Home Finance Britons waste ‘huge chunk of savings’ with £429m left on pre-paid travel...

Britons waste ‘huge chunk of savings’ with £429m left on pre-paid travel cards

UK holidaymakers are returning from their trips with £429million left on pre-paid travel cards.

This marks a 16 percent increase from the £369 million that remained on pre-paid cards after holidays last year, according to new research from money-saving travel debit card Currensea.

Given that 13 percent of travellers use pre-paid cards abroad, millions of holidaymakers are wasting their holiday savings.

They face additional fees and poor rates to convert leftover funds back into sterling, or they often forget about these unused savings entirely.

James Lynn, co-founder of Currensea, commented: “UK travellers are wasting a huge chunk of their holiday savings by sticking with costly and inconvenient pre-paid cards which offer poor value, high fees and require the hassle of topping up.”

A third (32 percent) of UK holidaymakers who use pre-paid cards abroad believe these options offer better exchange rates when spending abroad and half (46 percent) of people who use them believe it improves their budget management.

However, travellers return with an average of £87 remaining on these cards and over a quarter (27 percent) of travellers find themselves with over £100 left when they return from holiday.

For parents with school-aged children, the average amount remaining on pre-paid cards rises to £109, with four in 10 (42 percent) returning with over £100 leftover.

Mr Lynn noted that although it can be a challenge to accurately calculate holiday spending money, relying on pre-paid cards “is a gamble that rarely pays off”.

He continued: “Topping up pre-paid cards before you travel leaves no room for error and often leaves holidaymakers scrambling for money at extortionate ATMs, facing steep bank charges when they have to rely on their bank card or risk returning from holiday with huge amounts leftover on pre-paid cards.

“Millions of people still wrongly believe that pre-paid cards offer the best solution when spending money abroad.

“They’re no longer more secure than bank cards as most bank and card providers allow you to simply freeze your card if it is missing or stolen and the fees are uncompetitive.”

He added: “By adopting smarter spending habits, travellers can avoid excessive foreign exchange fees, securing as good a deal on their holiday spending as they do on flights or accommodation.”


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