By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 4th June, 2019.

Great for: Avoiding foreign transaction fees while traveling
3 stars question mark

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card makes an appealing travel card offering. It features no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, which makes it a simple offering that’s easy on the wallet. Other credit cards, though, may be more suitable for day-to-day use since this card has no cashback, rewards or sign-up bonus.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Mobile banking app to manage your account on the go

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 19.95% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200 over 12 months

what we like

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Mobile banking app to manage your account on the go
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    19.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 2.5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Mobile banking app to manage your account on the go

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 19.95% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200 over 12 months

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card is an appealing travel card offering. With no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, this is a simple offering that’s easy on the wallet. Other credit cards, though, may be more suitable for day-to-day use, since this card has no cashback, rewards or sign-up bonus.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the Halifax Clarity Credit Card

No foreign transaction fees – Unlike the majority of credit cards, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card does not charge a non-sterling transaction fee when used internationally. This could lead to significant savings for consumers when travelling internationally, since many credit cards charge around 3% when used to pay for goods or services in currencies other than sterling. The card uses the Mastercard foreign exchange rate, which ensures that consumers receive a competitive rate. Having no fees to pay and the added security that a credit card offers for purchases, this could be the ideal travel companion.

No annual fee – As well as lacking a non-sterling transaction fee, the card also has no annual fee. This means that consumers are not penalised for using the card only rarely, and makes it an ideal card to use solely for international trips. An individual might, therefore, decide to have two credit cards in order to maximise the overall rewards and savings: for example, a cashback or rewards card when in the UK, and the Halifax Clarity Credit Card when travelling abroad, to benefit from the lack of foreign transaction fees. This may be a more efficient setup than simply having one credit card for domestic and international use.

Why trust me

I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.

What could be improved

Offers – Unlike a number of its competitors, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card does not come with any introductory offer such as a 0% interest rate on balance transfers or new purchases at the present time. Although the card is focused on the travel segment, and has appeal through its lack of fees, having introductory offers could provide an added incentive for consumers who are looking for a day-to-day card to reduce their overall interest payments.

Rewards – The card does not offer any cashback or rewards for spending. At a time when a number of cards offer relatively generous rewards schemes, this is somewhat disappointing. The lack of rewards strengthens the case for having a dedicated card for day-to-day use in the UK and using the Halifax Clarity Credit Card when travelling internationally.

How does the Halifax Clarity Credit Card’s offer stack up?

For consumers who are seeking a credit card for use when travelling abroad, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card is relatively appealing. Its lack of a non-sterling transaction fee is relatively uncommon and could lead to significant savings for an individual during the course of the year. Its appeal as a second credit card which is used solely for international travel is increased by its lack of an annual fee.

As a day-to-day credit card, though, there may be better opportunities available elsewhere, depending on an individual’s personal circumstances. For consumers who are seeking to reduce the interest they pay on existing credit card balances, a balance transfer card could hold more appeal and lead to greater benefits. Likewise, a rewards or cashback card could be more enticing for day-to-day use. However, for its primary purpose as a travel card, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card is attractive.

The Halifax Clarity Credit Card score

In order to apply for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card, you must be a UK resident aged over 18. Applications can be made online, and it takes around five minutes to obtain a decision.

Personal circumstances are taken into account when the card provider (Halifax) decides what to offer a consumer. According to the bank’s website, at least 51% of successful applicants will receive the advertised interest rate, with the remainder receiving a higher interest rate.

How to apply

The company offers an eligibility checker on its website, which provides guidance on whether an applicant may be successful without hurting that person’s credit score. This could be particularly useful for individuals who are unsure whether they would be accepted for the card, with the process taking around five minutes to complete.

Applications for the card can be made in branch, by phone or online. Applicants are required to provide details including address history, employment details and information about their financial situation.

Is the Halifax Clarity Credit Card right for you?

As a travel card, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card is attractive. It provides users with a low-cost means of paying for goods and services in currencies other than sterling, which could lead to significant savings during the course of the year. Its lack of an annual fee means that it could be useful for infrequent travellers as well as individuals who travel abroad regularly.

However, the lack of rewards or cashback means that its domestic appeal is somewhat limited. There may be other credit cards which allow an individual to generate significant rewards or cashback during the course of the year. Similarly, other credit cards may offer balance transfer opportunities or introductory offers such as 0% finance on new purchases for a limited time.

Therefore, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card serves its purpose as a travel card, but is likely to be more worthwhile as a second credit card rather than a primary credit card.

See the Best Travel Credit Cards


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