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Show me the money: Brits still prefer taking cash on holiday

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Brits heading abroad still prefer taking hard cash on holiday rather than using credit cards, despite the security risks.

According to a survey by Halifax, 60% of holidaymakers use currency they’ve bought in advance to pay for things while away, despite the risks associated with carrying large sums of money around.

The report found Brits are put off using credit cards abroad due to fees for cash withdrawals and foreign-exchange fees on cards; just 15% said they withdrew cash on debit cards using a foreign ATM, and only 14% said they used mainly plastic overseas.

This is especially true among women, with 65% saying they used currency they had bought in advance compared to 55% of men. Older people are more likely to put transactions on credit cards than young holidaymakers.

Richard Washington from Halifax Credit Cards said: “Taking cash abroad is useful to pay for smaller items, but it carries the risk of loss or running out.

“Credit cards on the other hand offer greater convenience; they can help to spread the cost; and they also offer also protection when buying goods and services directly. However, it seems that many people are being put off using cards as many apply foreign exchange fees and charge for cash withdrawals.

“Younger people especially are conscious of these fees which can carry a sting in the tail when you come home.”

The report highlighted that people are also more conscious about the costs of holidays, and more than one in ten (14%) said they begin to save for their main overseas holiday as soon as they get back from the previous one. A further 23% said they begin saving six months prior to going abroad.

Washington added: “It is more important than ever for people to make their money go further, and this also applies to holidays.

“Booking early, shopping around, and keeping flight extras down all help, but taking a fee-free card abroad gives you peace of mind and saves you money – not only while you are abroad but also when you get home.”

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