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Good News - Improvement In Nationwide Credit Cards For Overseas' Use


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We have had our current account and credit cards with Nationwide for 20+ years. For many years we have used our N/W credit and debit cards abroad because of their charge and commission-free terms.

 

Like many other people we did not use our Nationwide Credit Cards in France this summer because purchases were no longer commission-free. We did not take advantage of the "£100 spend in the UK to gain £20 commission free spend in the Euro Zone" offer as we use other cash-back cards in the UK.

 

This summer instead of using N/W credit cards we used our Post Office Credit Card instead which WAS still commission free. We bought everything: food, diesel, campsite fees, etc on the PO card.

 

We took 220€ with us from the UK and only made one cash withdrawal using our N/wide Debit Card overseas to avoid the commission and withdrawal charges - it had previously been free. That incurred a 2% commission charge and £1 charge, ie, £3 total charges for a withdrawal of £89!

 

HOWEVER - it looks as though many other Nationwide customers voted with their feet and boycotted Nationwide as we have just been notified that N/W are upgrading our Gold and Classic credit cards to Platinum "Select"accounts which give 0. 5% cash back on UK purchases AND commission-free purchases worldwide.

 

The cash-back perk is dependant upon us keeping our N/W Flex account as our main current account.

 

They are removing the perk of free travel insurance with the credit card, that they introduced when they changed the commission situation earlier this year. That is not a problem as it would not cover us for the length of time we go away for in the summer anyway and in addition they are still offering that insurance with our Flex account.

 

I suppose this ties in with N/W saying that they previously removed the overseas commission-free credit card purchases because folk only openened the Flex account and credit cards to get this Continental perk and did not use the account as their main one.

 

Anyway good news for us and other N/Wide customers. Now we've just got to get back the Continental commission free debit card cash withdrawals.

 

Tim

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We have held a Flex Account with them for years and liked the perks you used to get, we received the letter yesterday and we didn't take up the free travel insurance due to the loading for existing medical conditions it worked out a lot more than the "Nationwide paid Annual Travel insurance through LV" This year I took out a Caxton Card for cash withdrawals which I preloaded with what I thought would do us but had to top it up with some more with a text worked out very well for us and the exchange rate at the time was a good deal.

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Thanks FM02MZO - I'm glad you confirmed that. I thought we must be the only ones insisting that our Gold Credit Card is still commission and transaction charge free for purchases in Europe. We've just got our Gold Card statement for our recent August/September holiday and we actually got some very good rates of exchange too - up to 1. 164! We used it for all fuel purchases, plus one very small toll fee and our 'bring home' wine and food shopping - and there are no additional charges whatsoever.

 

The Debit Card does have Non-UK Commission and Cash Withdrawal charges - but still really good rates of exchange compared to buying cash before you go. The best rate we could have got before setting off was 1. 11 - but on our Debit card the rate varies between 1. 138 and 1. 157 so I reckon, all in, even allowing for commission/charges on the debit card we're still up by about four or five euros by using our debit card rather than putting cash into a pre-paid card, or buying euros up front.

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We were peeved when Nationwide introduced charges to their debit card although Margaret still gets better exchanged rates than I do with Natwest. Margaret only uses her Nationwide credit card when we are abroad and we were concerned they were changing that to as I had read you had to earn 'credits' by spending in the UK to offset overseas spending. Quite frankly if that comes in Margaret will dump the Nationwide credit card as there are other reasons why she uses a different cc in the UK. For us the free medical insurance is worthless as I doubt either of us would be covered and I expect they don't cover the length of time we are away. Its a pity that Nationwide did not come down on all those that opened accouts to take advantage of the commision free spending rather that making it difficult for their loyal customers. Margaret has been with Nationwide for over 40 years.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

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This year I took out a Caxton Card for cash withdrawals

 

I also took one out about a year ago. It is useful in that you can load it when the exchange rate is favourable, but recently I've noted that their charge is rather more than what it once was. For instance today you can load Euros at 1. 112 whereas the current rate quoted by Reuters is 1. 139 - a markup of 2. 7%. When I first used the card the markup was closer to 2%.

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We were peeved when Nationwide introduced charges to their debit card although Margaret still gets better exchanged rates than I do with Natwest. Margaret only uses her Nationwide credit card when we are abroad and we were concerned they were changing that to as I had read you had to earn 'credits' by spending in the UK to offset overseas spending. Quite frankly if that comes in Margaret will dump the Nationwide credit card as there are other reasons why she uses a different cc in the UK. For us the free medical insurance is worthless as I doubt either of us would be covered and I expect they don't cover the length of time we are away. Its a pity that Nationwide did not come down on all those that opened accouts to take advantage of the commision free spending rather that making it difficult for their loyal customers. Margaret has been with Nationwide for over 40 years.

 

David

 

David

The letter I received says that they are changing my credit card to "Platinum Nationwide Select" which if you keep your main current account with them it gives you unlimited ( until they change their mind) cash back rewards and Unlimited commission free use on all purchases abroad. I whole heartedly agree they should have penalised those who just opened to take advantage of the perks and not loyal customers so I would keep an eye out for the letter.

Dave

 

 

I also took one out about a year ago. It is useful in that you can load it when the exchange rate is favourable, but recently I've noted that their charge is rather more than what it once was. For instance today you can load Euros at 1. 112 whereas the current rate quoted by Reuters is 1. 139 - a markup of 2. 7%. When I first used the card the markup was closer to 2%.

 

 

True but it's still a bit better rate than the Post Office online service and a lot better than their over the counter rate

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Hi

 

I voted with my feet long ago and left Nationwide.

 

There are many quite a few options available for fee free usage overseas and, in the interests of knowledge and not to be seen as financial advice, I list a few here.

 

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society - fee free debit card "attached" to their current account.

 

Halifax Clarity - fee free credit card.

 

Cumberland Building Society - fee free debit card (restricted to those living within the branch network area)

 

There are others but these are just three that spring to mind.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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We were peeved when Nationwide introduced charges to their debit card although Margaret still gets better exchanged rates than I do with Natwest. Margaret only uses her Nationwide credit card when we are abroad and we were concerned they were changing that to as I had read you had to earn 'credits' by spending in the UK to offset overseas spending. Quite frankly if that comes in Margaret will dump the Nationwide credit card as there are other reasons why she uses a different cc in the UK. For us the free medical insurance is worthless as I doubt either of us would be covered and I expect they don't cover the length of time we are away. Its a pity that Nationwide did not come down on all those that opened accouts to take advantage of the commision free spending rather that making it difficult for their loyal customers. Margaret has been with Nationwide for over 40 years.

 

David

 

David

The earlier version NW Gold credit cards and the replacement Select credit card still get commission free purchases abroad which were recently extended to worldwide not just Eurozone. It is only the new version of the basic credit card that build foreign transaction 'credits'.

 

Regarding the free travel insurance there is a limit of 31 days in any one trip. Pre-existing conditions are accepted with no additional charge if only one prescription medication is taken and there has been no further treatment in the previous 12 months.

 

An advantage of the NW debit card is that the commission charge has no minimum spend . My French autoroute account was originally set up to my NW debit card before the charges were introduced and tolls of a recent trip converting to £3. 31 had a commission fee of just 6p. But I really must change the payments to my NW credit card before my next long trip.

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This summer instead of using N/W credit cards we used our Post Office Credit Card instead which WAS still commission free.

 

 

 

It may be "commission free" but the rate of exchange incorporates it!

 

Having done a survey of the pre-loaded cards and P. O. card the exchange rate they use brings them to the same overall situation as using a NW debit card. The headline exchange rate widely quoted by the P. O. only applies to £1000 or more.

 

As you found cash advances need to take into account any minimum amount to which the charges/fees apply. In your quoted case a purchase of £100 would have been more cost effective in terms of the fees.

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Thanks FM02MZO - I'm glad you confirmed that. I thought we must be the only ones insisting that our Gold Credit Card is still commission and transaction charge free for purchases in Europe. We've just got our Gold Card statement for our recent August/September holiday and we actually got some very good rates of exchange too - up to 1. 164! We used it for all fuel purchases, plus one very small toll fee and our 'bring home' wine and food shopping - and there are no additional charges whatsoever.

 

The Debit Card does have Non-UK Commission and Cash Withdrawal charges - but still really good rates of exchange compared to buying cash before you go. The best rate we could have got before setting off was 1. 11 - but on our Debit card the rate varies between 1. 138 and 1. 157 so I reckon, all in, even allowing for commission/charges on the debit card we're still up by about four or five euros by using our debit card rather than putting cash into a pre-paid card, or buying euros up front.

 

used our gold card last month in france, no charges on the bill.

will carry on using abroad, next year.

did manage to get some cash at €1. 171 earlier this year, so did not use as much as usual

 

cheers rodders B)

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We used our Nationwide Gold Credit Card for almost every purchase whilst in France Apr-Jul 2011.

 

We use the Halifax Clarity Credit Card to withdraw approx €400 cash from the ATM.

 

We didn't pay a penny in transaction or handling charges.

 

We did pay about 20p in interest (across 11 weeks) on the withdrawn cash as I waited until I saw the Sterling amount arrive on the a/c before paying off the balance via Online Banking (on Free WiFi!!).

 

HTH

 

G.

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Chapmag

 

That's what I do with Clarity - draw the cash and as soon as possible, move money from current account to the credit card.

 

I have also put the credit card account into credit before now!

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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I have been with Nationwide - since it was Anglia building society - using flex and gold card worldwide - very happily.

Not anymore - when they put the charges on we got halifax clarity CC - and opened a Metrobank account for current account use. walked into the branch (Holborn) with ID open account with a quid got the debit card there and then.

 

Has full internet banking - so transfer cash when needed then use worldwide in ATM just like NW used to be - FREE.

 

didnt realise gold card was free for purchases - they wrote to us saying that Gold card would be charging too - so stopped using it.

 

Highly recommend Metrobank - IF you can get to a London branch to open an account.

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I am just back from three weeks in France. I have a Nationwide Flex account and a standard credit card.

While there I drew out two amounts of 300€ from ATM's with the Flex card at a total cost of £537. 17, (includes £12. 49 of charges) which works out to an exchange rate of 1. 12€ to the £. All other spending was on the credit card where I got the bank exchange rate with no charges, the rate varied from 1. 132281 to 1. 155963.

 

According to the paper this morning the Bank exchange rate is 1. 1420 and the tourist rate is 1. 09 which is usually the rate that these no commission companies give. M&S Money are quoting 1. 0987

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