EUR card in the UK: What are the options? 2023
If you’re heading off to France, Spain, Germany - or any of the 20 countries in the Eurozone - a EUR card can make it easier to manage your budget in EUR. You might also be able to get better GBP-EUR exchange rates when you travel or shop online and pay in euros.
This guide covers how and why a EUR card can help - and we’ll also take a look at how EUR cards from providers like Wise and Revolut can help you spend less overall when you’re using foreign currencies.
What is a Euro card?
EUR cards allow you to spend and make cash withdrawals as conveniently in euros as you can in pounds. That’s helpful if you’re travelling, and also if you shop online with retailers based in the Eurozone. EUR cards often unlock better exchange rates and lower overall costs for foreign currency spending.
You might also hear a euro card being called a multi-currency card. That’s because many EUR cards actually let you hold pounds, euros and a selection of other currencies in a linked digital account. Once you have your card you can use it for euro spending, and also hold onto it for your next trip elsewhere, to spend in the local currency in lots of popular destinations.
What is a EUR card good for?
The euro is the official currency in 20 countries, so getting a EUR card before you leave the UK can be a smart way to cut your costs when you’re abroad, as well as being a safe choice.
EUR cards don’t usually have the foreign transaction fees which apply to most bank debit cards. Instead, you’ll be able to either convert your pounds to euros in advance, or let the card do the conversion - often with a better exchange rate compared to the standard rates offered by money changers and banks. EUR cards aren’t free to use - some transaction and service fees are still likely to apply. However, cards are usually optimised for international use, so you might get some no-fee international ATM withdrawals, for example.
Travel cards are also a safe choice as you won’t need to carry a lot of cash. Your EUR card isn’t connected to your bank account, so if it was lost or stolen, you can just freeze it without needing to cancel your normal GBP debit card.
Pros and cons of EUR card
Use your card in the 20 EUR countries and on future trips to other destinations
Often no foreign transaction fees, and currency exchange which uses a fair rate
Safe as there’s no need to carry lots of cash in euros
It’s usually free to spend currencies you hold in your account
There’s no need to sort your EUR travel money in advance - just make cash withdrawals on arrival in your destination
You’ll often have to apply for your card in advance and wait for it to arrive by post, so you can’t leave it to the last minute to get set up
Most EUR cards do have some fees which can include transaction and fair usage charges
Topping up your card might incur a fee, depending on how you make your payment
3 best Euro cards in the UK
There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to USD cards you can get in the UK. Let’s look at our top 3 picks so you can decide which is right for you.
Open your Wise account online or in-app, to hold and exchange 40+ currencies including GBP and EUR. There’s a small fee to get your Wise card, but then no ongoing costs, and you can use your card in 150+ countries globally.
When you switch from pounds to dollars you’ll get the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.43%. You can either change your money in advance of travel to lock in the exchange rate and set your travel budget, or just let the card’s autoconvert tool do the conversion for you at the point of payment.
Currency conversion uses the mid-market rate, fees can be as low as 0.43%
Convert in advance or let the card automatically switch to dollars as and when required
No monthly fees or minimum balance
You’ll need to pay a one time fee to get your card in the first place
Some transaction fees apply, including ATM fees once you’ve exhausted your fee free allowance
Revolut UK customers can choose from 5 different types of account, including the Standard plan which has no monthly fee, and higher tier options which have more features and a monthly fee from 2.99 GBP to 45 GBP. All accounts let you hold and exchange EUR, and come with linked physical and virtual cards for easy spending.
Revolut accounts also offer some currency conversion which uses the mid-market rate. How much you get depends on the account type you prefer, and higher tier account types may have no limits to the amount you can exchange with no extra fees to pay.
Varied account plans that suit different customer needs and spending habits
Hold and exchange 29 currencies including pounds and US dollars
All accounts have some currency conversion which uses the mid-market exchange rate with no extra fee
Physical and virtual card options available
Higher account tiers have lots of extras and perks including cash back and airport lounge access
Fees apply for the most feature packed account tiers
Out of hours and fair usage fees may apply depending on how you use your account
No branch network for face to face service
The UK Post Office offers a flexible travel money card which can hold 22 currencies including EUR. You’ll be able to order your card online or - if you’re pressed for time - get one at a Post Office branch by visiting with your ID documents.
Once you have your card you can add money in pounds, and manage your account in the Post Office app, to convert over to EUR before you travel or spend online. Currency exchange is likely to include a markup, and it’s handy to know that there’s a fee to pay every time you make an ATM withdrawal. That can mean it’s better to make a few larger withdrawals, rather than lots of small ones, provided you have somewhere secure to keep your dollars, like a hotel safe.
Hold up to 22 currencies, covering many popular destinations from the UK
If you’re in a hurry you can get a card at a Post Office branch instantly
Manage your account in the Post Office app, to top up or convert
If you spend in a supported currency but don’t hold enough balance, the card can convert for you
Compatible with popular mobile wallets like Apple Pay
Exchange rates may include a markup
3% fee if you spend in an unsupported currency
2 EUR fee for ATM withdrawals in Europe
Where can I use a EUR card?
Use your card whenever you’re in any of the 20 Eurozone countries, and also when you shop online with any merchant based in Europe.
EUR cards typically let you either add your money in pounds and switch over to euros in an app, or leave your money in GBP and let the card convert at the point of payment. It’s usually free to spend any currency you hold in your account, and conversion often uses a good exchange rate with low fees and no foreign transaction charge.
Double check the terms of the card you pick, as some cards have a fee to pay if you’re spending in an unsupported currency, or if you don’t hold a high enough balance in a particular currency to cover the transaction.
Euro card in the UK
Any of the multi-currency cards we’ve looked at so far can be used in the UK too.
However, there are a couple of potential downsides. Firstly, if you’ve got euros left on your card after your holiday and want to spend them in the UK you’ll need to convert them back to pounds again. That means you’ll be paying twice for the conversion. Plus, exchange rates may have changed, which can mean you get back less than you added in the first place.
A smart option is to get a card that lets you keep your balance in pounds until you need it so there’s no risk of getting hit twice by conversion fees, or getting stuck with a bad exchange rate when you switch back to pounds.
Costs of getting a EUR card in the UK
As we’ve seen, there are several different providers you can choose to get a EUR card in the UK. Each card has its own fees, so it’s important to check over the costs of the one you choose to get. Here’s a rundown of the key costs for the cards we looked at earlier.
EUR card fees
|Get a card||7 GBP||No extra card fee, although delivery charges may apply||No fee|
|Add money||Free to add money with local bank details in 9 currencies||Free from a UK bank or using a UK card|
Fees vary depending on how you add money
1.5% fee applies to add month in GBP
|Account maintenance fee||None||0 GBP - 45 GBP/month||None - a monthly fee of 2 GBP will apply from 12 months after your card expires if there’s a residual balance|
|Spend in EUR|
2 withdrawals, to 200 GBP in value free every month
0.5GBP + 1.75% after that
|Standard accounts: up to 5 withdrawals, totalling up to 200 GBP/month free, 2% after that||2 EUR in the UK, 1.5 GBP in the UK|
*Information correct at time of writing - 19th September 2023
What exchange rate will be used?
Different providers use their own GBP to EUR exchange rates.
Look for a service which uses the mid-market exchange rate or as close as possible to it, to make your money further in EUR. A couple of good options are Wise and Revolut. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees from 0.43% to switch from one currency to another. Revolut offers some currency conversion which uses the mid-market rate to all account holders. Fair usage fees may apply if you convert more than is included in your account plan, but higher tier accounts can have unlimited mid-market currency conversion, which is handy for big spenders.
How to get a EUR card in the UK
Apply for your euro card online or in-app - or, if you’ve decided on the Post Office card you can also walk into a branch to pick up a card instantly.
You’ll need to have a passport or driving licence for verification purposes, and can either upload an image of your document if you’re applying digitally or show your ID to the staff in a Post Office branch if you want to get your card in person.
If you’re applying online your card will arrive in the post shortly after, and you might have a virtual card you can use right away through a mobile wallet app like Apple Pay.
Check out the EUR card order process for the provider you prefer, so you can prepare everything that’s needed.
Conclusion - Is a EUR card worth it?
Using a EUR card when you travel or shop online and pay in EUR can mean you get better exchange rates and lower overall costs compared to using your bank debit card overseas. Options like Wise and Revolut are worth looking at, as they offer easy ways to hold and convert dozens of currencies, to make travel cheaper and easier.
Use this guide to compare a few EUR cards in the UK to see which suits you best.
FAQ - EUR card in the UK
### Benefits of using a EUR card
Using a EUR card can mean you pay lower overall costs when you’re in any of the countries in Europe which use the euro, or when you’re shopping online with merchants that charge in EUR.
Are EUR cards available in the UK?
Yes. Several providers, including Wise, Revolut, and the Post Office, have EUR cards you can easily pick up in the UK.
How much does a EUR card cost?
The costs of a EUR card can vary depending on the specific card you select. You’ll often find there are free ways to add money, and some transactions are free too. However, in many cases there are some fees to pay for currency conversion or ATM withdrawals - double check the fee schedule for the card you prefer so there are no surprises.