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Show credit card charges the red card

Show credit card charges the red card

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 25/05/2010
First Published: 25/05/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
England fans travelling to the World Cup in South Africa have been warned not to fall foul of expensive charges when using their credit card abroad.

It is estimated supporters of England visiting the tournament itself are set to spend around £135 million during the festival of football.

However, fans have been warned they could be hit by foreign exchange fees unless they are careful about their spending.

Currency restrictions means travellers to South Africa will only be able to take 5,000 SA Rand (around £450) in local currency in or out of the country, leaving most people having to rely on credit card purchases or ATM withdrawals to fund their spending.

Indeed, according to Santander, almost half of British travellers (47 per cent) withdraw three quarters of their spending using an ATM machine whilst they are abroad.

However, with foreign exchange fees typically amounting to around 2.75 per cent and cash handling fees usually stacking up at 1.5 per cent of the transaction, the amount spent on charges could quickly get out of hand.

"The Rand restriction means football fans won't be able to take much local currency to South Africa, so they will be relying even more heavily than usual on ATM withdrawals and card transactions," said Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, Director of Banking.

"People should be aware that they can save themselves a lot of money if they have a debit card that allows free ATM access and no charges on debit card transactions worldwide."

Credit cards are the second most popular way to spend abroad, after cash.

Four times as many travellers claim to use credit cards for most of their spending abroad compared with travellers' cheques.

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