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APACS issues overseas card advice

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APACS, the UK payments association, and ABTA, the travel association, have published a consumer advice guide providing information for Brits using their cards abroad this summer.

APACS statistics show that there were 309 million overseas transactions on UK-issued cards last year, representing 3% of all transactions on UK-issued cards. In fact, using a card is so popular among British travellers that, in 2007, card purchases accounted for 50% of all overseas spending.

Last year Britons used their cards for overseas transactions totalling £25.2bn – £18.1bn on credit and debit card purchases and £7.1bn on cash taken out of overseas cash machines.

The Using Your Plastic Overseas guide includes tips on what to do before, during and after your trip abroad to minimise the chances of being a victim of fraud and provides information around the types of charges you may incur when withdrawing cash at a cash machine or when making a purchase overseas using your card.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, said: “As a nation we are all using our cards more frequently abroad so it pays to be aware of any extra costs that may be incurred for using them overseas, as well as taking steps to protect them from fraud. Card thieves are hoping to catch us relaxed and off-guard when we are overseas, so we need to take the same sensible precautions with our cards abroad as we would in the UK.”

David Marshall, head of communications at ABTA, said: “Although there are a range of payment options available for UK consumers going abroad, paying with plastic is an increasingly popular choice. The advice in this guide provides holidaymakers with a variety of useful information that can help ensure a safe and stress-free holiday.”

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