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The advantages of using a credit card when overseas

Mastercard1If you’re trying to holiday on a budget, or simply don’t want to overspend, then there are plenty of ways to keep your costs down.

And that starts with not using a debit card for transactions when overseas, as this can make paying for goods and services more expensive.

That’s according to financial information firm Defaqto, which suggests that holidaymakers in Europe using contactless debit cards can overspend as a result of high additional charges.

Paying by card overseas or withdrawing cash often comes with a fee, as banks charge for the conversion from other currencies to pounds.

Some providers also include other fees, which means you could end up paying more than if you use cash or a credit card for example.

The finance firm used the example of paying €5 for a daily breakfast across a fortnight holiday, as the fees could cost £21 in addition to the €70 spent.

So while using your debit card overseas might be the convenient option – especially if you love contactless – it is by no means always the cheapest or best.

Defaqto suggest that the most cost-effective option is a credit card, as using one also includes plenty of consumer protection on purchases under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

They point out that although a fee can be applied when using a credit card, it is usually less than when making the same payment with a debit card.

Additional cash withdrawal fees often apply in Europe with credit cards too, so it’s wise to withdraw cash prior to jetting off to your destination if you want to save.

You’ll often also need a credit card to hire a vehicle overseas, as it is used to cover the deposit on the vehicle should anything go wrong.

This can’t be done with a debit or prepaid card, so you’ll want to ensure you have your credit card in your wallet regardless.

If you do intend to hire a car when overseas, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to cover the excess that you would need to pay in the event that your car is damaged or stolen.

This figure could rise to hundreds or thousands of pounds, so the added extra is designed to provide greater peace of mind when you travel, and costs less than you may think.

Date Created: 16 May 2018

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