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Holidaymakers shun pre-paid cards

Holidaymakers shun pre-paid cards

Category: Travel

Updated: 19/07/2013
First Published: 19/07/2013

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

A study has found just 3% of people use pre-paid cards when travelling abroad, with the vast majority still favouring hard cash as a regular method of payment.

Almost half (48%) of all travellers prefer to carry money around with them in the local currency, leaving them at an increased risk of theft, whilst around 14% admitted to using their credit or debit card to withdraw cash at ATMs abroad, despite being charged potentially high transaction and foreign exchange fees.

An additional 23% said they use their credit or debit cards to conduct transactions whilst overseas.

Availability of pre-paid currency cards has increased over recent years, as the use of travellers' cheques has become less popular.

Offering financial security when travelling abroad, pre-paid cards can be topped up at any time by text message, online or by BACS payment and do not charge for cash transactions of £50 or over.

Pre-paid cards can also be stopped at any time if they are lost or stolen.

Mark Huggins, director of AA Financial Services, which compiled the research, said: "If you do lose money, you'll find that your travel insurance is likely to have strict limits on claims for loss of cash and some may not cover this at all.

"It's worth doing your homework first and checking what charges might apply if you do use conventional cards. Clearly, depending on how much you spend, their use could land you with unwelcome additional costs when you get home.

"Not only are pre-paid cards secure, but they are also potentially the cheapest way of managing your money while away," he added.

What next?

Find and compare the best prepaid travel cards
Act to make your travel money stretch further
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