Metro Bank customers who use their debit and credit cards while on holiday outside Europe will face fees from March, the company has announced. The bank, which claims to "reinvent the rules of retail banking" currently offers fee-free transactions for card use abroad, but from 18 March it will impose a 1.9% fee on any transactions outside Europe and 1.9% on cash withdrawals plus a £1 charge. The "foreign loading fee" will be charged every time a customer uses a debit card to withdraw cash or make a "point-of-sale" transaction, such as paying a hotel bill. Craig Donaldson , chief executive of Metro Bank , said: "The overwhelming majority of our customers' card transactions occur in the UK or Europe , so we're confident that by offering completely free transactions in Europe and outstanding value in the rest of the world our customers will continue to benefit." There are still cards that still don't charge anything when using them anywhere in the world, according to data analyst Moneyfacts.co.uk. The Halifax Clarity Mastercard and the Post Office's Classic and Platinum Mastercards are fee-free cards. Yet in general, it's best to avoid using a credit card to withdraw cash abroad as you might at home as many providers will levy an exchange rate fee of up to 3%, warns Rachel Springall from Moneyfacts.co.uk. "Check before going away what your card provider charges, as many hit holidaymakers with fees of 2.75% or more on transactions, so the charge from Metro Bank isn't as high as many others," she says.
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