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Play your cards right when going abroad

23 March 2016

Comparison site warns travellers over foreign usage fees

Gocompare.com Money is warning holidaymakers to check their plastic and not get caught out with foreign usage fees when going abroad this Easter.

While taking the right credit card abroad can be one of the most cost-effective ways of spending and can offer you additional protection on your purchases, most cards on the market charge a ‘non-sterling transaction fee’, every time you use your card abroad. The average fee charged is 2.9%*, which means holidaymakers could be paying a premium on their holiday spending.

These charges can be even higher if travellers withdraw money using their credit card abroad. Fees for using an ATM overseas range from 2% to 5% and this is on top of the non-sterling transaction fee. This means customers could be charged as much as 7.99% for withdrawing cash; which is nearly £8 for every £100.

Matt Sanders, credit card spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “For many of us, using a credit card while on holiday can feel like a safer and more flexible option than taking large amounts of cash away with us.

“While opting for a card over cash has benefits such as increased protection should it be lost or stolen; it’s well worth checking whether your provider will charge you for using your credit card overseas as the majority will.

Matt added: “The average fee charged for overseas card use is 2.9%, which can easily add up if you’re doing the bulk of your holiday spending on your credit card or plan on making any big purchases while you’re away. Remember, this fee is added on top of any additional transaction fees you might face, for instance a restaurant service or credit card charge.

“There are some cards on the market that don’t charge a fee for overseas use, so if you are considering spending on plastic while you’re on holiday, it could be worth getting online and shopping around for a card that suits your needs while you’re away.”

For more information visit Gocompare.com's guide on credit cards for foreign use.

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Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto matrix, instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Correct as of 15/02/2016