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Travellers warned on credit card charges abroad

Travellers warned on credit card charges abroad

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 22/09/2011
First Published: 23/12/2010

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Those lucky enough to be holidaying at Christmas this year have been warned to be aware of the charges they could incur on their credit cards.

The slight thaw in the weather means thousands of people have been able to jet to sunnier climes in the past couple of days and many more will do so in the run up to Christmas.

However, Sainsbury's Finance is warning people travelling abroad over the festive period to carefully check the foreign exchange rate charged on their credit card before making any purchases as many people could end up paying far more than they had bargained for.

This is because a handful of credit card providers have introduced their own exchange rates on overseas purchases.

These rates are not based on the standard Visa and MasterCard exchange rates that are used by the majority of providers, but are instead set by the bank and are often much less competitive than the Visa or MasterCard FX rates.

"It's important card users understand exactly how their plastic works for them especially when it comes to rates and fees," commented Stuart McKeggie, head of Sainsbury's credit cards.

"Finding out that you've paid more than you expected is never a nice feeling particularly on a well-budgeted break."

People who think their credit cards charge too much when they travel should consider applying for a new card that is specifically suited to people spending while they are abroad.

While it may be too late for those that are travelling in the next few days, it is certainly an option worth considering if you think you will be travelling next year and don't want to be hit with sky high charges.

The Moneyfacts Best Buy tables are the perfect place to begin your search.

All of the best foreign usage cards are listed including the Post Office's Platinum MasterCard, which has a foreign usage loading of 0% whether you're in Europe or further afield.

Find the best credit card rates - Compare credit cards

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 Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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