Brits spend £260 million to access cash abroad

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British holidaymakers are spending millions on overseas credit and debit card ATM withdrawal fees

British holidaymakers are spending millions on overseas credit and debit card ATM withdrawal fees.

According to The Telegraph, an estimated £260 million was spent in fees taking money out from a cash machine abroad last year.

Research from an online travel agent found that two-thirds of Brits confessed to withdrawing cash from ATM machines on at least five separate occasions while on holiday last year.

With the average transaction charge for withdrawing cash from an ATM machine abroad coming to £2.75, tourists indulging in such a practice can expect to fork out close to £14 on each trip.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that around 36.2 million UK travellers went overseas in 2011, 28.6 million of whom were adults. Based on these figures, this suggests that British holidaymakers spent a staggering £263.46 million withdrawing their own money last year.

Making several smaller withdrawals from cash machines on holiday can cost you more in the long run. It could, therefore, be advisable to make large withdrawals less frequently.

Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s Consumer Correspondent, said: “When you do need cash locally, the cheapest, easiest and most flexible way to buy it is likely to be with your debit card in a cash machine.”

You will normally be charged a fee (typically 1.5-2 per cent) and the exchange rate used will be “loaded” against you by as much as 2.75%. But it’s still likely to work out cheaper than, or as cheap as, buying cash from a bureau de change.”

Before departing, it could be worth shopping around to find the best foreign exchange rate for your cash and considering other finance options such as a prepaid currency card. While there is usually a registration fee, they can help to manage a budget and reduce the risk of ID fraud.

Brits spend £260 million to access cash abroad was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3252 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!