Credit cards for winter holidays: Avoid mountainous charges

Credit cards for winter holidays: Avoid mountainous charges

15 December 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Choosing the right credit cards for a winter holiday can avoid returning home to a mountain of credit card charges, according to a travel money expert at moneysupermarket.com.

Whether travellers choose to hit the slopes for some skiing or the beach in search of some winter sun, moneysupermarket.com urges those heading abroad this festive season to get the best credit card deal for their requirements.

The ease of using a credit card abroad makes it a popular choice for tourists, who then do not have to worry about getting traveller's cheques or carrying cash around with them, but the different charges enforced by credit card providers "vary enormously" according to moneysupermarket, so the cost can mount up.

Peter Harrison, moneysupermarket's travel money expert, said: "It can be costly for consumers to use their current accounts or credit cards abroad, so they should check the terms and conditions with their provider before travelling. Unfortunately there is no one product that ticks every box, so customers who are unhappy with their current provider need to understand their requirements and shop around to ensure they are using the most appropriate product."

Consumers should compare credit cards to keep down the cost of spending abroad, or they could consider a prepaid credit card, Mr Harrison suggests, which also make it easy to budget holiday spending and can be used worldwide just like a standard credit card.

"Prepaid currency cards are great for budgeting as consumers can only spend up to the value of funds that they load onto their card," he explained. "Another advantage is that if lost, customers can have their card replaced, usually for a fee of around £10, with all the funds in tact."

Most credit card providers will charge a transaction fee every time it is used abroad to make a purchase or withdraw money from a cash machine, and cash withdrawals also come with higher interest attached, as they do at home, making it even more expensive.

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