Don't waste money on plastic fees, Brits warned

22 February 2010 07:56

Don't waste money on plastic fees, Brits warned

Britons going abroad this year have been warned that they could be wasting their hard-earned cash by not looking into the terms and conditions associated with using their credit and debit cards abroad.

Moneysupermarket.com pointed out that although using plastic may feel safer and more convenient than carrying around lots of foreign currency, some providers charge more for usage than others.

This means that you could soon be racking up fees that could otherwise have been spent on meals or day trips.

In fact, some banks and building societies charge between 2.75 per cent and 2.99 per cent per transaction, so it may be worth shopping around to get the best deal.

Santander recently found that we Brits spent £1.5 billion on credit cards overseas in 2009, with a whopping £122 million pounds of this made up by unnecessary foreign exchange fees.

However, it seems that many travellers are not aware of the additional cost of using plastic overseas, as one in five people said they always use a credit card as their main method of payment while they are away.

Emma Roberts, spokesperson for Santander Cards, said: "With many Britons embracing a more careful approach to their spending, foreign exchange fees are one expense that those travelling abroad this year can definitely do without."

Peter Harrison of moneysupermarket.com agreed and suggested that holidaymakers do their financial research before going abroad.

To replace credit and debit cards, a prepaid travel money card could be ideal. Also recommended by the Post Office earlier this month, these can be topped up with currency in the UK and then used like a credit card at your destination.

However, they usually offer a great rate of exchange and have the added bonus of being safer than both cash and normal plastic in case of theft.

And for the essential currency that you will need on holiday, Peter suggested shopping around for that too, instead of simply picking it up at the airport where rates invariably soar as high as the aeroplanes.

In fact, you could save more than £60 just by doing this, so being prepared is well worth it.

"Using an appropriate product can save holidaymakers a packet and there are several different options available to savvy travellers," he concluded.

And don't forget to come to us at World First while you're researching travel insurance cover, as we offer some of the best benefits on the market at prices we're sure will surprise you.

Published by World First Travel Insurance - providers of worldwide travel insurance for all types of holiday, travel insurance for pre existing medical conditions and great family travel insurance. Get in touch for competitive travel insurance quotes today.

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