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World Cup fans warned of Credit Card charges up to 4.2%

Published: 27/05/2010 by Comments

English fans are expected to spend around £135 million in South Africa for this summer’s football World Cup. However, with excessive foreign exchange fees and tough financial regulations, Spanish bank Santander recommends some careful financial planning. - Compare the best deal credit cards

An average English fan will spend around £2,700 through the trip, but with currency restriction of just 5,000 South African rand (less than £450) allowed in or out of the country, fans will have to rely to a large extent on withdrawals from ATMs or purchases with credit cards.

Santender’s study suggests that cash withdrawals from ATM machines abroad will typically incur a 2.75% foreign exchange fee, and 1.5% cash-handling fee, working out to a total of 4.25% per transaction. This means for £2,700 withdrawn, fans will have bear an additional fee of about £115.

This issue is relevant not just for the World Cup. Research suggests that nearly one in two UK travelers uses an ATM machine for cash withdrawals when abroad. To help out a clientele of globe-trotters, Santander offer a Zero Current Account that charges no fees for customers using their debit cards anywhere in the world. ‘‘Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, Director of Banking at Santander, commented that consumers can save a lot of money by being aware of worldwide transaction fees levied by their banks, and by choosing a bank that gives them the best deal possible. Consumers are also suggested to try and pay in the local currency when paying with their debit cards, as this will save them a hefty foreign currency conversion fee.

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