Credit cards Updated:
Taking a credit, debit or prepaid card on holiday can be a safer alternative to taking cash. But although it's safer, it can sometimes work out more expensive if you haven't been selective enough about which flexible friend to take.
A good travel card will charge no extra fees for you making purchases abroad.
Some may not charge you extra for withdrawing cash either, although you shouldn't withdraw cash on a credit card unless you've got no other option.
The two biggest card types, MasterCard and Visa, may be more widely accepted in certain areas than others. Traditionally, MasterCard is accepted widely in Europe, with Visa being more acceptable worldwide.
So in order to increase your options, it's a good idea to carry both a Visa and a MasterCard – particularly if you're planning on travelling further afield than Europe.
Always avoid withdrawing cash using a credit card as it is very expensive. Here are 5 reasons why:
For example: You take out £100 using a credit card whilst you are on holiday. You could be charged:
This makes a total of £8.36 (to be nice we've assumed that the foreign bank won't charge you for using their cash machine). And, of course if you don't repay the amount within the first month, the interest charges will continue.
Prepaid cards work by you loading the card with credit before you go (or even online while you are away) in much the same way as a pay as you go mobile phone.
You can then spend up to the credit you've put onto the card – great if you need to be strict on your budget or don't fancy taking a new credit card or switching current account, purely for the travel friendly offers.
One downside to prepaid cards is that they may not be available in the currency of the country you are travelling to (as opposed to a credit or debit card which has no such restriction), so be sure to take this into consideration when choosing your card.
Travelex Cash Passport
None in Europe/ 1.00% outside Europe
Correct as at 18/07/13
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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