The 6 Best Travel Money Cards for Europe

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
13 June 2023

If you’re travelling to Europe, a travel money card can make spending and withdrawing cash when you’re away cheaper and more convenient. Different types of travel money cards, including travel debit cards, prepaid travel cards and travel credit cards, are available to support different customer needs. The right one for you will depend on your personal preference and how you like to manage your money.

Read on for all you need to know, including a closer look at travel money card types, some great options to consider, and the sorts of fees you need to think about when you choose.

Wise - our pick for travel money card for Europe

Before we get into details about different travel money card options, let’s start with the Wise card as a good all-round option that allows you to hold and spend euros, as well as a diverse range of other European and world currencies.

Wise accounts have the flexibility to hold and exchange more than 50 currencies, plus you can get a linked Wise card for a one-time delivery fee. You can either top up your account in pounds and switch to EUR, RON, HUF, NOK, DKK, SEK or any of the other supported European currencies before you travel.

Click here to read a full Wise review.

Go to Wise

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Wise travel money debit card, to help you decide if it's suitable for you.


  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies including EUR and a selection of other European and world currencies

  • No fee to spend any currency you hold, low conversion fees from 0.41%

  • Mid market exchange rate on all currency conversion

  • Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month

  • No ongoing fees and no interest to pay


  • 7 GBP delivery fee

  • No option to earn points or rewards

What is a travel money card?

Similar to your standard bank card, a travel money card is accepted for online and in-store transactions, as well as cash withdrawals - but the features and fees  you’ll get are tailored for international usage. That can lead to benefits such as improved exchange rates and reduced fees compared to your regular card.

If you’re headed to Europe, you could find a travel money card which supports the currency or currencies in the destinations you’re visiting is a good idea. While much of Europe uses the euro, there are actually 29 different European currencies, so you’ll need to double check what’s needed wherever you’re headed.

6 travel money cards for Europe compared

Before we get into each card option in more depth, here’s a summary of how six of the best travel money cards for Europe compare to each other.

ProviderTypeDelivery feeEurope ATM feeInterest ratePOS feesExchange rate
WiseDebit 7 GBP card order fee, optional express delivery from 12 GBPSome free withdrawals every month, low fees after thatNot applicableFree to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion from 0.41%Mid-market rate
RevolutDebit Variable fee based on location and account tierSome free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after thatNot applicableFree to spend any currency you hold, currency conversion free to plan limit, 0.5% fee after thatMid-market rate to plan limit, 0.5% fee after that
Post OfficeDebit Variable fee based on locationVariable based on currencies - 2 EUR, 20 NOK, 20 SEK for exampleNot applicableFree to spend any currency you hold, 3% conversion fee if you don’t hold a balance in the required currencyMastercard rate
MoneseDebit Variable fee based account tierSome free withdrawals every month based on account tier, low fees after thatNot applicable

Free to spend any currency you hold, 2% conversion fee if you don’t hold a balance in the required currency

(fee may be waived for higher account tiers)

Mastercard rate + 2% (fee may be waived for higher account tiers)
BarclaysCreditNo feeCash withdrawal interest rate will be charged25.9% variableNo feeVisa rate
HalifaxCreditNo feeCash withdrawal interest rate will be chargedVariable rates, confirmed after eligibility checkNo feeMastercard rate

The features of various travel money cards can differ significantly. Typically, travel debit cards are cost-effective and convenient, while travel credit cards offer advantages such as cashback or rewards, but may result in interest and late payment fees, depending on how you choose to pay.

Travel debit cards usually allow you to easily add funds online or via a mobile app, which helps you stick to your budget and avoid overspending. Conversely, travel credit cards enable you to spend up to your credit limit, and you can pay off the balance over several months. The choice between the two will come down to how you like to manage your money - we’ll dive into a few more details about each card type, next.

What are different types of travel cards?

Generally, UK customers are able to select a travel money card from either a regular bank or a specialist provider, with card types available including travel debit cards, travel prepaid cards or travel credit cards. We’ll walk through what each travel money card type is, and pick out a couple of good card options, so you can compare and choose.

1. Travel debit cards

2. Travel prepaid cards

3. Travel credit cards

1. Travel Debit Cards

Travel debit cards from specialist providers have linked digital accounts you can use to hold and convert a currency balance. It’s common to find a good selection of major currencies supported, including euros, Norwegian or Danish kroner, Swedish kronor, Romanian lei and more. While different cards have their own features, travel debit cards can usually be topped up easily online and through an app, with the option to see your balance and get transaction notifications through your phone too. That makes it easier to keep on top of your money, even when you’re away from home.

Travel debit card Option 1: Wise

Wise is our best value travel money debit card for Europe. There’s no fee to open a Wise account, and just a small delivery fee for your Wise card, with no minimum balance and no monthly charge. You just pay low Wise fees from 0.41% when you convert currencies, and transparent transaction fees when you exhaust the monthly free transactions available with your account.

  • No fee to open a Wise account, no minimum balance requirement

  • 7 GBP one time fee to get your Wise card

  • 2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP value per month for free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75%

  • Hold EUR and 50+ other currencies, convert between them with the mid-market rate

  • Get local account details to receive EUR, HUF, RON and 7 other currencies for free

    wise-account-transfer-money.png Click here to read a full Wise review

Go to Wise

Travel debit card Option 2: Revolut

Revolut has a selection of different account tiers, so you can simply pick the account you prefer - from free Standard plans to the 12.99 GBP/month Metal plan. All Revolut accounts have linked cards, although exactly what type of card you get depends on your account tier. You can hold around 25 currencies including EUR, PLN, DKK, SEK and a selection of other major European currencies, and convert between them with the mid-market rate to your plan’s allowance.

  • No fee to open a Standard Revolut account, or upgrade for up to 12.99 GBP/month

  • Card delivery fees may apply depending on your account tier

  • All accounts have some fee free currency conversion with 0.5% fair usage fees after that

  • Standard plan holders can withdraw 200 GBP (up to 5 withdrawals in total) per month for free

  • Hold EUR and around 25 other currencies


Click here to read a full Revolut review

Go to Revolut

Pros and cons of using debit travel cards in Europe


  • Avoid interest costs and late payment fees

  • Hold and exchange currencies in advance or at the time of spending

  • Accounts can be topped up, viewed and managed using just your phone

  • Safe to use, as accounts aren’t linked to your main UK bank account

  • Travel debit cards are issued on popular global payment networks


  • Transaction and currency conversion fees may apply

  • Cash back and rewards may not be available

How to choose the best travel debit card for Europe?

The best travel debit card for Europe really depends on your personal preferences and how you like to manage your money. If you’ll be travelling widely it makes sense to look for an account with mid-market currency exchange and a large selection of supported currencies as well as EUR, like Wise. Other providers like Revolut can also be a good pick, particularly if you’ll use your account very frequently and would prefer to pay a monthly fee to unlock lots of fee free transactions and extra perks.

Is there a spending limit with a travel debit card in Europe?  

Card use limits are determined by individual providers and can vary depending on the transaction type. Limits may apply on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For instance, there may be a cap on the number or value of ATM withdrawals allowed per day or a limit on the value of contactless payments you can make. These limits are set for security reasons and can often be adjusted using the provider's app.

2. Prepaid Travel Cards

With a prepaid travel card you’ll usually need to first order a card and then add funds in the supported currency of your choice. Once you have a balance you may then be able to switch to the currency you need, to pay merchants and make cash withdrawals. While prepaid travel cards are usually issued on large global networks - and can therefore be used pretty widely - not all cards support all currencies, so you may find you pay a foreign transaction fee if you pick a card which doesn’t support all the currencies you use.

Prepaid travel card option 1: Post Office

You can pick up a Post Office prepaid travel money card in a Post Office branch or order one online. You’ll then be able to top up in pounds or one of the 22 supported currencies, which includes EUR alongside other major European currencies like NOK, DKK and SEK. There’s no fee to spend a currency you hold in your account when you’re in Europe, but if you don’t have a balance in the currency required - or if your balance isn’t high enough for the transaction, you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee.

  • Hold and exchange 22 currencies including EUR

  • No fee to spend a balance in a supported currency

  • 3% foreign transaction fee when spending a currency you don’t hold on the card

  • Variable ATM withdrawal fees - 2 EUR for use in Eurozone countries, for example

  • No interest to pay

    Illustration of the front and back of the Post Office prepaid travel card Click here to read a full Post Office review

Go to Post Office

Prepaid travel card option 2: Monese

Monese accounts can be opened by UK residents to hold GBP, EUR and RON. There are several different types of accounts, from the Simple account which has no monthly fees, to fee paying account tiers which have more features. It’s free to spend a balance you hold, so getting a EUR or RON account makes sense if you’re headed to Romania or any of the Eurozone countries. If not, you may find you pay a foreign transaction fee of 2% when you’re spending in Europe. Foreign transaction fees may be waived for higher tier account holders.

  • Hold a balance in GBP, EUR or RON

  • Choose a free Simple account, or upgrade to an account with monthly fees

  • Foreign transaction fees of 2% may apply if you don’t hold a EUR/RON balance, depending on your account tier

  • ATM withdrawal fees may apply, depending on the value of withdrawals and the account tier you hold

  • Track and spend Avios reward points within your account

    iPhone with Monese app open on the homepage, alongside a white Monese debit card

Go to Monese

Pros and cons of using prepaid travel cards in Europe


  • Manage your account, add more money or convert funds online or with an app

  • Accounts with no monthly fees are available

  • Selection of supported currencies, with no fee to spend a currency you hold

  • ATM withdrawals supported globally

  • Some accounts have extras like options to earn reward points


  • Typically not a huge range of currencies supported

  • Transaction fees apply to most accounts

How to choose the best travel prepaid card for Europe?

There’s no single best travel prepaid card for Europe - it’ll come down to your personal preference. If you hold a Monese account that supports the currency wherever you’re headed, or a Monese Classic or Premium account which waives foreign transaction fees, you might find it’s cheaper to stick with Monese when in Europe compared to using your regular bank card. The Post Office card can also be a strong pick as you can hold a balance in euros and a large selection of other major European currencies, plus you can get a card instantly by walking into a Post Office branch.

Is there a spending limit with a prepaid card in Europe?

Different prepaid travel cards set their own limits for spending and withdrawals, which can  vary between currencies. You’ll need to check your card’s terms and conditions carefully to make sure you pick a provider which suits your needs.

3. Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards typically offer some extra international features compared to regular credit cards, such as low or no foreign transaction fees or extra option to earn rewards when you’re abroad. In general, travel credit cards are safe and convenient but can be more expensive compared to using a debit card option. Before you select the right card for you it’s important to check the fees, rates, eligibility rules and interest rates which apply, so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Travel credit card option 1: Barclaycard Rewards Visa

The Barclaycard Rewards Visa card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees or international ATM fees. Instead, your spending abroad is converted into pounds using the Visa exchange rate and added to your monthly bill. To avoid fees and interest charges, you must pay your bill in full every month. However, you can earn cashback on your everyday purchases.

  • No foreign transaction or foreign ATM fee

  • Earn cashback at 0.25% on spending

  • Protection on purchases over 100 GBP

  • International spending uses the Visa exchange rate

  • Variable interest rates which apply if you don’t pay off your bill in full

Travel credit card option 2: Halifax Clarity Mastercard

When you check your eligibility for the Halifax Clarity Mastercard, you'll be able to see the variable interest rate that’s available to you. No matter what rate’s offered, you won't have to pay any foreign transaction or foreign ATM fees, and all currency conversions are done using the Mastercard exchange rate.

  • Variable interest rates

  • Check your eligibility and order a card online easily

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • No ATM fee - but interest will accrue instantly when you make a withdrawal

  • Mastercard exchange rates apply

Pros and cons of using credit cards in Europe


  • Spending from 100 GBP has extra consumer protection

  • Spread the cost of your travel over several months

  • Check eligibility for a card online with no impact on your credit score

  • You may pay no foreign transaction fee and no ATM fee

  • Network exchange rates usually apply, which are usually pretty fair


  • Interest charged if you don’t repay in full every month

  • Eligibility rules apply

How to choose the best travel credit card for Europe?

Selecting the best travel credit card for Europe largely depends on individual preferences. If you aim to earn rewards and cashback on your foreign transactions, the Barclaycard Rewards Visa may be a suitable option as it does not have a foreign transaction fee and provides cashback on all purchases. Whichever card you’re considering you’ll want to weigh up the potential fees you’ll need to pay against the rewards you can earn to make sure it’s worthwhile.


If you regularly travel to Europe, getting a travel money card which supports the currencies you need frequently can help you save money. Travel money cards have different features, and can be picked up via regular banks, online specialists and even the Post Office.

You could opt for a low cost travel debit card which comes with a linked account to hold a selection of currencies - like the Wise account. Or you might prefer a prepaid travel money card like the Monese card which can be linked to either a fee free account or an account which has monthly fees in exchange for lower transaction charges. Finally, another option is to get a travel credit card either to earn cashback and rewards, or to avoid foreign transaction fees.

The good news is that the UK market is well served for all types of travel money cards - use this guide to start your research and pick the right option for your specific needs.

FAQ - Best travel cards for Europe

Can you withdraw cash with a credit card in Europe?

You can usually make cash withdrawals with a credit card in Europe at any ATM that supports your card network. You’ll often find that a fee applies, and you may start to accumulate interest on the withdrawn amount immediately. Travel money debit cards from providers like Wise and Revolut can be a lower cost option for cash withdrawals overseas.

Can I use a debit card in Europe?

You can use your debit card anywhere you see the card network’s logo displayed. Visa and Mastercard networks are very well supported globally, including in Europe, making these good options to look out for when you pick your travel debit card for Europe.

Are prepaid cards safe?

Prepaid cards from reputable providers are safe to use at home and abroad. They aren’t linked to your main bank account which can offer extra peace of mind, and may also make it easier to manage your travel budget. However, you’ll need to check the card features and fees carefully to make sure you're getting the best match for your needs.