Holidaymakers heading for sunnier climes could be hit by millions in overseas bank charges if they are not careful with foreign currency.
Withdrawing cash from ATMs could cost Britons abroad as much as £284m this year in fees, says the financial comparison site moneyexpert.com. Charges can vary significantly but an average withdrawal, equivalent to £103, will remove around £107 from your bank account, whether you are using a debit or credit card.
However, holidaymakers can dodge the charges if they open a Nationwide FlexAccount, which does not charge for withdrawing cash abroad, and/or use the Nationwide Gold credit card, which has no commission fee on foreign transactions. Another good choice to help reduce the cost of an overseas holiday is the Zero card from Abbey; here again, you will not have to pay for cash withdrawals.
Sean Gardner from moneyexpert.com says because of the convenience of being able to take out money at any time while abroad, it is all too easy to get lumbered with extra charges: "Most people will have to pay for the privilege [of withdrawing cash from an overseas ATM] and some will pay considerably more than others." And he adds: "With the pound currently very weak against the euro, unnecessary fees are the last thing holidaymakers need."