Scots waste millions on overseas card fees

Thousands are Scots are jetting off on their summer holidays, but they are squandering their hard-earned cash on card fees abroad.

A study by foreign exchange specialists Travelex has revealed a reluctance to use prepaid cards, which they say could cut the estimated £100million in credit and debit card fees that holidaymakers will incur this summer, because they do not know which card to choose.

The news comes as Prestwick Airport expects to handle around 250,000 people this summer, while Glasgow Airport reported 735,000 holidaymakers passing through in June - an increase of almost 5 percent on the same period last year.

Not being able to understand the charges, or how to compare prepaid cards, were cited as the most common reasons for the confusion among holidaymakers in the Travelex study, with nearly a third of Scots not realising they are incurring fees and charges using credit and debit cards abroad.

When questioned, nearly one in ten people said choosing a prepaid card was extremely difficult while more than 70 percent revealed they couldn’t work out the best value card. The confusion means that hundreds of thousands of travellers are missing out on holiday savings as well as the security benefits of carrying a prepaid travel money card.

Travelex say currency conversation or ‘load fees’ can incur an average 2.75 percent additional charge on credit and debit card users - adding nearly £70 to the cost of a family holiday every year. Now the company is calling for a uniform method of displaying prepaid card information to make it easier for consumers to choose the right prepaid card.

Travelex spokesman Phillip Hanson said: “We’re pushing for greater clarity and transparency to make it easier for travellers to decide which product is right for them and we are sure that more of them will discover the benefits of the prepaid currency card and save money when they head abroad.”