarity. I got it last September when it expired at the end of September.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 5th Jan 18, 12:24 AM
    • 7,354 Posts
    • 3,849 Thanks
    buglawton
    (emphasis added).

    No, the T+Cs don't say that. You are entitled to pay off any transaction as soon as it has been processed. You don't need to wait for statement and you certainly don't need to wait for the due date. If you are making purchases only and you pay off in full by the due date you won't pay interest, whether not you pay by DD.

    In the case of cash withdrawals, (or if you are not paying the full balance or both), then the sooner you pay the less interest you will pay. If you have the money in your current account, the worst thing you can do is wait until the due date to pay, be that by DD or manual payment because you will pay the most interest*.

    What is prohibited is pre-loading - ie making payments to put a positive balance on your CC in attempt to avoid interest on cash withdrawals.

    (* of course if you are travelling it may well be that making earlier manual payments is not practical. So that might be a good reason to leave it to a DD. Paying interest could still be good value compared with hours wasted trying to get dodgy wifi connections working)
    Originally posted by chattychappy
    Interesting, I'll review the ts&cs doc. Even so I wouldn't want the card cancelled because Halifax doesn't fancy me as a customer any more (have read this can happen).

    Like this post discussing Clarity overpayments said:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=42996198&postcount=11
    Leaving it all to the DD only costs a few quid in interest over the period of a holiday. Which seems excellent value to me.
    • zerog
    • By zerog 5th Jan 18, 12:30 PM
    • 2,367 Posts
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    zerog
    Interesting, I'll review the ts&cs doc. Even so I wouldn't want the card cancelled because Halifax doesn't fancy me as a customer any more (have read this can happen).

    Like this post discussing Clarity overpayments said:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=42996198&postcount=11
    Leaving it all to the DD only costs a few quid in interest over the period of a holiday. Which seems excellent value to me.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Paying no interest is better value to me.

    I've found that waiting a day or two doesn't result in any interest, so if you know you will have better internet access in another location then it's ok to wait a short while. IME, it should be paid off on the same UK calendar day that the cash withdrawal appears on your statement (and that's the only way to find out the exact amount anyway).

    I only use my Clarity for cash withdrawals and in the rare case that my other cards are declined, and always pay off ASAP. Halifax has not ditched me yet, after 5 years...
    • ricky_v
    • By ricky_v 5th Jan 18, 11:41 PM
    • 305 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    ricky_v
    I only use my Clarity for cash withdrawals and in the rare case that my other cards are declined, and always pay off ASAP. Halifax has not ditched me yet, after 5 years...
    Originally posted by zerog
    I'd look into Starling bank as they have a Mastercard debit card FX fee free and their account pays some interest of 0.5% from memory, which isn't market leading but better than paying Halifax interest.

    Before Starling I paid the clarity card off as soon as I got back from holiday as it's about 25% APR, I could go to the extreme and try to pay it off while I'm on holiday, but for the sake of 4p, 5p, or even 13p (the most interest I've been charged) I personally would rather just enjoy the holiday
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 6th Jan 18, 10:41 AM
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    chattychappy
    Interesting, I'll review the ts&cs doc. Even so I wouldn't want the card cancelled because Halifax doesn't fancy me as a customer any more (have read this can happen).

    Like this post discussing Clarity overpayments said:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=42996198&postcount=11
    Leaving it all to the DD only costs a few quid in interest over the period of a holiday. Which seems excellent value to me.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    (emphasis added)

    Yep that's overpayments which I would never do. It is not an overpayment if you pay after you've made the transaction.

    Trust me, most of my transactions are foreign and I am withdrawing cash every week on Clarity or Santander Zero (which works the same way). I have never used a DD and I always pay off a few days after the transaction - depending on the timing, usually before statement generation. I've had Zero since it was an Abbey National Zero card!

    The only issue is you mustn't put the account deliberately in credit - ie send them money to cover transactions you haven't made yet. That is for regulatory reasons and is reflected in the T+Cs. The experience here is that people get away with it, but the inconvenience of having a card blocked means it's not worth it (IMHO).

    Whether it's worth paying just after a cash transaction or letting a DD take the money on the due date is up to you. On my current interest rates and a 250 withdrawal, using DD in that way would cost me up to 4.40 on Clarity and 11.00 on Zero. As you say, "a few quid", but too may quids for my liking on just 250.
    Last edited by chattychappy; 07-01-2018 at 10:16 AM. Reason: missing word
    • A_T
    • By A_T 6th Jan 18, 12:24 PM
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    • 288 Thanks
    A_T
    I never go abroad with less than 3 cards (Clarity, Santander Zero, Post Office Platinum for purchases). ATMs abroad can be very hit and miss.
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