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Using a Credit Card abroad


Credit Cards can be a convenient payment method when you’re abroad – they’re convenient, safe, and could even earn you points as you travel. But there are a few fees attached to using your Credit Card abroad. Find out more.


How to use a Credit Card abroad


You don’t need to call in advance to tell us you’re going away. Your Card will work across the globe wherever American Express is accepted, allowing you to make payments and withdraw cash whilst you travel. Just be aware of any additional fees.


Your American Express benefits don’t stop when you set off…


Earn points as you travel


Every time you make a purchase on your Card, you’ll earn points1. Simply look out for places that accept American Express. Even better, one of our Rewards Cards – The American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card (Representative APR 59.9% variable) – allows you to earn double Membership Rewards® points for spend made in a foreign currency.


Enjoy something on the house


Taste from American Express brings your local dining experts’ favourite restaurants from all over the world. Each restaurant offers something extra on the house: either a discount, complimentary wine or appetiser.


Maintain peace of mind


No matter where you are in the world, we’ll be here when you need us, 24/7*. It’s extra peace of mind to know that help is just a phone call away. Call our Customer Service Centre on 0800 028 6434 from anywhere in the world.


Purchase Protection and Refund Protection offer repair or refund on eligible items if they are broken or stolen, within 90 days of purchase. Terms apply.


By law, fraud protection covers you for any unauthorised charges online. Please notify us immediately if you discover fraudulent activity on your Account.


Credit Card charges abroad


While your Card may work around the world, there are fees applied to some Card activities when you’re outside the UK. Take time to familiarise yourself with foreign transaction and cash withdrawal fees before you travel to avoid arriving home to an unexpected bill.


Foreign Transaction Fee


A foreign transaction fee is a percentage of the pound value of foreign currency transactions, so remember to factor these fees into your budget. American Express charges a currency conversion fee of 2.99% of the converted value of the transaction for each foreign currency purchase you make.


If you use your Card to withdraw cash abroad, a cash fee of 3% of the withdrawal amount or £3 (whichever is greater) will be payable in addition to the non-sterling transaction fee. You may need to enrol in order to withdraw cash and we may apply restrictions on the amount or the frequency in which you use the cash advance facility.


Is it better to pay in local currency on a Credit Card?


Paying in local currency means you’re guaranteed the American Express currency conversion rate, whereas paying in pounds means this decision is with the merchant’s bank.


Some foreign vendors might offer a way for you to pay in your own currency with a process called ‘dynamic currency conversion’. This may sound convenient, especially because it means you won’t have to do the mental math of converting thousands of yen, rupees, or Mexican pesos to pounds. But since dynamic currency conversion payments are usually processed through foreign banks, you’ll likely still have to pay a foreign transaction fee – even if you’re paying in your domestic currency.


Read more on the benefits of Credit Cards and their fees here. Travel frequently? Browse our Travel Rewards Cards and Air Miles Cards here.

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