UK holidaymakers spent £26 billion with cards last year

Last year UK holidaymakers spent £26.4 billion using their cards overseas, with consumers making almost 14 transactions every second, according to figures from the UK Cards Association.

This is the first time that annual overseas card spending figures have been released, and the figures show that 440m purchases were made last year via credit and debit cards.

There seems to be an even split between debit and credit card usage abroad, with 51 per cent of UK tourists using a credit or charge card to purchase goods on holiday. In the UK however, 80 per cent of people use a debit card to make a purchase.

‘‘With UK consumers spending £72 million every day on their cards overseas, it’s clear that holidaymakers are making sure they pack their cards when they go abroad,’’ said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association.

‘‘Not only is it a secure, convenient and often cheaper way to pay when on holiday, cards also make it easier to keep track of exactly what you’re spending.’’

British travellers also withdrew £6.02bn in cash from ATM’s last year, with £5.33bn of these cash withdrawals being made with a credit card.

Holidaymakers tend to withdraw more cash with their debit card while on holiday, as the average overseas withdrawal last year was £114, while the UK is a much lower £69.

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