Holidaying Brits splash the cash

03 July 2013

  • Despite the risks, holiday-makers still prefer cash on holiday

The majority of holiday-makers favour cash over cards when they go abroad, with 60% using currency they've bought in advance to pay for things while away, according to research from Halifax.

Perhaps put off by fees for cash withdrawals and foreign-exchange fees on cards, just 15% said they withdrew cash on debit card using a foreign ATM, and only 14% said they used credit cards in the main for transactions overseas.

Despite the risk of loss with cash, and the protection afforded by using a credit card, hard currency remains king. This is especially true among women, with 65% saying they used currency they had bought in advance compared to 55% of men.

There is also a generational factor at play with older people more likely to use a credit card while on holiday. More than a fifth (21%) of those aged 65 and over said they used their credit card for transactions abroad in the main, as opposed to 3% of those aged 18-24.

Richard Washington, Halifax Credit Cards, said:
"Taking cash abroad is useful to pay for smaller items, but it carries the risk of loss or running out.

"Credit cards on the other hand offer greater convenience; they can help to spread the cost; and they also offer also protection when buying goods and services directly. However, it seems that many people are being put off using cards as many apply foreign exchange fees and charge for cash withdrawals.

"Younger people especially are conscious of these fees which can carry a sting in the tail when you come home. However, not all cards are the same and the Halifax Clarity Credit Card gives you protection and convenience, doesn't charge you fees for using it abroad, and doesn't charge fees for overseas cash withdrawals either."

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