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Millions to be wasted in foreign card charges

Millions to be wasted in foreign card charges

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 02/08/2010
First Published: 02/08/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Britons are set to waste millions of pounds by running up large credit card charges on their holidays this year.

Jet setting Brits are set to fork out more than £60 million on charges for using their plastic abroad during the rest of 2010, research conducted by the Post Office has found.

More than half of consumers (55%) going on holiday before the end of the year said they expected to be charged a fee by their card holder for using their credit card abroad, while 13% said they didn't know if their card of choice carried charges.

With many credit cards charging fees of up to 2.99%, holidaymakers could find themselves faced with a nasty bill when they return home, despite many cards being available that don't charges fees.

Just one in three consumers said they would definitely not be charged by their card provider on their holidays, meaning as many as 4.8 million travellers could be hit by unnecessary charges.

It is thought that some £3 billion will be spent on credit cards by UK consumers on their holidays, as people favour the security and convenience offered by their plastic friends.

"This summer millions of travellers will waste money on unnecessary fees, and worryingly many are not even aware of how much this will increase their holiday spending," commented Az Alibhai, head of cards at the Post Office.

"Holidays should be a time to relax and enjoy yourself, but these extra pounds paid every time you make a purchase could result in extra stress when the credit card bill arrives."

If you're off on your holidays soon and don't want to be hit by high credit card charges, the Moneyfacts.co.uk Best Buy tables detail all of the best fee-free alternatives.

In a blow to a number of consumers, Nationwide BS has announced that it is to start charging for cash withdrawals abroad on its current account from November 2010.

The FlexAccount has become well favoured by regular travellers because of its preferable terms, but it is to introduce a commission charge of 2% and £1 for cash withdrawals.

Nationwide said the fees were still lower than any of those charged by any of those charged by other standard or free accounts on the market.

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