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Going abroad? Make the most of your spending money

Going abroad? Make the most of your spending money

Category: Offshore Banking

Updated: 04/03/2015
First Published: 04/03/2015

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

If you're thinking of escaping the changeable British weather and heading for a bit of sun on the continent, you're picking a great time to do it. Analysis from travel money business Centtrip has revealed that sterling is now worth around 15% more against the euro than it was this time two years ago, which could save you around £79 per trip on the value of your spending money – so it's time to make the most of it!

Get some sun – but spend less

According to Centtrip's analysis, two years ago the average holidaymaker would have spent around £511.84 per trip, but to have the same level of spending money today, they'd only need around £433.07. This means that you're spending some £78.77 less but will have the same spending power as you would have done in 2013, and if you have more than one holiday per year, the savings could add up even more!

It's all down to the value of sterling, which has seen some welcome increases of late to boost the value of the pound. You can effectively spend less yet will have the same amount of spending money as you would have done two years ago, and if you play your cards right and consider things like exchange rates and prepaid travel cards, you could benefit even more.

Find the right card

Prepaid cards can be ideal for those looking to make the most of their spending money. You pre-load them before you head off on your trip so you can lock into favourable exchange rates, and you won't need to worry about excessive credit card fees for spending abroad – something that could have a serious impact on your holiday finances.

If you think exchange rates are the best they can be, you could even load your card weeks or months in advance of your holiday, and in doing so, you're not at the mercy of fluctuating rates. Of course, the value of sterling could continue to rise, but if it fell and exchange rates worsened, you can be confident that you were ahead of the game and got a great deal.

When making your decision, pay particular attention to the likes of transaction and foreign exchange fees, and any other charges that could be incurred when using your card. For example, the EVEN Card could be a great choice for regular travellers, with no transaction, foreign exchange, issue or ATM charges, subject to a £50 annual fee (or £5 monthly). Other cards don't charge annual fees but may come with issue or foreign exchange costs, so it's worth doing your research to see which one would be most suitable.

The same kinds of considerations apply whether you're an infrequent traveller or have a holiday home in the sun, in which case you'll probably want to look to international money transfer as opposed to travel cards. The right service provider could save you a small fortune, so thoroughly consider your options before you start exchanging currency and you could really make the most of your spending money.

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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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