TIP – Nationwide bank card changes… for the worst

Nationwide Building Society


For some years now I’ve been harping on about how great Nationwide are as the only UK bank with a debit card you can use abroad for no fees. Likewise, their credit card is one of only three (along with Abbey National and the Post Office) with the same no-fee deal. I even changed my regular current account to them to take advantage of these.

But – you guessed it – no more. From 6 May for its credit card, and 1 June on the debit card, you’ll pay an added 0.84% on spending outside Europe, jumping to 1% in July. Their wording is that they themselves are not adding a fee. They’re simply no longer going to “absorb” the fees that Visa charge to the bank. It’s still – I believe – less than virtually every other bank’s existing charges.

I got the first warning of this from the excellent Money Saving Expert site, though full details can be found (if you dig…) here at Nationwide.

So, without doing a huge amount of research it seems that changing the credit card could be worthwhile but that the debit card (for ATM withdrawals) is still a better deal than any other.

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Tip – Nationwide Bank

If you’re from the UK, open an account with the Nationwide. It’s the only bank I know of anywhere that doesn’t a fee for withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM (UPDATE 8th March 2009 – SEE THIS POST). The only charges I’ve been hit with in almost 10 months were from ATMs in Vietnam, and they were levied by the ATM not by Nationwide. Their exchange rate is as good as or better than anyone else as well. So is their internet banking. And their telephone support when your card gets stolen, although they will only post a replacement card to you registered address, so make sure there’s someone who can get to your post and forward it to where you are.

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