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Debit cards 'expensive for holidaymakers'

UK holidaymakers are being charged excessive fees for using their debit cards while abroad, new research suggests.

Consumer website found that UK tourists are typically changed £3.67 every time they withdraw money with a debit card while on holiday.

In total, the website has calculated that Brits will use debit cards to take out £6.4 billion from foreign ATM machines this year - and they will be charged over £244 million to do so.

While debit cards do have a security benefit, the website said that the charges being levied on UK holidaymakers were excessive.

"With the pound strong against many major currencies you're likely to get a favourable deal wherever you go, but by using foreign ATMs your money will lose some of its value," explained Sean Gardner, chief executive of

"There's a price to be paid for convenience of using your plastic overseas. The old-fashioned ways of changing your currency or taking travellers' cheques should not necessarily be dismissed."

Figures from the UK payment association, Apacs, showed that UK holidaymakers spent £23 billion on plastic while abroad last year.

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