Guide to Holiday Currency

With the summer holiday season almost upon us holidaymakers are set to waste over £160 million on credit and debit fees this summer when they buy their foreign currency.

Many holidaymakers still do not realise that banks, building societies and credit card companies impose charges ever time you use a card abroad. These can include currency conversion or loading fees that can add an extra 3% to the cost of withdrawals and purchases. If you use a credit card you should remember that overseas money transfers are treated as cash withdrawals and you will start paying interest of as much as 28% immediately.

The cheapest option is available to customers of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society as their customers with a gold current account can use their debit card abroad free provided £500 per month is deposited into the account.

If you want to take foreign currency with you do not use a bureau de change at the airport as their exchange rates are the least competitive. Instead order online before you travel as with Travelex you will get 1,207 euros for £1,000 rather than the 1,122 euros the same £1,000 will get you at the airport.

If you do need to use a debit card abroad, the cheapest way to access funds, is therefore to make one large withdrawal so you will only incur one withdrawal fee.

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