Get the most out of your holiday spending this summer

It’s coming up to peak holiday season and if you’re lucky enough to be heading abroad this year, you’ve probably already started day-dreaming about feeling the sand between your toes, sipping on cocktails and your holiday wardrobe. But have you stopped and thought about how you’re going to get the best deal for your holiday spending and what’s best to use abroad?

Thinking of taking cash on your holiday? Why it pays to be organised…

If you’re planning on taking cash with you, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on exchange rates for up to three months before your trip, as it can fluctuate. Last year, according to FairFX, the online foreign currency provider, in the three months to the start of the holiday season (mid-July), the pound to euro exchange rate fluctuated by 7%.1

It’s difficult to say exactly what the exchange rates will do this year, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on things and not leave it to the week or even day before you go.

Also, remember to:

  • Try your best to avoid getting your currency at the airport, as the rate is normally a lot more expensive
  • Have a look online at the currency exchange providers, and compare rates across providers so you can assess which works out best for your needs
  • Avoid using your credit card to pay for your currency, because it will be classed as a cash withdrawal and this typically comes with fees

Considering using a credit card abroad? Here’s what you need to know…

Check the fees

If you have a credit card already and are wanting to use this abroad, remember to check your terms and conditions, to see whether any foreign transaction fees would apply. The majority of credit cards have a 2-3 % charge, with an extra 3% added if you withdraw cash whilst abroad.

Consider a travel credit card

There are a number of travel credit cards available, designed to be used abroad without any foreign transaction fees. If you’re considering applying for one, remember it’s always best to leave time for you to do your research and also factor in the time it’ll take from when you do the application to when you’ll actually get your card.

As a member of Noddle, you can check your eligibility for a credit card for free through our Card Matcher tool. All you need to do is sign up or sign in (if you’re already a Noddler). You’ll be able to filter the results to show ‘Travel cards’ once you’ve entered your details and are shown the results.

It’s also a good idea to check to make sure all details on your credit report look correct before using the tool, as it’s this that will guide what you may be eligible for.

You’re more protected using a credit card, right?

Correct! And that’s one of the key benefits over using cash abroad, as credit card transactions come with extra protection under the Consumer Credit Act. So, if you buy anything that costs between £100 and £30,000 on your credit card abroad, you could have extra rights to a refund if anything goes wrong with the purchase.

Pay the balance off in full after your holiday

Whilst credit cards can add extra protection on your holiday spending, always try to pay off the balance in full on your return from holiday to avoid getting into debt. A good trick is to keep the money you’ve saved up for holiday spends in a separate account and then you have this to use to pay off your credit card bill when you’re home.

We hope you found this post useful and are able to use the tips to get the best deal on your holiday spends.

1 Statistic taken from http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/holidays/article-5686579/Dont-leave-sorting-holiday-cash-minute-year.html