Credit cards overseas cost £355 million

10 April 2007
As millions return home from their bank weekend break, uSwitch.com has revealed that British holidaymakers will be charged £355 million for using their credit cards overseas this year.

Withdrawing foreign currency from cash machines using a credit card will exact charges of £151 million, despite the fact that lenders often do not disclose the charges they impose on card use abroad in standard card statements.

Cash withdrawal fees on the continent, imposed on both debit and credit cards by NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds TSB, average 2.3 per cent, the survey showed.

uSwitch.com singles out Lloyds TSB for charging card customers a 'transaction fee' of £1 when they buy overseas, reportedly generating around £25 million in revenue every year.

"Your existing debit and credit cards may not always offer the best deals for overseas cash withdrawals and purchases," noted director of financial services Nick White, advising customers to consider reserving one card for overseas use only.

For overseas use, uSwitch.com recommends the Nationwide debit card, which exacts no charges on cash withdrawal, transaction or exchange-rate loading.

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