How Much Will You be Paying in Credit Card Charges This Year?

By: Reno Charlton

As the summer gets ever closer an increasing number of us will be planning our summer holidays, and many of us will be going armed with our plastic cards for convenience, ease, and security. Many holidaymakers tend to use their credit and debit cards when abroad on holiday, but alarmingly many of us may not even realise just what a hit our finances are taking as a result of our card use abroad.

Research that was recently carried out showed that this year Brits are set to spend a total of around ?23 billion on their plastic cards abroad, which will see card providers rake in profits by way of foreign transaction fees and charges. The figures suggest that over the course of the year credit card companies could end up making around ?368 million in fees from credit card users, and banks could end up netting a further ?318 million from debit card users.

There are concerns that many of those planning to use their cards whilst abroad may not be aware of the charges that are linked to the use of these cards, and experts are keen to ensure that those planning to use their cards learn more about the charges involved.

One industry official that was involved in the recent research said: "The ever-increasing plethora of overseas fees and charges on debit and credit cards could leave consumers with a holiday hangover if they don't do their homework before boarding the plane. Charging a fee for every purchase made overseas on a debit card is a lucrative bandwagon and one that is well worth providers jumping on. The revenue from these charges represents 9.5% of the total income made from fees on overseas transactions."

He also stated: "As a nation we now prefer to pay by plastic rather than by cash. Consequently, when we go abroad, most of us will not give it a second thought when taking out a credit or debit card to pay the bill. However, at the very least, consumers should make sure that they are fully aware of the additional charges involved when they use their card overseas. This might go some way to preparing them for the shock when these fees appear on their statement when they get home."

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