UK to remove all travel restrictions: do you have a top-rated travel credit card?

Family in protective face masks in airport

The government has announced that from Friday, passengers arriving into the UK will no longer face any Covid-19 travel restrictions. The move will signify the end of ‘passenger locator forms’ and the need for unvaccinated travellers to take a test.

So, with the news that travel is set to become less stressful, you may be tempted to book yourself an overseas trip. But before you do, it’s worth making sure you’re taking the right credit card with you! Here’s why.


What’s happening with UK travel rules on Friday?

From 4am on Friday 18 March, travellers entering the UK will no longer need to quarantine at home or in a hotel regardless of vaccination status.  

Passenger locator forms will also be scrapped from Friday, meaning you won’t have to provide the government with your personal information when returning from abroad. Non-vaccinated travellers will also no longer need to take a Covid-19 test on or before day 2 after arrival.

The changes will make the UK one of the first countries in the world to scrap all travel restrictions for passengers. 

The news has understandably been welcomed by the travel industry. According to Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, the rule changes put travellers back in pre-Covid normality. He said: “With travellers returning to the UK no longer burdened by unnecessary forms and testing requirements, we can now look forward to the return to pre-Covid normality throughout the travel experience.

“We’re grateful for the timing of the announcement as we prepare to welcome back passengers this Easter and summer, for which we know there is huge pent-up demand, and for the UK’s leadership in being the first major aviation market to remove all remaining restrictions. The time to return to the skies – to enjoy all that makes aviation and international travel great, for families and businesses – is now.”

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card?

While it can be wonderfully rewarding, travel can also be expensive. So, if you’re one of the many looking to book a trip following Friday’s rule changes, it’s worth looking at ways to cut the cost of your trip.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to take a top-rated travel credit card with you. That’s because many of these specialist credit cards charge no fees for overseas transactions. 

In contrast, normal credit (or debit) cards often charge hideous fees when you use them abroad. Overseas transaction fees in the region of 2.99% aren’t uncommon. Meanwhile, some cards will even charge you an overseas spending charge on top of this. For example, you could be hit with a flat £1 charge every time you use your card abroad!


What travel credit cards are available right now?

There are a number of travel cards available right now, with little to choose between them. So, opt for any of the below options and you could make your next overseas experience a lot cheaper.

Barclaycard Rewards

The Barclaycard Rewards credit card won’t charge you for spending or withdrawing cash abroad. You also won’t pay any interest on cash withdrawals as long as you clear your card balance every month.

As an added bonus, the card pays 0.25% cashback on all spending, even abroad. Barclaycard also throws in five free months of Apple Music, Arcade, News+ and Apple TV. You can get this offer as long as you haven’t had these services before. The representative APR on this card is 22.9%.

Halifax Clarity

The Halifax Clarity credit card is a similar offering to the Barclaycard Rewards card. It charges no fees for overseas spending or cash withdrawals.

However, the main difference is that it charges interest on cash withdrawals from the day you take out cash. This won’t cost you a fortune, though you can still minimise the cost by paying off your balance as soon as you take out cash via internet banking while abroad. The card has a representative APR of 19.9%.

NatWest credit card

If the above cards aren’t for you then the NatWest credit card is another option. However, you can only get it if you have a NatWest current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage.

The card has no fees on overseas spending, though it does charge 3% for withdrawals, with a minimum fee of £3. As a result, if you opt for this card, then try to limit the number of cash withdrawals you make. The card’s representative APR is 12.9%.

For more options, take a look at The Motley Fool’s top-rated travel credit cards.

The post UK to remove all travel restrictions: do you have a top-rated travel credit card? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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