Pay with the credit card to protect £8b spent on winter sun

25 September 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
One third of Britons are likely to take a holiday in search of some sun this autumn and winter, spending a collective £8billion, but with airlines going bust and holidays being ruined, Abbey recommends that people protect themselves by paying for the trips with a credit card.

Despite the dodgy economic climate, Abbey's research has revealed that some 15 million people will seek out some winter sun after a miserable summer in Britain this year, and they could be putting themselves at risk from disappointment and financial loss if airlines, travel companies and tour operators go bust and their holidays are cancelled.

Booking the trip with a credit card offers immediate protection and is something that travellers should consider, urges Abbey, as it can offer financial security and peace of mind.

With the average Brit spending £550 each on their holiday, and six per cent going on their first holiday abroad for three years, this is something worth keeping in mind, Abbey says, as currently an average of only £195 (36 per cent) of this figure is paid for using credit cards.

It is also important to choose a credit card which does not charge its customers for using it abroad, Abbey adds, to prevent "foreign exchange fees eating into your holiday spending money."

For 1.1 million Brits, the disappointing British weather this summer has driven them to book a holiday abroad the first time in three years.

The majority of Brits abroad this winter will consist of those aged between 55 and 64, accounting for 44 per cent, and this demographic will also be spending the most money on their off-season holiday, with 25 per cent spending at least £1,000 per person.

"Clearly many Britons are in need of escaping our gloomy weather and heading overseas." said Callum Gibson, head of Abbey Credit Cards. "If you are heading abroad this winter then it's important to consider how you can make your money work harder."

As customers flying with the recently dissolved airline XL have found in recent weeks, such a turn of events can mean catastrophic outcomes for holidays. Paying for the trip with a credit card protects travellers from cancellation of trips due to the collapse of travel agents and other companies involved, because credit card customers are automatically insured against such things.

Using credit cards abroad also offer more security than carrying cash, as they can be easily cancelled and replaced, and any losses are insured. Travellers will also not be left with excess foreign currency at the end of their holiday if they use credit cards instead of cash, saving money on currency transfers and cash withdrawals, but with the option of withdrawing cash when it's needed.

Abbey's research found that the most popular destinations for winter sun are in Western Europe, with 7.8 million (41 per cent of British visitors) planning to visit Spain and the Canaries this winter, while a more adventurous 12 per cent of Brits will travel to the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, or Africa.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd