Credit card review: Halifax Clarity Card
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Here at TPG U.K., we’re huge advocates of maximising your travel experiences by earning and redeeming points and miles.
But, we also recognise that depending on your situation, maximising your travel may mean you simply want to save money on fees and charges while travelling, and Halifax has a simple solution for this: the Halifax Clarity Credit Card.
Who is this card for?
This card is marketed toward people who make purchases in foreign currencies at home or abroad regularly but still want access to a credit product, rather than using one of the range of great travel debit card products available in the U.K. right now.
Welcome bonus and annual fee
As this is not a rewards-earning credit card, there is no sign-up bonus. The card also has no annual fee.
Representative example: 19.9% APR with a purchase rate of 19.95% per annum (variable) and an assumed credit limit of £1,200.
There is no points or miles programme associated with this card, so you will not earn any rewards for making purchases with it. The big selling point of this card is that there are no foreign transaction fees when you use it for foreign purchases at home or abroad, whereas many rewards-earning credit cards charge up to 3% fees for purchases in foreign currencies.
You will also not be charged a fee by Halifax for using the card to withdraw cash from cash machines at home or abroad, which can be a huge money-saver when travelling. Do note, however, that while purchases will enjoy a period of up to 56 days interest-free each statement period, interest will begin accruing on cash advances immediately. You may also be charged a withdrawal fee by the cash machine/ATM issuer (especially abroad), which Halifax will pass on to the cardholder even though it does not impose its own cash machine fees.
There’s no rewards programme in the form of either points, miles or cash-back, so, unfortunately, there’s nothing to redeem.
The card is a Mastercard, which is likely to be accepted in more retailers than American Express both at home and abroad.
Which cards compete with this card?
Starling and Monzo offer similar fee-free travel card products, the big difference being those are debit cards (where you spend your own money with no interest payable), whereas the Halifax Clarity credit card is a credit product, where you are extended credit to use and then repay.
In terms of no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards, this product competes with the Barclaycard Rewards credit card, which is arguably a better product because while both have no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. The Barclaycard Rewards credit card also offers cash-back, both £25 as a welcome bonus, and an ongoing rate of 0.25% for all purchases at home and abroad.
Additionally, Virgin Money recently announced that it was no longer charging foreign transaction fees on some international purchases, though those are reward-earning credit cards.
This is a basic credit card. There’s no annual fee, but also no rewards programme. The two perks of this programme are access to credit (rather than it being a debit card), and no foreign transaction fees for purchases or cash machine withdrawals.
Do keep in mind if you are looking for a product like this there are competing products that also offer cash-back for all of your purchases.
You can apply for this card here.
Featured photo by Getty Images.