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Michael Brown

Acting Editor
Published: 03/07/2023
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It also includes a £175 switching incentive on its 1st Account.

Digital bank first direct scrapped its transaction and ATM withdrawal fees on its debit card for spending abroad today. The announcement comes as the bank says it aims to support its customers through the rising cost of living, but also as summer begins.

“Customers can make the most of their travels without worrying about extra charges. We hope this will help people enjoy their hard earnt holiday with extra peace of mind,” said Chris Pitt, CEO at first direct.

The first direct Debit Mastercard is given to those with a 1st Account. This is the bank’s current account option, and it can come with interest-free overdraft and exclusive access to a regular savings account at 7%.

The current account is also running a £175 switching incentive. This is earned once eligible members switch accounts using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and deposit at least £1,000 into the account within the first three months. 

  • first direct

    Account: 1st Account

    Overdraft Rate (EAR): 39.90%

    Account fee: £0

    Switching incentive: £175 for accounts switched using Current Account Switching Service and at least £1K credited within 3 months.

    Other perks: No foreign transaction or ATM fees for overseas spending. 

What are my alternatives?

There are other current accounts which charge zero fees for transactions abroad.

For example, challenger bank Kroo offers zero fees for spending abroad and an interest rate of 4.10% AER on its balances. This can be particularly handy for those looking to keep their easy access savings and current account in one place.

All deposits with this bank benefit from the same £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection as other easy access accounts.

For those who wish to separate their day-to-day spending from their holiday budget, there is the option to take out a travel credit card.

Some of the best cards with the lowest rates can be found on our charts.

Otherwise, to compare the pros and cons of travel and debit cards, read our guide.  


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