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Tim Leonard

Tim Leonard

Finance Expert
Published: 22/05/2009
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Britons will shell out some £73 million in unnecessary foreign exchange fees on holiday this summer.

More than half (57 per cent) of British holidaymakers use a credit or debit card to pay for purchases abroad, with the average card user putting 41 per cent of their holiday spending money on plastic, according to Abbey.

However, as most card providers charge a foreign exchange fee – typically around three per cent – for converting transactions made abroad, the cost of a holiday quickly mounts up.

Consumers taking a break this year should check the terms of their card before travelling and shop around for providers with cards that offer fee free foreign usage.

Callum Gibson, head of credit cards, said the sum was staggering and unnecessary at a time when people have to manage their finances more carefully.

The research also revealed that Britons will spend £274 a week on average when abroad, while one in ten of us are still paying off a credit card bill from last year's break in the sun.


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