More backpackers ‘using prepaid cards’

Backpackers are turning to prepaid cards in an attempt to avoid credit card debt while they are travelling, it has been claimed.

Tom Griffiths, founder of gapyear.com, said the prepayment method is also popular with backpackers as traditional cards often get cancelled when people use them abroad.

“This is because the computer sees a card that hasn’t been used much in the UK suddenly being nailed in Ecuador or Fiji. It just looks like fraud so the card’s been stopped,” he remarked.

Even though customers often inform their banks that they are intending to use their cards overseas, computers still flag up their transactions, resulting in a growing problem for travellers, he explained.

Meanwhile, American Express recently warned backpackers to reduce risk while abroad by carrying a combination of cash, travellers cheques and credit cards.

It comes after research by the firm found that 16 per cent of those taking a gap year thought the best place to keep money would be in their pocket.

By Jamie Price

By Jamie Price

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