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Winter travel

Date: 15th Jan 2016 | Posted in: Financial News, News

More than four in five Brits planning winter getaway

  • MBNA study reveals millions are planning beach holidays, overseas city breaks and UK ‘staycations’ this winter
  • An average of £1,215 will be spent on winter holidays this year, with many opting to spread the costs on a credit card
  • Credit cards now provide “serious competition” to foreign currency for UK holidaymakers spending abroad

More than four in every five people in the UK are looking to get away this winter and leave behind the wettest December on record, according to a new study by credit card company MBNA. 

With December 2015 being hailed as Britain’s wettest month in more than a century1 83 per cent of people surveyed by MBNA said they have booked, or are planning to book, a winter getaway. 

Of 2,050 people surveyed2, 39 per cent said they would look to chase the winter sun with a beach holiday abroad. Overseas city breaks came second in the MBNA poll (35 per cent of those surveyed) closely followed by UK ‘staycations’ in third (34 per cent).

The study shows the average costs of travel and accommodation for winter holidays is £1,215 this year with most opting to fund the cost through savings, income and/or credit cards. Spending on essentials in advance of winter holidays (e.g. clothes, parking, tours/trips) averages at around £286.

Credit cards – such as MBNA’s award-winning Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card3 – and foreign currency are the most popular ways for holidaymakers to spend money whilst on their winter holidays, preferred by 31 per cent and 64 per cent respectively.

“This study shows an incredible number of people are planning to leave behind the stormy weather we saw in December and take a much-needed trip away this winter”, said Richard Whatmough, director of Marketing and Digital at MBNA. “At MBNA we create financial products that help people spread the costs of their trips. The simple, long-term low rate of our award-winning MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card – combined with no handling or transaction fees for using it in Britain or abroad – is a great example of how we’re doing just that. This is why it’s attracting such strong demand from UK holidaymakers.”

The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card has already received the praise of a range of expert credit analysts and publications, including Which? magazine4.

MBNA asked Hannah Maundrell, frequent personal finance commentator on the BBC and editor-in-chief at one of the UK’s largest financial comparison sites, money.co.uk, to compare the card to other typical financial products for holiday spending.

“Five years ago currency and travellers’ cheques would have been the first port of call for holidaymakers looking to splash the cash on their travels”, said Maundrell. “However, we’re seeing increasingly compelling new products – in particular credit cards – that are giving these traditional options serious competition."

She added: “The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card is a stand-out card not only because of its simplicity and long-term low rate, but because it has no handling fees and no foreign exchange transaction fees whether you use it in the UK or abroad. 

“Using a debit card to withdraw £100 of currency from an ATM abroad can cost as much as £4.99 a pop with some of the major banks. Although some debit cards do allow you free transactions abroad they’re few and far between. 

“The good thing about the MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card is that it allows you to make fee-free withdrawals while you’re on holiday without having to go through the hassle of switching your bank account. Add to this the protection that comes with spending on a credit card, and the MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card really is worth serious consideration as part of your holiday wallet when you’re looking for the best way to spend abroad.”

The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card offers:

  • A simple long-term low rate of 7.4 per cent p.a. for eligible new customers.
  • No credit card handling fees in the UK or abroad – all fees for money transfers, balance transfers and ATM usage in the UK and abroad have been removed.
  • No foreign exchange transaction fees.
  • No annual fee.
  • Access to a range of everyday offers and benefits from American Express.
  • Apple Pay and contactless technology compatibility.

The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card is available to apply for now on the MBNA website https://www.mbna.co.uk/.

Representative example: 7.4% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. This is equivalent to 7.4%APR representative (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200.

MBNA’s eligibility check allows customers to check how likely they are to be accepted for the card before completing the full application. Alternative products at either 9.9 per cent p.a. or 12.9 per cent p.a. may be offered, subject to status.

The card is part of a commitment by MBNA to offer a broad range of products that help make life easier for consumers to manage their finances. Credit is available, subject to status, to UK residents aged 18 and over.

1 Source reference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35230696

2 Consumer Intelligence conducted the winter travel research study of 2,050 UK credit card holders between 9 and 13 November 2015 on behalf of MBNA. Percentages included are based on the responses of the 2,050 surveyed.

3 The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card was named Best All Round Credit Card and Best Credit Card for Use Abroad in the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards 2016.

4 Which? named the MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card the “winner” for spending abroad in a recent head-to-head with the Barclaycard Low Rate Platinum Visa Credit Card (source Which? magazine, January 2016).