Hidden expense of using debit cards abroad
Lloyds TSB announces flat rate fee for using debit cards abroad.
08:50 29 April 2005
Charges for using debit cards abroad are gradually rising, with many banks announcing additional flat-rate fees.
Lloyds TSB is the latest to announce a flat-rate fee - and this is on top of the present currency and ATM charges.
Using cards can become particularly expensive if consumers use them frequently to make a number of small purchases, or withdraw small sums of money.
It now costs many consumers an extra 1 every time they make a purchase of transaction.
A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB justified the flat-rate charge to the Times by saying: "The new transaction fee of 1 per purchase brings us into line with other banks."
She also added that the extra charges were being levied to help improve anti-fraud measures.
Other fees include commission for converting the foreign currency into sterling - typically 2.75 per cent of the purchase price - and fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs, which is usually a minimum of 1.50.
However, Lloyds TSB has increased its basic fee from 1.50 to 2, but says a maximum of 4.50 can also be charged for withdrawals.
Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) and NatWest also both charge flat rates - 1.50 and 75p respectively.
On the other side, Barclays, First Direct and HSBC are among the banks that do not charge a flat fee.