Nationwide card abandons no-fee withdrawal policy: Are you keeping yours?
As part of the Bitterwallet Guide to Currency Exchange, we wrote a basic guide on 'picking the right credit/debit card for abroad'. Nationwide was mentioned as a second choice only to the Abbey Zero.
A few readers at the time disagreed that the Abbey Zero should be a first choice, due to Nationwide's 'no withdrawal fee' policy at the time. It however now appears now that Nationwide is losing the battle.
Until now, the brand famous for its 'proud to be different' motto has absorbed any extra overseas charges. However, from 6th May, it will start to pass on fees charged by Visa for transactions abroad - currently 0.84% (rising to 1% in July).
Nationwide has also been criticised recently for failing to keep pace with cuts in the Bank of England base rate, with both mortgage holders paying more, and savers getting less from the interest rate shake-ups.
But before you go closing your Nationwide account, here's 3 things to note first:
(1) the majority of European countries are not affected by this change. Here is a list of these countries. That means if you don't travel much outside of Europe, you may just be okay.
(2) Nationwide's cash cards are not affected, as they are issued by rival Mastercard. According to Nationwide, a Visa version will soon follow.
(3) Nationwide still remains an attractive option compared to rates of other credit/debit cards on the market. (The original article goes into much more depth, and is worth a quick read.)
There is certainly still plenty on the minds of the four million FlexAccount customers affected this week. With limited choice in decent cards for using abroad, what do you plan to do with yours? If this is an issue affecting Visa, would the Abbey Zero follow suit, leaving us to dry at home with an ever fluctuating exchange rate?