Say it with Plastic

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If you are taking, or are planning, a Valentines break this year and I could offer you the same flights, same hotel, even the same meals out in the same restaurants but all at least 10% or maybe 15% cheaper would you take it? Before you ask, its the same terms and conditions as well so there is no catch!

For most people there would be no good reason not to take the discount but you can get savings like that on almost every trip abroad without having to wait for special offers. A typical traveller on a weekend break is likely to spend about £150 (€178 or $229) a day whilst they are away. The difference between the high street banks and the best exchange rates online can easily exceed 10% which over a long weekend may well be enough to pay for your first nights hotel or a meal out for two.

Not everyone wants to take hundreds of pounds, Euros or dollars with them in cash and I can fully understand that. The safest option is to use a prepaid currency card. These are widely available and offer two massive advantages over your usual credit or debit card. Firstly they offer very competitive exchange rates compared to a normal card and secondly they are completely separate from your bank or credit card account and if they get lost or stolen your bank account is safe from the fraudsters. Prepaid cards are increasingly being mentioned in consumer advice and travel advice programmes on TV and radio and you are going to hear a lot more of them in the future.

The right card for you depends on where you live, where you are going and how you intend to use the card but the important points to take away are that they are both the safest way of carrying foreign currency and a way of getting a very good exchange rate. If you shop around online for your currency as well then your Valentines budget will go further and you will have a better time for the same money or less.

Posted by Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter is one of the founding partners for both Compare Holiday Money and Currency Buy Back. He regularly blogs on financial matters and writes content for a number of blogs in the travel industry.

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