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Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

can use my travel credit cards el­i­gi­bil­ity cal­cu­la­tor at mse.me/ trav­el­cardel­i­gi­bil­ity to find which of these are most likely to ac­cept you.

If I had to pick one, it’d be the hal­i­fax.co.uk Clar­ity which gives near-per­fect rates every­where and has low ATM costs. Plus, ap­ply now and spend abroad on it by the end of Septem­ber and you get £20 cash­back. Fail to fully re­pay and it’ll cost you 18.9% APR.

With­draw cash and you will pay in­ter­est even if you re­pay in full. It’s not too much, and it’s still bet­ter than most bu­reau de change – yet it does mean it’s far bet­ter to spend on the card than with­draw cash and spend that.

Al­ter­na­tively, any­one (though it will ID check) can get a monzo. com pre­paid card as it doesn’t credit-check you. Un­usu­ally, the card has no fees and gives you near-per­fect rates when you spend on it. You have to op­er­ate it via an app though, and usu­ally there’s a wait­ing list (though via mse.me/pre­paid­travel you can get it with no wait) re­tailer. Top pre­paid cards let you lock in to­day’s rate. Un­like credit cards which re­quire you to pass a credit check, any­one over 18 can get a pre­paid card. You usu­ally load them with cash, lock­ing in a rate on that day, then spend on them later. The top picks due to low fees and best ex­change rates is rev­o­lut.com for eu­ros, dol­lars, zlo­tys and Swiss francs, and weswap.com for a wider range of cur­ren­cies.

WHAT you re­ally want is cash (and it’s al­ways use­ful to have a lit­tle bit) – never wait un­til you get to the air­port, rates there are hideous. And ig­nore such mar­ket­ing spiel as ‘com­mis­sion free’ that just means they load the cost into the ex­change rate. In­stead just com­pare by sim­ply ask­ing how many dol­lars, eu­ros or what­ever you’ll get for your cash af­ter all fees. For help visit my trav­el­money­max.com site which com­pares over 30 bu­reaus to find the best rates.

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