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Using your Debit/Credit Card Abroad

You can use your Santander debit and credit cards abroad to make purchases and to withdraw local currency from cash machines as and when you need it, simply look for the Visa or MasterCard signs, and feel secure knowing that it's a safer option than carrying large amounts of cash or traveller's cheques.

Cash card customers can use their card to withdraw local currency from cash machines abroad wherever you see the Cirrus sign.

Before travelling overseas

If you would like more information on managing and accessing your accounts if you move abroad, then please click here.

Lost or stolen cards

If you think your card has been lost, stolen or blocked for fraud protection reasons when trying to use your card, you should call us as soon as possible on:

  • Debit card - 08459 724 724* or +44 1908 237 963* if you are outside the UK
  • Credit card - 0845 602 1582* or +44 1512 648 725* if you are outside the UK

* Calls may be recorded and monitored for training and security purposes.

 

Fees and Charges

Please choose one of the following types of cards to learn more about the fees and charges associated with that type of card:

Debit Card                          Credit Card                          Cash Card

Click here for Illustrative cost examples based on a 100 Euro transaction

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Debit Card

  • Charges apply when you use your debit card abroad

Scenario

Fees or charges

Making a purchase

Making a purchase abroad or online in a currency other than sterling to buy goods or services

You will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.75% of the value plus a non-sterling purchase fee of £1.25 for each transaction

Withdrawing money (foreign currency) and purchasing traveller's cheques

Withdrawing cash abroad (either in a bank or at a cash machine), or purchasing traveller's cheques or foreign currency when abroad (at another bank, bureau de change or other outlet displaying the Visa sign) in a currency other than sterling

You will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.75% of the value plus a non-sterling cash fee of 1.5% of the value (at least £1.99)


No fees will be charged to Zero debit card holders (which we are currently not offering to new customers).

Please note: If given the option of paying in either local currency or sterling, ensure you choose local currency unless you are certain that the exchange rate is more favourable. If you choose sterling, it means that the retailer or bank will handle the conversion and may charge you a conversion fee, a foreign usage fee, or both.

  • When you use your debit card abroad or online, all transactions in currencies other than sterling will be converted into sterling on the day they are added to your Account at an exchange rate set by Visa (on the day the transaction is processed) together with the foreign exchange fee (see table above). The exchange rate used may differ from the rate that applied on the actual date of the transaction as exchange rates vary on a daily basis. The exchange rate used when the transaction is processed and the amount of the transaction in sterling after the application of the exchange rate will be set out in your statement. Visa exchange rates can be found at www.visaeurope.com.
  • All main adult bank current accounts (those which are credited with at least £500 per month) can benefit from free cash machine withdrawals in Spain at a Santander branded cash machine
  • Daily cash withdrawal limits apply. Please see our Interest Rates and Fees Information for full details.  

Credit Card

  • Charges apply when you use your credit card abroad

Scenario

Fees or charges

Making a purchase

Making a purchase abroad or online in a currency other than sterling to buy goods or services

You will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.95% of the value of the transaction.

Withdrawing money (foreign currency) and purchasing traveller's cheques

Withdrawing cash abroad (either in a bank or at a cash machine), or purchasing traveller's cheques or foreign currency when abroad (at another bank, bureau de change or other outlet displaying the MasterCard/Visa sign) in a currency other than sterling

You will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.95% of the value plus a non-sterling cash fee of 3% of the value (at least £3)

Please note there is no interest free period on cash withdrawals and interest will be charged from the date of withdrawal


No cash fees or non-sterling transactions fees will be charged to Santander Zero credit card holders (please note, the Santander Zero Credit Card   is not currently on sale to new customers).

Please note: If given the option of paying in either local currency or sterling, ensure you choose local currency unless you are certain that the exchange rate is more favourable. If you choose sterling, it means that the retailer or bank will handle the conversion and may charge you a conversion fee, a foreign usage fee, or both.

  • When you use your credit card abroad in a currency other than sterling, we convert the amount to sterling using the exchange rate set by Visa or MasterCard (subject to card type) on the date the transaction is charged to your account. The exchange rate is also shown on your monthly statement.
  • Daily cash withdrawal limit of £300 applies, unless otherwise advised. 

Cash Card

  • Charges apply when you use your cash card abroad

Scenario

Fees or charges

Withdrawing money (foreign currency) and purchasing traveller's cheques

Withdrawing cash abroad (either in a bank or at a cash machine), or purchasing traveller's cheques or foreign currency when abroad (at another bank, bureau de change or other outlet displaying the Cirrus/Plus signs) in a currency other than sterling

You will be charged a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.75% of the value plus a non-sterling cash fee of 1.5% of the value (at least £1.99)


  • When you use your cash card abroad in a currency other than sterling, we convert the amount to sterling using the exchange rate set by Visa or MasterCard (subject to card type) on the date the money is taken from your account. Visa exchange rates can be found at www.visaeurope.com and MasterCard exchange rates can we found at www.mastercard.com
  • Daily cash withdrawal limits apply. Please see our Interest Rates and Fees Information for full details

Illustrative Cost Examples based on a €100 (Euro) transaction

Transaction

Transaction value

Non-sterling transaction fee

Non-sterling purchase fee

Non-sterling 
cash fee

Total cost

Debit card purchase

€100 ^

2.75%

£1.25

n/a

£89.59

£85.98^

£2.36

£1.25

£0

Credit card purchase

€100^^

2.95%

n/a

n/a

£88.12

£85.59^^

£2.53

£0

£0

Debit card and Cash card cash withdrawal

€100*

2.75%

n/a

1.5% (min £1.99)

£90.33

£85.98^

£2.36

£0

£1.99

Debit card cash withdrawal at Santander cash machine in Spain ^^^

€100^

n/a

n/a

n/a

£85.98

£85.98^

£0

£0

£0

Credit card cash withdrawal

€100^^

2.95%

n/a

3% (min £3)

£91.12

£85.59^^

£2.53

£0

£3.00


^Visa exchange rate of €1 = 0.859801 as at 03 June 2013

^^ MasterCard exchange rate of €1 = 0.855934 as at 03 June 2013

The exchange rates reflect the rate applicable when the scheme processed the transaction and not the date on which the transaction took place.

^^^ For adult current account customers paying in at least £500 each month

Top Tip

If you're given the option of paying in either local currency or sterling, it's usually best to choose local, unless you are certain that the exchange rate is favourable. If you choose sterling, it means that the retailer or bank will handle the conversion and may also charge a higher conversion fee or a foreign usage fee (or both). Some cash machine providers may also apply an additional withdrawal fee for using their cash machine.  


Tips when using your card abroad

Before you leave:

  • Check the expiry date on your card
  • Make sure that you have enough funds in your account, or that your card payments are up-to-date
  • Photocopy your card and passport, but keep the photocopies separate
  • Write down the telephone numbers for our assistance call centres.
  • Register for our alert service. Through our Online Banking Service you can register for SMS or email alerts to be sent to you to keep you informed of your finances. For example, debit card holders can set high debit alerts and credit card holders can add transaction alerts to help monitor spending.

When you get there:

  • Try not to keep cards and cash in the same place - that way you won't lose everything
  • In crowded places, hold bags or wallets close to your body. A money belt can also be very useful
  • When using cash machine make sure they are secure and well lit, especially at night, and don't make it obvious that you are carrying cash
  • If you can, memorise your PIN.  If you need to write it down, we recommend that you disguise it so that it is not recognisable as a PIN
  • Remember to use your hand to shield PIN entry at point of sale or cash machine
  • When you pay with your card, check the information on the sales voucher before you sign or enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Ensure that when paying with your card, it is in sight at all times and the transaction is carried out in front of you
  • Use safety deposit boxes or room safes in hotels
  • Keep a copy of all sales receipts and check them against your statement. Call us if there is anything on your statement you do not recognise