18 August 2009 09:15:25
|Holiday cash comes with a range of fees.|
Travel money providers offering supposedly "free" services often include "hidden costs" in the deals, a financial firm has said.
FairFX.com noted that holidaymakers often face non-usage fees, cross-border fees and wide variations in online and high street prices when purchasing foreign currency.
Research from the firm also revealed that people who used prepaid credit cards gained better value in their holiday spending, compared to those who used foreign cash.
An imaginary £1,000 changed into euros currently buys €1,148 on FairFX.com's own Euro Card, while the Caxton Euro Card buys €1,141.
Meanwhile, the best high street cash deal bought just €1,118.30, after all extra charges were taken into account.
Airport cash fared still worse, with ICE in Gatwick topping the charts at €1,077.70.
Stephen Heath, chief executive of FairFX.com, said: "We are calling on all providers to be clear and transparent about the fees, so that the traveller can decide upfront whether they are happy to end up with less of their currency in their wallet."
He added: "We believe very strongly that travellers need to be aware of these hidden costs."
FairFX.com research also revealed that 63% of travellers would "feel deceived" if they discovered extra charges after they bought foreign currency.