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A hand holding a Barclays debit card

Using your debit card abroad

A secure and convenient way to pay when you’re away

If you’re currently abroad and need to use your debit card, here’s what it’ll cost you to withdraw cash and make purchases.

Today’s exchange rates

We’ve made our exchange rates more transparent, so it’s even easier to see how much making a transaction abroad will cost.

This table shows our exchange rate for certain currencies compared to the rate published by the European Central Bank (ECB), to help you understand how much it costs to use your debit card abroad. 

When you buy something or take money out of a cash machine in the EU, you may be able to choose whether to pay in sterling rather than the local currency. If so, the retailer or cash machine provider will give you a rate as a mark-up over the ECB rate.

You can use this table to decide whether you want to let the retailer or cash machine provider convert the currency using their rate, or if you’d like to use ours instead. If you’d like us to make the conversion, please pay or withdraw in local currency rather than sterling.

As we explain in our customer terms, we calculate our exchange rate using the reference exchange rate for the Visa card scheme.

Debit card charges

These rates are for card transactions that have been processed through an account today. Transactions abroad usually take 2-3 days to process, so the final exchange rate applied to them may be slightly different

To work out how much your transaction costs in sterling, divide the value in local currency by the rates shown in the table.

If you’re asked to pay in sterling (DCC transaction)

Some cash machines or merchant terminals may offer you the choice of paying for your transaction in sterling. If you choose to do so, the 2.75% Non-Sterling Transaction Fee will not apply, but you should always try to find out what the commission charges are and what exchange rate they are using because, overall, it may be more expensive to pay in sterling.

These transactions are known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) transactions because the currency conversion is done by the merchant rather than the card scheme, using the merchant’s exchange rate.

Travel wallet

Once you’ve created a travel wallet, you can spend US dollars and euros straight from your debit card, and withdraw currency from it without paying fees.

Foreign currency

If you need foreign currency, you can order it online and get free delivery to your home address in the UK.

Cloud it

Keep your documents safe, wherever you are. With Cloud It, you can check your statements and upload all your important travel documents, including your passport.