As the ski season gets into full swing and thousands of Brits are hitting the slopes overseas for their annual fix of downhill fun, N&P (Norwich and Peterborough Building Society) is guiding skiers on how to avoid an unwelcome jump in the cost of their holiday this ski season.
Research from N&P(1) reveals a significant lack of knowledge of how much a withdrawal at an overseas ATM could cost, with fewer than one in ten people realising that a £250 withdrawal from an overseas ATM can cost them £12 in fees and charges(2).
With £17 billion worth of credit and debit card transactions, and almost £8 billion worth of hard cash withdrawn at overseas ATMs in 2009(3), the opportunity for people to save is huge.
Ewan Edwards, head of current accounts at N&P, said: “A withdrawal from an overseas ATM can cost a holiday-maker up to £12, and using plastic to pay for shopping, restaurant meals or excursions could add up to a nasty financial hangover when you get home. It is shocking that only one in ten people realise it can be this pricey.
“Holiday finances can hit the skids if you do not make savvy choices about how to pay for things while on holiday. If you aren’t careful you could find you have stories of ‘après fee’ rather than ‘après ski’.
“Whether it is because holiday-makers do not feel comfortable travelling with lots of cash, or because they like the simplicity of being able to use one debit card to pay for meals and drinks plus get additional currency from a local ATM as and when they need it, there are many reasons why people choose to use an N&P debit card. And now they can do it all without an avalanche of transaction fees to contend with.”
[Table comparing the cost of withdrawing £250 from an overseas ATM attached.]
Top reasons why using a N&P debit card overseas could be the best form of payment on holiday:
Security: Eliminates the need to travel with lots of cash, find a safe place to store it, or withdraw one large amount from an overseas ATM to minimise the impact of withdrawal fees;
Simple: One card can cover restaurant and bar bills, shopping, excursions and other day-to-day expenses, and fee-free regardless of the price of the purchase;
Convenience: Withdraw cash from ATMs as and when you need to without worrying that you will be accumulating charges every time you do so;
Flexible: No need to worry about arrangements to obtain different currencies if you are travelling to more than one country, as N&P’s debit card can be used worldwide;
No post-holiday surprises: Debit card payments will come out of your account within days, not leaving you with a surprise credit card bill weeks later.
The research revealed:
• One in ten (9.2%) UK adults correctly stated that customers would tend to be charged £10 or more for a withdrawal of £250 from an overseas ATM
• Less than one per cent thought customers would be charged more than £10
• The expected average cost of withdrawing £250 was £3, £9 less than the amount charged by some providers
• Seven per cent of men thought that withdrawing money from an overseas ATM was free.
• People in Northern Ireland are the most optimistic, with 13.3 per cent thinking that banks and building societies don’t typically charge for foreign ATM withdrawals.