Making the most of your credit card abroad: tips for international spending

Using your M&S Credit Card abroad?
Here’s what you need to know

Do I need to let my bank know before I leave the country?

You do not need to tell us if you’re going outside the UK, as we automatically monitor foreign transactions on your account to help protect you. It’s important we have the most up-to-date contact details for you, in case we need to contact you while you’re away. Please ensure that you check we have your correct contact details using Internet Banking(opens in a new window) or by calling us on 0345 900 0900. We also recommend that you save our number in your phone, so you can contact us if you need any help while you’re away (from overseas call +44 (0)1244 879080). Enjoy your trip!

If you want to take cash on your trip, you can purchase M&S Travel Money on your M&S Credit Card and receive no cash advance fee.

Using your credit card abroad

You can use your M&S Credit Card to pay for goods and services wherever you see the MasterCard logo. You can also withdraw cash (a ‘cash advance’) from cash machines where MasterCard is accepted – fees apply, please see details below. Some cash machine operators may also apply a direct charge for withdrawals from their cash machines and this will be advised on-screen at the time of withdrawal. A £300 daily cash machine withdrawal limit applies to M&S Credit Cards.

Foreign currency transactions – what’s the cost?

When you make a transaction in a foreign currency or cash advance/withdrawal with your M&S Credit Card, rates and fees may be added.

Any foreign currency transactions, including cash advances/withdrawals, are converted to sterling by Mastercard or Visa, using the wholesale market rates applying on the day conversion is made. Check the Mastercard website (M&S Credit Card) for more information on the rate of exchange they use when converting your transaction.

We will deduct the payment and the relevant fees from your account once we receive the details of the payment from MasterCard/Visa. This will usually be within one working day.

M&S Credit Card

For example, if you made a non-sterling (foreign currency) transaction of €100 using your M&S Credit Card and applied the MasterCard exchange rate on 6 June 2022 of 1 euro = 0.8848056 GBP = £88.48, the following fees would be added:

Rate/Fee Purchases Cash advance
Non-sterling transaction fee 2.99% £2.65 £2.65
Cash fee 2.99% (minimum £3) N/A £3.00

Sterling or local currency?

When you use your M&S Credit Card outside the UK you may be asked if you want to pay in sterling or the local currency.

When you choose local currency you’ll be charged the Visa or Mastercard global rate. If you choose to complete a transaction in sterling the merchant sets the rate. Sterling transactions often have additional commission added to them and therefore may be more expensive than paying in the local currency, even with the fees.


Will I be charged a non-sterling transaction fee?

A non-sterling transaction fee is a currency conversion fee for making a purchase or withdrawing cash in a foreign currency. For credit card transactions, a fee of 2.99% of the sterling amount of the transaction will be charged. This will be shown as a separate line on your statement.

Will I be charged a non-sterling cash fee?

A non-sterling cash fee is a charge for using an ATM abroad to withdraw foreign currency. For advances from an ATM using an M&S Credit Card, we will apply a non-sterling cash fee of 2.99%, minimum £3.

Will I be charged an ATM withdrawal fee?

This is a charge from the ATM provider for using their machine. This will be advised on the screen at the time of withdrawal.

How much will I be charged paying in local currency in the European Economic Area (EEA)?

Travelling in the European Economic Area (EEA)?* See how paying in local currency on your M&S Bank Credit Card compares to the European Central Bank (ECB)'s latest foreign exchange rates.

This shows the percentage difference between the ECB exchange rate and your card rates, depending on how you pay. You can find out more about these fees above.

*European Economic Area where you can pay in currency includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.