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Choose the right card to reduce travel costs
Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 23/08/2021

Holidaymakers looking to travel abroad this year will likely have had a far more stressful, and expensive, trip than normal. Trying to avoid amber and red list destinations, as well as having to pay out for Covid tests and, for some, expensive quarantine hotels have radically changed the holiday season this summer.

Even those who are delaying their next overseas trip to 2022 may find that prices increase as the travel industry tries to recoup some of its losses during the pandemic. As a result, keeping the cost down on foreign holidays is likely to become more important for the foreseeable future.

One way consumers can help to reduce their travel costs is by using a debit or credit card that does not charge a fee when used overseas as foreign usage fees can quickly mount up when the card is used frequently on holiday. For example, a typical debit card charges £11.88* when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad, while some credit cards can charge £14.95** before interest is applied.

Meanwhile, those using a debit card to make purchases may find that spending just £50 results in a charge of £1.38* and a credit card can charge £1.50** on a £50 purchase.

Clearly, holidaymakers should be aware of the charges or fees they will incur when using their cards abroad and switching to a bank account or taking out a credit card that charges less when used abroad to help reduce costs.

“Switching a bank account is simple and using the Current Account Switcher Service, customers can move their account within seven working days,” explained Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. “If consumers plan to travel more frequently in the months to come, either for work or leisure, choosing a current account that will not charge for using their debit card abroad could be a wise choice. Starling Bank, Metro Bank and Virgin Money all offer fee-free current accounts which do not charge in Europe for using a debit card, either for a cash withdrawal or retail transaction. However, a typical debit card charges £11.88 when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad and £1.38 for an in-store purchase of £50.

“Consumers may prefer to use a credit card for spending abroad, which is understandable as they can easily be cancelled if lost or stolen and spenders are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act on purchases between £100 and £30,000 if a service or goods are not provided or damaged. Carrying around cash might be convenient, but it is clear to see how quickly a holiday can become a disaster should someone’s hard-earned cash be lost or stolen and getting cash last minute at an airport is unwise due to poorer exchange rates.

“Holidaymakers may be concerned about the cost of their trip as it is expected to rise. Saving money on card usage fees is, therefore, a sensible thing to do and consumers can easily do this by bringing along a cost-effective credit or debit card or even consider a prepaid card. Planning an itinerary on what to do whilst abroad may be routine but so should be setting a budget in light of how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the cost of a holiday.”

 

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How to protect your holiday as new countries added to the green travel list

The Government has added new countries to the green travel list, including popular holiday destinations in Europe and the Caribbean, but holiday makers should be aware that these countries can be removed from this list at any time, making it vital that they protect their holiday when booking and by having the right travel insurance.

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Increase in travel insurers awarded top rating in the 2021 Moneyfacts Travel Insurance Star Ratings

As uncertainty around travel continues, it has never been more important for holidaymakers to have the right travel insurance. Fortunately, choosing the best travel insurance deal has just become easier with Moneyfacts revealing its Travel Insurance Star Ratings for 2021 today.

The Moneyfacts Travel Insurance Star Ratings 2021 independently analyses all the travel insurance products on the market to determine which will be awarded its five and four-star rating. Despite the pandemic’s impact on the travel industry, this year saw an increase in the number of annual and single policies assessed, rising from 649 to 862.

This increase has resulted in a 61% increase in the number of deals awarded a five-star rating and a 42% increase in the number awarded a four-star rating.

As well as this, the number of fields that were analysed to determine which policies would be given a star rating increased by 16, many of which focused on the inclusion of COVID-19 cover.

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What Covid-19 protection can you expect from your travel insurance?

With travel restrictions now being lifted, holidaymakers are once again boarding flights for trips abroad, but consumers are being warned that their travel insurance may not provide as much financial protection against disruptions caused by the pandemic as they believe.

Although it is now legal to holiday in destinations on the Government’s green travel list, there is still the potential for flights or holidays to be cancelled due to the pandemic and travellers may not be permitted to board flights if they have a positive Covid-19 test result. As well as this, countries on the green travel list can be moved to the amber or red list, or these countries may decide to close their borders to UK holidaymakers.

While many holidaymakers believe that having travel insurance will protect them for many of these disruptions, research has found that few insurance policies will cover all these scenarios particularly if travel restrictions to the holiday destination are suddenly imposed by the Government or there are changes to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice.

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What you need to know about travelling abroad this summer

From next week, international travel will once again be allowed for those living in England and many consumers are expected to book trips to jet off for long-awaited holidays. While would-be holidaymakers will be keen to head away for a much-needed break, travelling this year is still not going to be the same as normal, with restrictions on which countries can and cannot be visited.

Here, we’ve looked at where travellers in England will be able to holiday from Monday 17 May 2021, as well as how holidaymakers can financially protect themselves if their holiday is cancelled due to COVID-19.

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