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Cash is under threat across our planet.
Card schemes hate cash, as they can only wring profit from their debt-creating plastic products.
Visa and MasterCard have both made clear that cash is their enemy. Since 90% of all purchases on our planet are made using cash, this enemy of the card schemes must be the trusty friend of humanity.
Cash-is-Cool is working tirelessly to defend cash from predatory card schemes.
New research was published this week which suggests that tourists are being over-charged by credit and debit card companies when they use their plastic abroad. The often complex charges were causing travelling Brits to fork out extra sums in order to make a payment abroad or to withdraw cash from a foreign ATM.
While the Office of Fair Trading has promised to look into the matter - which was raised by watchdog, Consumer Focus - it seems to me that the answer is simple. Rather than relying on using debit and credit cards, convert to cash and avoid the costly charges and infuriating complications that so often come with using your card while on holiday.
There are some people I'm sure, who would argue against keeping large sums of cash with you while on holiday, but with the majority of hotels now providing in-room safes there no longer exists any real danger to keeping cash in your room. Keeping cash in a safe is a practical option, which will allow you to monitor your holiday cash flow and avoid the costly charges which can come with using your card abroad.
On top of this, cash is a useful resource to have with you holiday, particularly in countries where markets and small shops are the main form of tourist trade. As travellers become more adventurous in selecting their holiday destinations, many a backpacker has been known to end up in a remote location where card machines are hard to come by, and cash is more than likely to be the only viable form of payment!
When you are next lucky enough to travel abroad, be it for business or pleasure, try and restrict yourself to a cash-only budget. Not only will your credit card statements look much healthier at the end of the month, but you will also find it much easier to monitor what you are spending and where, allowing you to save a little bit extra for those special holiday treats - massage anyone?
Monday, 26th September 2011