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


VISA rate

VISA rate + our 2.75% fee

European Central Bank (ECB) rate

Our rate versus the ECB rate





Our rate is 3.14% above the ECB mid-market rate

Polish Zloty




Our rate is 3.15% above the ECB mid-market rate

Romanian Leu




Our rate is 3.26% above the ECB mid-market rate

Hungarian Forint




Our rate is 2.99% above the ECB mid-market rate

Swedish Krona




Our rate is 2.99% above the ECB mid-market rate

This table was last updated on 16.07.20 at 9:20am. The rates in the table are directional as they may not accurately reflect the current Visa or European Central Bank rates. You can visit their websites for the most up to date rates.

The Visa rate is updated daily, from Tuesday to Saturday at midnight GMT. The European Central Bank’s rate is updated daily, from Monday to Friday at 3pm GMT.

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.

  • The non-sterling transaction fee

    If you use your debit card abroad or pay in a currency that’s not sterling, we’ll charge you a 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee. This includes cash withdrawals in a foreign currency outside the UK, debit card payments in a foreign currency, refunds and shopping online on a non-UK website. If you’re withdrawing cash, the cash machine provider may apply other charges.

  • This table shows what we’ll charge when you use your debit card abroad, or when you pay in a currency other than sterling (either abroad or in the UK).

    100 Euro transaction

    Converted amount

    100 Euro transaction

    2.75% non-sterling transaction fee


    Making purchases abroad (including when you are being refunded)1




    Withdrawing cash from any ATM abroad2




    Getting cash over the counter at a bank abroad (including Barclays)




    Buying foreign currency before you travel from the Barclays Travel Line




  • This is how we’ll refer to the transactions on your statement:

    Visa exchange rate

    This is the exchange rate used by Visa to convert the transaction into sterling on the day Visa processes the transaction. This might not be the same day when the transaction took place.

    Non-sterling transaction fee (previously referred to as ‘commission’ and ‘foreign exchange charge’)

    A 2.75% fee charged by us for using your debit card abroad when making purchases, withdrawing cash or for refunds. You’ll also pay this fee whenever you don’t pay in sterling (either abroad or in the UK) such as shopping online at a non-UK website.


    This is the date on which the transaction took place (might be different to the day on which Visa processed the transaction).


  • Our fraud-detection systems are constantly verifying transactions.

    • There’s no need to tell us you’re going abroad – but make sure we have your up-to-date contact details 
    • If we’re concerned about a transaction made using your card, we’ll get in touch to check it’s genuine
    • If we have your mobile number, we’ll send a text to ask if you know about the transaction – and you can confirm it by replying
    • If your card is lost or stolen call our 24-hour emergency helpline. We can arrange some emergency cash for you


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.