The UK Cards Association and ABTA, the travel association, have today (5 June 2009) published a consumer advice guide – Using your card overseas – that provides tips and useful information for holidaymakers and business travellers who will be using their cards abroad.
Statistics from The UK Cards Association show that there were 317 million overseas transactions on UK-issued cards last year, amounting to just over three per cent of all transactions on our cards. Last year Britons used their plastic for £27.8 billion worth of overseas transactions - £19.9 billion on credit and debit card purchases and £7.9 billion on cash taken out of cash machines. This was up just over ten per cent on the total from 2007.
The advice guide can be downloaded at www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk. It provides useful information regarding the types of charges you may incur when withdrawing cash at a cash machine or when making a purchase overseas using your card, and includes tips on what to do before, during and after your trip abroad to minimise the chances of being a victim of fraud.
Sandra Quinn, director of communications, says: “Using your debit or credit card is a convenient and safe way to pay when you’re overseas. However, everyone should be aware that there may be fees or costs connected with using your card in a foreign cash machine or shop. Additionally, card criminals often look to catch us with our defences down when we are on holiday, so we need to take some simple, sensible precautions to help minimise the chances of becoming a victim of fraud.
“The Using your card overseas guide provides useful advice when it comes to using your card abroad, and can help ensure that you’re not caught out by any surprising charges and that your trip overseas is free from fraud.”
If you are travelling overseas this year, either on holiday or on a business trip, the following advice can help ensure that using your cards is a hassle-free experience:
Casia Zajac, ABTA head of communications says: “There are a range of payment options available for UK consumers going abroad, and paying with plastic continues to be an increasingly popular choice. The advice in this guide provides holidaymakers and business travellers with useful information that can help ensure a safe and stress-free time overseas.”