The right credit card may cut overall holiday costs


Holidaymakers are constantly looking for ways to cut costs, particularly during school holidays when prices tend to soar. According to new research by Santander Credit Cards, families planning a half-term break this month will typically pay 53% more to visit popular destinations such as Florida and Crete than they would have done during term-time. The findings highlight the importance of saving money elsewhere. One way for families to do this is to plan their method of spending before heading overseas.


Compare credit cards to cut out unnecessary costs
While the bulk of holiday spending usually goes to travel and accommodation, tourists should bear in mind the hidden charges associated with their day-to-day purchases. For instance, those who take their usual credit card overseas may be surprised by the way in which transaction charges and ATM fees add up.

Recent research by ICM suggests that, during the average two-week holiday, credit card holders withdraw £74.94 from foreign ATMs and make £511.18 worth of credit card purchases, resulting in a total fee of around £16. However, this can be avoided by shopping around for a credit card that offers fee-free transactions and cash withdrawals at foreign ATMs.

Prepaid cards
Increasingly, consumers are recognising the benefits of prepaid credit cards, which offer an attractive alternative to traditional cards. A quick online comparison reveals a variety of prepaid cards, many of which are specifically designed with holidaymakers in mind. The exact range of features varies from card to card, but consumers who do their research should be able to embark upon their holiday without paying foreign transaction or ATM withdrawal fees. They will also be able to enjoy the security and budgeting benefits afforded by prepaid travel cards.

 See related: Prepaid cards can offset travel costs; Travelers holding on to foreign currency

Published: 24 February 2011