How to make the most of your money this half term

With half-term looming, it’s time to plan your holiday spending


Whether you’re heading abroad for half term or planning an escape for some winter sun, getting organised with your money will ensure you get the best deal on your holiday spending.

Whether its cash, credit cards or pre-paid currency cards, here’s our tips on how to get your holiday money sorted…


Order holiday cash in advance

Ordering your travel money for home delivery or for collection at the airport before you set off will ensure you nail much better exchange rates.

Simply rocking up to an airport bureau de change is the most expensive way to do it, so make sure you have a look online to see what rates you can get before your departure.

Check the total price

When ordering holiday cash, make sure you look at the overall cost, not just the exchange rate.

Top tip: the best exchange rate might not translate into the best deal when fees and charges are taken into account.

Credit cards

Take out an overseas spending credit card

Unless your credit card is designed for overseas spending, it’s best not to rely on your existing plastic. Many credit card providers will charge sky-high fees for transactions while you are abroad.

Instead, frequent travellers should consider applying for a credit card that’s been designed for overseas spending, such as the recently launched MBNA Everyday Plus American Express Credit Card, which has no charges associated to spending abroad. The card has a representative rate of 7.4% APR (variable)*.

Top tip: Remember to pay off the full balance at the end of the month to avoid being stung by interest charges on your return.

Debit accounts

Find out ATM withdrawal fees

If you’re planning on taking cash out on your debit card while you’re abroad make sure your find out the how much your debit card provider will charge you for using an ATM.

Pre-paid currency cards

Apply ahead of your trip

Pre-paid currency cards are a good choice for those who prefer not to take out a new credit card or change current account provider.

Pre-paid currency cards don’t charge withdrawal or purchase fees on spending and also are safer, and often better value, than carrying around wads of cash.  

Kevin Mountford, money expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Winter sun-seekers would be wise to plan their spending money alongside everything else that comes with travelling abroad.

“Finding the best cash rate can save you up to 10 per cent (meaning an extra £10 on holiday treats for every £100 exchanged), while picking the most appropriate card can save on fees and charges.”
*Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 7.4% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 7.4% APR (variable).
All credit cards are subject to status and terms and conditions. Over 18s, UK residents only. Terms and conditions apply. See for further information.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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