How to avoid French bank card charges when in the UK?

I regularly go back to the UK for visits from France and I pay for things using my French credit card and incur charges. Are there any alternative strategies you would suggest? G.N.

If you are making frequent visits to the UK, you may want to consider moving some funds to a local UK bank account. It will give you more flexibility and mean that you can use your UK bank card to spend and withdraw money across the country fee-free.

As you probably had to transfer funds across when you moved to France, you may be familiar with currency transfer. However, it is worth doing some research about the various transfer options available and which providers allow you to avoid paying fees.

Leading currency providers can offer fast, free transfers and often a more competitive exchange rate than your bank.

You might think that transferring money to the UK sounds more hassle than just using your credit card. However, you will save on all those charges and the process is quick and convenient.

For example, with Currencies Direct’s online service and app you can make instant transfers of as little as £100, allowing you to top up funds quickly whenever necessary. You can now also take advantage of “currency wallets”, which allow you to purchase funds ahead of time and store them until you need them.

So if, for example, you know you are going to go to the UK in a few months’ time and you are worried the exchange rate might weaken, you could buy your spending money now and just keep it in your wallet until you need it, rather than sending it straight to the UK.

You can also transfer funds from your wallet to other beneficiary accounts. For example, if you need to send money to family or if you have UK-based costs to cover before your next trip.

If you are fed-up with incurring charges for spending money in the UK, it is definitely time to explore your options and talk to a reliable currency broker.

Question answered by Shaun Dash of Currencies Direct. For more information on international money transfers with Currencies Direct see or call +33 (0)4 22 32 62 40

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