The supply of cash on holiday is not always easy. Often, there are horrendous fees when withdrawing abroad. With some cards, however, holidaymakers can save on them.
Bremen – If you want to withdraw cash from an ATM on holiday, you often have to dig deep into your pocket. This is because banks often take high fees from their customers. It can be particularly expensive if a foreign currency is also required. But high fees do not have to be, because there are also credit cards with which withdrawing money abroad is (almost) free of charge.
Even when on holiday abroad, it is certainly advisable to always have some cash. However, if you withdraw this by credit card from the ATM, you often have to reckon with high fees. (Symbolic photo) © Imago
Avoid high fees – "Many credit cards are a real cost trap abroad"
With the wrong credit card, consumers abroad often pay unnecessary fees. As the consumer portal Check24 reports, an example family that goes on holiday abroad pays an average of 60 euros a year for a credit card. Solo travelers pay an average of 45 euros per year. According to the portal, these expenses are avoidable with a free credit card.
"Many credit cards are a real cost trap abroad," said Dr. Tim Koniarski, Managing Director of Cards and Accounts at Check24. "Often, withdrawing money and paying in a foreign currency incurs high fees. This usually incurs annual costs. With a comparison, consumers can find suitable free credit cards." For example, the Finanztip portal recently compared credit cards with a view to fees abroad:
|Provider and card type||Fees abroad||Fee for other currencies|
|Hanseatic Bank (Visa/Revolving)||0 € (worldwide)||0 € (worldwide)|
|Barclays (Visa/Revolving)||0 € (worldwide)||0 € (worldwide)|
|Comparison of branch banks (Top 5)|
|Commerzbank (Mc/Visa)||1.95 % (of turnover)||1.75 % (of turnover)|
|at least € 5.98 (plus foreign currency fee)|
|Deutsche Bank (MC/Visa)||2.5 % (of turnover)||1.75 % (of turnover)|
|at least € 5.75 (plus foreign currency fee)||min. 1,50 €|
|Postbank (MC/Visa)||2.5 % (of turnover)||1.85 % (of turnover)|
|at least € 5.00 (plus foreign currency fee)|
|Sparkasse (Stadtsparkasse München) (Mc/Visa)||2 % (of turnover)||1.75 % (of turnover)|
|at least € 6.00 (plus foreign currency fee)|
|Volksbank (Volksbank Berlin) (Mc/Visa)||2 % (of turnover)||1.80 % (of turnover)|
|at least € 7.50 (plus foreign currency fee)||min. 1,00 €|
Use of credit card while on holiday: There may also be a fee for bookings
In order to avoid additional costs when paying on vacation, additional attention should be paid to a few things. This includes, above all, if it is possible to pay in the respective national currency, recommends Finanztip. If the conversion is made at the service provider, a worse exchange rate often applies than at your own bank.
Some banks also charge a foreign currency fee – as shown in the table. This fee applies both when paying and when withdrawing currencies other than your own. Further fees may be charged by the ATM operators when withdrawing money.
Some cards are easier to pay abroad than others
There are different payment methods for cards, with debit cards, for example, the money is debited directly from the current account. According to Finanztip, however, there can be problems with debit cards when making bookings, such as for hotels, because the cards are sometimes not accepted. In the worst case, it can even happen that bookings made online cannot be picked up on site. So if you usually use a debit card to pay, it's best to take another card with you on holiday.
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On the other hand, there are no problems with Mastercard and Visa, as both cards are accepted worldwide. As a rule, it makes little difference which of the two cards you use abroad. If you have a Girocard instead of a Mastercard or Visa – successor to the EC card – a look at the card will help. If the Maestro logo is located there, the card can also be used to pay abroad. If the card is still valid after the expiry date, this will also be possible without any problems after the Maestro expires on July 1, 2023. In some countries, V-Pay can also be used to pay.
You can also find out which card costs the least for payments abroad at your own bank by looking in the price-performance list. If you want to save money when traveling, you should not only pay attention to the right card abroad, some countries are also cheaper than others when it comes to destinations. (jon/kiba)