HomeTravel & InternationalTravel help and adviceUsing your debit card abroad

Using your debit card abroad

Use your first direct card to withdraw cash and pay for goods and services throughout the world

Do I need to tell first direct I am travelling?

You don't have to tell us when you're off on your travels, but to reduce the chance of anything being declined it's a good idea to let us know your travel plans (we won't be jealous at all) so that we don't get suspicious. It's really easy to do by just logging on to Internet Banking and selecting 'Tell us you're travelling' in the 'Account Servicing' section in the left hand menu.

Can I use my first direct debit card abroad?

Wherever you see the Visa logo displayed on your card you may use your first direct card. You will normally need to enter your PIN at checkouts. For non-Sterling (foreign currency) transactions we will charge a fee of 2.75% of the Sterling amount of the transaction. This fee will be shown as a separate line on your statement as a 'Non-Sterling Transaction Fee'.

Any non-Sterling transactions (including cash withdrawals) are converted to Sterling by using the relevant payment scheme exchange rate applying on the day the conversion is made.

We will deduct the payment and related transaction fees from your account once we receive details of the payment from the card scheme, at the latest the next working day.

See more information on the rate of exchange Visa used when converting your transaction.

Can I withdraw cash abroad using my first direct debit card?

If you need cash or local currency, you can use your first direct card at over one million cash machines worldwide displaying the Visa logo on your card. Your PIN is the same and instructions are in English.

There is a non-Sterling cash fee currently 2% (minimum £1.75, maximum £5.00) for withdrawing cash at cash machines overseas. First Directory members do not incur a fee, however, these transactions are still subject to a non-Sterling transaction fee of 2.75%. Some cash machine operators may apply a direct charge for withdrawals from their cash machines and this will be advised on screen at the time of the withdrawal.

Below is a cost illustration of making a non-Sterling transaction of €100 on 6 June 2016 with a VISA exchange rate of 1.28442 = £77.86.

Purchases ATM Withdrawal
1st Account Non-Sterling Transaction Fee £2.14 £2.14
Non-Sterling Cash Fee n/a £1.75

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