Brit tourists pay big for cash withdrawals


Credit card cash withdrawals fees highHolidaymakers from Britain were charged a total of £106m on credit card cash withdrawals in Europe last month.

That is according to analysis by London newspaper the Evening Standard, which said that Britons paid around £50 per €1,000 they took out from foreign cash machines.

Representing a 6% charge per transaction, these fees are passed on to cardholders in the form of commission and withdrawal costs.

The Evening Standard was quick to point out that prepaid credit cards are increasingly being used as an alternative to traditional credit cards abroad, as they are less reliant on exchange rates. Sterling has been weakening against the dollar and the euro for months, with declines gathering pace as economic conditions deteriorate.

"Holidaymakers trying to save cash are increasingly buying money before they travel or loading prepaid currency cards, which offer better exchange rates and lower or no usage charges," the publication explained.

"The drive for a good deal has become even more important as exchange rates are poor and the pound buys fewer euros."

Published: 11 September 2009