Foreign exchange fees ‘may contribute to debt concerns’

The amount of money paid out by Britons in unnecessary foreign exchange fees may be contributing to debt fears, new research has suggested.

A study…

The amount of money paid out by Britons in unnecessary foreign exchange fees may be contributing to debt fears, new research has suggested.

A study carried out by Santander Cards revealed holidaymakers are on course to shell out more than £49 million in such costs this summer.

It found more than 18 million people in Britain are set to venture abroad during the sunny season – despite the recent volcanic ash disruption, airline strikes and continuing economic uncertainty.

Just over 13 million of these tourists will consider the getaway their main vacation for the year, yet the remaining 4 million-plus are going to take a break in the UK as well.

The average budget for an adventure overseas stands at £350 per week for spending money.

This shows an increase of more than a quarter (28 per cent) on the sums calculated at the same time last year, which worked out at £274.

And it appears men are more likely to splash the cash while away, as the average male budget is £393 every seven days, compared to women who spend an average of £316.

Moreover, those aged between 35 and 54 tend to have the largest budget – an average of £377.

Over half the British holidaymakers abroad are planning to use their credit or debit cards to purchase items, with the average individual putting 44 per cent of their spending on plastic.

But with typical exchange fees of three per cent, such transactions will equate to a national bill of more than £49 million.

Post Office Credit Card recently warned 4.8 million British consumers may be at risk of paying additional charges when using their credit card abroad this year.

By Amy White

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