Top up cards could help manage money

Holidays are still big business despite the credit crunch, with around £81 billion spent on trips away by UK adults every year, according to Abbey.

For people worried about building up debts by spending on holidays, a top up card may help vacationers stay debt free.

Top up cards are used in the same way as debit cards, in that they are protected by chip and PIN and can be used to shop online.

However, because they are loaded with a set amount of cash rather than being linked to bank accounts – similar to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone – shoppers do not have to worry about accidentally going into their overdrafts.

Furthermore, they can be used like credit cards without the worry of credit card debt.

Carl Scheible, managing director of PayPal UK, which offers a top up card, said they are also “safer and more convenient” than cash or traveller’s cheques while on holiday.

“By loading up a set amount of money people can ensure that they stick to a tight budget for the duration of their holiday; avoiding the headache of a huge credit card bill when they return,” he explained.

By Morwenna Kearns

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