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Holidaymakers 'must watch out for hidden credit card charges abroad'
People jetting off on holiday this summer need to keep an eye on their expenditure in order to avoid being stung by hidden credit card charges abroad.
Research from Post Office Credit Card revealed that people could be hit with a total of £135 million in unnecessary fees, and the organisation has urged people to avoid credit card charges while abroad.
It was found that last summer, almost half of people on holiday used their credit card abroad, shelling out £463 on average.
Interestingly, men were more likely than their female counterparts to use plastic during a trip overseas, with 56 per cent of males using cards compared to 42 per cent women, and the former dishing out an average of £494 compared to the £428 spent by the latter.
However, people must be careful when splashing out on card purchases overseas, with some providers charging up to 2.99 per cent every time holidaymakers bought something using plastic, meaning those who did not go for a fee-free card could be blindsided by hidden charges when they arrive back home.
Research found that holidaymakers are charged an average £12 in fees, with older people accumulating lower charges thanks to more sensible spending.
Despite these sky high charges, almost a quarter of those jetting off had no idea how much their credit card provider charges for overseas transactions. When it came to what this money went on, the biggest expenditure was found to be nights out, with 34 per cent of people spending the most in this area, while 33 per cent splashed out on visiting attractions and 32 per cent treated themselves in duty free. Meanwhile, 14 per cent had no choice but to get their card out after they ran out of money.
Az Alibhai, head of Credit Cards at Post Office, said: "As millions of people prepare for their summer getaway, we urge them to play their cards right and make sure they are not stung by hefty credit card charges. With sterling strong against the Euro at the moment, those holidaying in Europe will reap the rewards. "Unfortunately, a worrying 25 per cent of people are unaware of what their credit card fees might be. Savvy sun-seekers should opt for a fee-free credit card which will leave them with that extra bit of holiday money in their pockets."
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