There are lots of benefits of using your cards abroad, especially if you don't want to carry large amounts of cash around with you. This page could help you understand the fees and the exchange rate we use when you use your card abroad.

When using your card abroad, some retailers and ATMs may offer to process your transaction in sterling, rather than local currency. This process is called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).

How does DCC work?

  • The retailer or ATM should ask you before using DCC
  • If you say yes, the retailer or ATM will convert your transaction into sterling at an exchange rate of their choosing. This rate could be more expensive than the Visa Exchange Rate used by Nationwide
  • A commission charge may also be added by the retailer/ATM
  • The transaction will come to Nationwide in sterling, and so will not be processed as a foreign transaction
  • Any income from this service will go to the retailer or ATM owner.

Will DCC cost me more than if Nationwide converts my transaction?

  • This will depend upon what the foreign retailer / ATM is charging both as an exchange rate and as their commission
  • It's impossible for us to say which will be cheaper for you, but Visa advises, “Unless you know exactly what the prevailing rate of exchange is, and can do the maths, it is usually best to choose local currency” (Spend Terminology section of their travel guide)

How to avoid DCC if you wish

  • When using an ATM, always read the ATM screen carefully and check that DCC isn't selected by default. Deselect it if it is
  • Check your receipt afterwards. If a sterling amount is shown, then DCC has been used.

What to do if DCC is used without your permission

  • Remind the retailer that you didn't want them to use DCC and ask for the receipt to be voided (not refunded, as a different exchange rate can sometimes be payable on refunds). Then start the transaction again. If the retailer refuses to do this you can report it to Nationwide on your return to the UK. We can seek redress for you through the VISA chargeback process
  • If using an ATM, you can complain to the ATM owner, or report it to Nationwide on your return to the UK. We can seek redress for you through the VISA chargeback process.

We use the Visa Exchange Rate to convert your transaction into sterling. Visa gives us this rate each day. Their website provides a currency converter that you can use to find out the rate of exchange for any transaction over the last 12 months.

How to use the Visa enquiry tool

Visa Europe provides the payments system that enables all Nationwide debit and credit cards to be accepted wherever you see the Visa sign around the world. Visa converts all of our customer's foreign currency transactions back into sterling using their Visa Exchange Rate.

How to complete the Visa currency converter

Visa Currency Converter questions The answers you should enter
Member, Select, Nationwide, Classic and Gold credit cards, and FlexAccount, FlexOne, FlexDirect, FlexPlus, FlexStudent and FlexBasic debit cards
My Card is in Pound sterling (GBP)
My Transaction was in Please select the currency that was used
Enter commission fee (0-5%) 0
Date Please enter the Visa processing date for your transaction*
Purchase Amount Please enter the relevant purchase amount in the foreign currency

* See the FAQ: What is the "processing date" for my transaction below for more information about processing dates

There are usually three dates involved in card transactions:

  • Transaction date - the date you made the transaction
  • Visa processing date - the date the transaction is converted to sterling
  • Posting date - the date the transaction is applied to your account

There can be a delay between the transaction date and the Visa processing date. Your transaction can take some time to reach Visa, depending upon where in the world it took place. The processing date is normally 1 day earlier than the "posting date", which is the date shown on your statement.

If you'd like to know the exact processing date of your credit card transaction, please call us.

Credit card general enquiries

0345 600 66 11 (UK)
+44 2476 43 89 97 (Abroad)

Useful information

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 8pm
Sunday: 9am - 5pm

An automated account enquiry service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

FlexAccount, FlexOne, FlexStudent, FlexGraduate, FlexDirect, FlexPlus and FlexBasic debit cards, and Member, Select, Nationwide, Classic and Gold credit cards

The exchange rate shown on your statement against any non-sterling transaction will be the Visa Exchange Rate (amended to give a rounded sterling amount to two decimal places). As your account is in sterling all rates shown on your statement will be equivalent to the value of £1.00.

For example, a purchase of 100 euros will be shown on your statement as:

1 June 2020, 100 euros @ 1.104381 euros, £90.55 (meaning that 1.104381 euros= £1.00, so 100 euros divided by 1.104381 = £90.55)

100 euros @ the rate of exchange for the euro that is equivalent to £1.00, on the date your transaction was processed by Visa (e.g. 1 June 2020), which may be different from the date on which you made the transaction. See the FAQ: What is the "processing date" for my transaction above for more information.

No, the printed rate will be slightly different due to the way we round the calculations within the conversion process in order to give you a result in sterling to two decimal places.

The exchange rate used to convert any non-sterling transaction into sterling will always be the Visa Exchange Rate.

We will round the resulting sterling amount to two decimal places and this amount will be printed on your statement. We will also print on your statement a rate of exchange that you can use to directly calculate the rounded sterling amount from the value of the original non-sterling transaction, if you wish.

It is, however, always the Visa Exchange Rate that determines the actual sterling amount that you have paid on your debit card, or will pay, if you used a credit card.

For independent guidance on using your card abroad please visit:

Find a Visa ATM abroad

Lady preparing to use an ATM whilst abroad

Our debit and credit cards can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Visa cards and you can withdraw cash from any ATM that accepts Visa cards. 

Find a Visa ATM UK and abroad