The advice not to use credit cards abroad and take cash or specialised cards along instead has been doing the rounds for years, but some destinations are worse than others.
Credit card providers can charge anything up to 10% per transaction for customers using their credit cards abroad, with many of the better ones charging around 6%.
This can add a substantial sum to an otherwise well-planned holiday expenditure.
Most credit cards will add a non-sterling exchange-rate fee when used abroad, to buy something in Euros, for example. This can swiftly add up.
Yesterday, on BBC’s This Morning programme, money saving expert Martin Lewis said the best way to avoid these charges is to obtain a specialised overseas credit card, which offers the same exchange rates used by international banks on the day.
He said: “The method I tend to favour is to use a specialist, overseas credit card. Now, most plastic when you go abroad, you spend £100-worth of Euros on it, it adds a non-sterling exchange-rate fee, which means it costs you £103, and there are often other charges on top.
“These specialist credit cards don’t have a sterling exchange-rate fee. So you get the same near-perfect exchange rates in every country that the bank does.”
If you do find yourself using your credit card abroad, not all things are equal. Some countries will sting you particularly hard. The list, published in The Express yesterday, highlights Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and Spain as some of the worst countries for Brits to use their credit cards abroad.
James Hickman from FairFX said: “The way it is pushed is abhorrent. The amount they charge should be capped.”
The sum wasted by Britons using their existing credit cards abroad is alleged to hit around £500m per year and could be avoided altogether if consumers made themselves more aware of the alternatives.