British Travellers Pay More to Use Pounds Abroad

British travellers are losing out on monetary transactions when holidaying abroad, due to poor skills in converting currency, according to new research.

Around 15 percent of British holidaymakers are not confident in their currency conversion skills while holidaying abroad, according to the survey of 2,000 British adults, conducted by YouGov, a UK based organisation that canvasses public opinion. The shortcoming is even worse for women, as 20 percent of those surveyed admitted to not having confidence in their maths for currency conversion.

Around 40 percent of British travellers, or 20 million adults, opt to pay for goods in British pounds, using their debit or credit cards, instead of paying in the local currency of foreign countries. This results in them paying over the odds, due to poor exchange rates and credit card charges.

James Hickman, the managing director of Caxton FX, said, ‘The number of people getting caught out by DCC has actually increased in the past year and a lack of understanding about the risk of associated charges seems to be at the heart of this.

An extra 4 percent charge on every transaction could add up to some serious cash over the course of a two week holiday and some rather surprising bank statements upon return to the UK. However, DCC is a perfectly legal charge so it’s up to the individual to make sure they are not being caught out by this.

Using your debit card abroad could expose you to a charge from your bank on every transaction, on top of a less than favourable exchange rate. Additionally, using ATMs at the destination airport or changing money at your resort are some of the worst options for consumers. Usually, the exchange rate will be very poor and each withdrawal can cost upwards of GBP1.50!’