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Turn your last minute holiday into a real bargain

Turn your last minute holiday into a real bargain

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 16/09/2010
First Published: 17/09/2010

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Last minute holidays can often be bought for a bargain, but it's important that you make sure you pay for them in the most cost efficient way.

Research by Sainsbury's found that 1.28 million people booked their summer holiday two weeks before the departure date, 528,000 booked a week before and 290,000 made a snap decision and booked 48 hours before jetting off.

Often the easiest way to secure a low-cost, last minute holiday is by paying for it by credit card, with the research revealing that £5.46 billion of summer holiday spending will be placed on credit cards in 2010.

Whilst last minute deals are a great way to land a far-away holiday at a discount price, they can also weigh heavily on your credit card bill.

This means that finding the right card to suit your pocket is important.

If you believe your holiday expenditure will take more than a month to pay off then it's a good idea to look for a credit card that offers a 0% interest purchase deal for a limited time.

Some great deals on the market include Tesco Bank's Clubcard Credit Card, offering 0% interest on purchases for 13 months; Virgin Money's 12/12 Credit Card MasterCard, offering 0% for 12 months and the AA's card, which offers a 12 month 0% purchase deal.

But beware, once an introductory deal comes to an end, interest rates can climb sky high.

To find more providers offering 0% purchase deals visit our credit card best buy table.

Foreign charges can also cast a shadow over your post summer glow.

Jet-setting Brits are set to fork out more than £60 million on charges for using their plastic abroad during the rest of 2010, research conducted by the Post Office has revealed.

However, shock bills can often be avoided by finding a credit card that doesn't charge foreign usage fees.

"This summer millions of travellers will waste money on unnecessary fees, and worryingly many are not even aware of how much this will increase their holiday spending," commented Az Alibhai, head of cards at the Post Office.

It's often a good idea to keep an additional card that doesn't charge a foreign usage fee solely for using when you go on holiday.

Some big names that provide cards that don't charge a penny to use abroad are Post Office, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.

To find out more visit the Moneyfacts Foreign Usage Credit Cards best buy table.

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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.