World Cup travel money: Problem solved with the right credit card

World Cup travel money: Problem solved with the right credit card

16 June 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

While travellers may be paying more attention to the impending opportunity to watch live football, they would do well to spend a few minutes sorting out their travel money, suggests, or they could end up spending over the odds.

Michelle Slade, spokesperson for, comments: "Money can be exchanged once overseas, but lack of local knowledge may mean settling for uncompetitive rates of exchange. If your trip takes you off the beaten track, you options may be further restricted."

Using a debit or credit card is the easiest way of spending abroad, the financial information website says, but travellers could pay a high cost for convenience if they do not choose wisely, Ms Slade warned:

"Credit cards will levy a foreign usage charge of up too 2.99% for both purchases and cash transactions. Charges are applied each time the card is used and can soon add up."

Some credit cards do not implement any additional charges for making transactions abroad, in Europe or worldwide, but taking out cash using a credit card is never a good idea, Ms Slade said.

"Taking money out on your credit card is never advisable even in the UK. Interest rates on cash withdrawals are charged at a higher rate than purchases and a cash handling fee, typically 3.00%, min £3 is applied."

And, she added, it is worth taking a credit card on holiday in case of emergencies, because, as was shown with the recent disruptions caused by the volcanic ash cloud, the unexpected can happen.

But, because credit card facilities are not as widely available in South Africa as they are in the UK, Brits should also take some cash with them, and should seek out the best rates, says Bob Atkinson, travel expert at

"When exchanging Sterling, it is important to shop around for the best deal, as rates and commission charges can vary significantly," he said. 

"Shop around for currency online in the UK before you depart and always focus on the total amount of Rand you will get for your pound, not just the commission rate or charges."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

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