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Heading abroad? Then consider pre-paid cards

Heading abroad? Then consider pre-paid cards

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 17/01/2014
First Published: 17/01/2014

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The January blues have got a lot of people longing for some winter sun. In fact, according to figures from the Association of British Travel Agents this is traditionally the busiest week for holiday bookings – some travel companies are even reporting that bookings are up 10% on last year – and if you're lucky enough to be jetting off you should probably start thinking about how you'll pay for things. Well, what about pre-paid credit cards?

Pre-paid credit cards can be a great option for those looking to keep an eye on their budget. In essence, they're not credit cards at all – you're not borrowing from a lender, but instead load the card with the amount you're willing to spend before you actually spend it, much like a mobile phone top-up. You're only spending what you've already got, and because they're not directly linked to your bank account or any form of credit they can offer a lot more security when travelling.

And, with options that allow you to top-up in a foreign currency, they can be the ideal choice when heading abroad. They can often be cheaper as most will charge fewer foreign usage fees than regular credit or debit cards and, because the exchange rate is set the day you load the card, there'll be no surprises when you buy anything.

Then there's the fact that there's no way for you to get into debt. You can't spend more than you've put on your card so your budget won't get out of control, meaning you can keep an eye on your finances even when you're enjoying your holiday – there'll be no bills to pay when you get back and no interest stacking up. Now all you've got to do is get out there and enjoy some winter sun!

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 Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.