Travelling for business

Here's everything you need to know about using your card abroad

No matter where you're travelling, relax and enjoy your trip, and of course continue to use your cards for purchasing and cash withdrawals.

You don't need to let us know your travel plans in advance, provided you are travelling within the EU or to Turkey. If you're travelling outside of these areas, please contact us to let us know. That way, we'll expect to see foreign transactions on your account.

It's not as expensive as you might think

For a more detailed breakdown of the charges for each of the services we offer, please see the charges and rates below.

Debit Card - Charges and Rates

Breakdown of charges for foreign currency transactions

Currency Conversion Charge

A currency conversion charge is applied to any payment made for cash, goods or services using your debit card in a currency other than sterling.

2.75% of the transaction value

  • If you're paying for something on your card that isn't in sterling, or withdrawing cash that isn't in sterling, we will convert it into the relevant currency using the VISA exchange rate (which is variable) and apply a 2.75% Currency Conversion Charge.

To obtain an indication of the overall exchange rate you may receive and the estimated cost of your transaction in sterling, use the VISA website, populating the fields accordingly, entering 2.75% in the 'Bank Fee' box.

For the European currencies listed below, you will also see the difference between The Co-operative Bank and the European Central Bank exchange rate as a percentage, which is required to be displayed for the purpose of comparison.

  • Euro
  • Bulgarian Lev
  • Croatian Kuna
  • Czech Koruna
  • Danish Krone
  • Hungarian Forint
  • Polish Zloty
  • Romanian Leu
  • Swedish Krona
  • Norwegian Krone
  • Icelandic Krona

There may be additional charges from the bank, retailer or cash machine where you use your card - you should be told of these before you make the transaction. The way the merchant processes the transaction may result in a fee being applied to your account. If this happens, please contact us.

Credit card, charge card and purchasing cards - Charges and rates

Breakdown of charges for foreign currency transactions

Foreign currency credit card payments

A currency conversion charge is applied to any payment made for cash, goods or services using your credit card in a currency other than sterling.

2.75% of the value of the transaction

  • If you're paying for something on your credit card that isn't in sterling, or withdrawing cash that isn't in sterling, we will convert it into the relevant currency using the VISA exchange rate (which is variable) and apply a 2.75% Currency Conversion Charge.

To obtain an indication of the overall exchange rate you may receive and the estimated cost of your transaction in sterling, use the VISA website, populating the fields accordingly, entering 2.75% in the 'Bank Fee' box.

For the European currencies listed below, you will also see the difference between The Co-operative Bank and the European Central Bank exchange rate as a percentage, which is required to be displayed for the purpose of comparison.

  • Euro
  • Bulgarian Lev
  • Croatian Kuna
  • Czech Koruna
  • Danish Krone
  • Hungarian Forint
  • Polish Zloty
  • Romanian Leu
  • Swedish Krona
  • Norwegian Krone
  • Icelandic Krona

Foreign currency cash withdrawals

A cash fee is applied when using your credit card, charge card or purchasing card outside the UK for withdrawing foreign currency at:

  • Visa or PLUS machines
  • Over the counter at a bank or Bureau de Change displaying the Visa sign

For your charge card or purchasing card

2% of the value of the currency/cheques or £1.50 (whichever is greater)

For your business credit card

3% of the value of the currency/cheques or £3 (whichever is greater)

If you're paying for something on your credit card, charge card or purchasing card in a currency that isn't sterling, it will be converted into the relevant currency using the Visa exchange rate (which is variable, but can be checked on the Visa website).

Purchase of a foreign currency in the UK

If you use your credit card, charge card or purchasing card to purchase from other retailers, such as the Post Office, Bureau de Change or travel agents you will incur a cash fee.

For your charge card or purchasing card

2% of the value of the currency/cheques or £1.50 (whichever is greater)

For your business credit card

3% of the value of the currency/cheques or £3 (whichever is greater)

There may be additional charges from the bank, retailer or cash machine where you use your card - you should be told of these before you make the transaction. The way the merchant processes the transaction may result in a fee being applied to your account. If this happens please contact us.

Paying in Sterling

When using a debit, credit or sterling prepaid card abroad, watch out for a practice known as dynamic currency conversion where you are given the option of paying for goods and services in either sterling or the local currency. While this may seem like an appealing proposition as you'll know exactly how much you're spending, as a general rule, you should choose to pay in the local currency. This is because many restaurants and retailers may use an unfavourable rate of exchange to convert the price, which means you could end up paying over the odds.

Help and support 

Please see our most frequently asked questions

How much cash can I withdraw abroad?

You can use your debit or credit card overseas to withdraw up to £500 (depending on what you've set your withdrawal limit at) a day in local currency at cash dispensers (ATMs) that display the Visa or PLUS logos, or over the counter at any bank that displays the Visa sign. Cash withdrawals are subject to a charge made up of a cash withdrawal fee and a non-sterling transaction fee.

Can I buy foreign currency from you?

Unfortunately we no longer offer this service. However, you can use your card to make payments abroad. Charges and rates apply.

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact our support team