Credit card choice could make or break a half term holiday

Credit card choice could make or break a half term holiday

12 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Those Britons who are heading away for a trip during the half term break in the next few weeks should compare credit cards to avoid getting stung by expensive rates for spending abroad, warns

The comparison website is encouraging travellers to pack the right plastic when they go abroad, whether for a Valentine's city break or a family trip during the school holidays, because it can have a significant impact on holiday spending.

Moneysupermarket warns travellers that the first step towards saving on holiday money is to avoid the bureau de change at the airport, where taking out €1,000 could cost £68 more than using a best buy credit card to make the same value of withdrawals once they reach their holiday destination.

Travellers might be tempted to use their normal debit or credit card as a means of paying for goods and services while on holiday, but warns against this, as the costs of using an inappropriate card could add up during the course of the trip.

The website suggests that travellers investigate prepaid credit cards before they leave, which are becoming increasingly popular, especially with those travelling on a budget, as they can top them up before they go and then used like a normal credit or debit card, and they usually offer a competitive exchange rate.

However, even they vary in cost and rate, so consumers are urged to compare prepaid credit cards to find the most suitable one for them.

Commenting, Peter Harrison, travel money expert at, said: "Using an appropriate product can save holiday makers a packet and there are several different options available to savvy travellers. The market leading prepaid cards from FairFX or CaxtonFX have no purchase or foreign loading fees and can be topped up online or over the phone for free with a debit card.

"Consumers should ensure they read the terms and conditions when signing up to a prepaid card as not all providers offer the same rate of exchange and some can charge for transactions in certain situations; for example, using a Dollar for transactions in  Europe. Ultimately, it's about understanding the product and knowing when and how to use it to ensure you're getting the best deal."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd