Foreign cash remains the preferred payment method abroad

Maria AdediranPress Officer
September 19, 2014, 12:18 PM GMT+0

New research from a YouGov Reports publication shows that the majority of UK holiday makers used foreign cash to purchase their goods whilst abroad.

The “Holiday Money 2014” report shows that 85% of UK adults who have been on holiday in the past 12 months preferred to use foreign cash as a method of payment whilst abroad. This is virtually unchanged since 2011, 83% said they used cash to purchase their goods.

The survey also shows that there has been a decline in the proportion of adults who made use of other available payment methods abroad, with the exception of pre-paid cards, which remained stagnant at 6%. A third of recent overseas holiday makers (33%) said they used their credit cards (versus 37% in 2011), whilst two in ten (21%) said they used their debit card (versus 33% in 2011). The use of traveller’s cheques has also fallen (9% in 2011 to 4% in 2014).

The most popular positive attributes for foreign cash is that it is simple (60%) and convenient to use (56%); the freedom to spend it anywhere (54%) also appeals to holiday makers. Although cash is seen as the best way to control the amount you spend, it is also seen as the easiest thing to lose or have stolen (29%) out of all other payment methods. Credit cards and debit cards have similar benefits according to travellers; however, credit cards appeared to offer a greater sense of peace of mind (34%) than debit cards (25%). The expense of using credit (17%) and debit card (15%) was the highest negative statements for both payment method.

The findings also suggest that pre-paid cards is seen as the best payment method for purchasing goods abroad. Nearly three quarters of travellers using pre-paid cards (72%) found them easy to use, 69% found them convenient and more than half (56%) said they gave them a sense of security. Despite the fact that pre-paid cards appear to offer the best solutions for travellers looking to spend their money abroad, there has not been an increase in the proportion of holiday makers who use this method.

James McCoy, Research Director, YouGov Reports said: “Clearly, there is a tendency to use cash abroad as it is widely accepted by holiday makers. However, the problem lies with the fact that carrying large sums of money abroad is not safe. Meanwhile, the decline in debit and credit cards may be due to the extra charges and fees associated with using them overseas.

It is perhaps surprising that the use of pre-paid cards has remained unchanged since 2011, even though they are seen in a generally positive light. The fact of the matter is that there is still a lot of misunderstandings regarding this payment method and holiday-makers are not informed on how to compare and benefit from them”.

Go to YouGov Reports

Find out more about this report here

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