Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 30/07/2019

With the summer holidays here, the next few weeks can prove and expensive time for parents who often have to pay for extra childcare costs or spend money on keeping children entertained during the school break. Ideally, parents will have planned for the holidays and have a savings fund ready to cover the extra costs or have already factored the additional spend into their budgets, but credit cards can also prove a useful way to access money in the short-term.

Two-thirds (67%) of parents complained about being ripped off during their last trip abroad, with unforeseen debit charges the biggest complaint, a survey from Post Office Travel Money reveals.

A third of parents who took part in the survey revealed that they were caught out by extra charges averaging £120 on their last holiday. Along with charges for paying on cards while abroad, parents also highlighted the high cost of entry to attractions and excursions, restaurant service charges, meal and drink prices in restaurant and bars, cost of transport in destination and children’s beach extras as adding extra unforeseen costs to their holiday.

British consumers lost £95m using debit cards during European holidays, £7 million using pre-paid cards and £100m using their premier credit card, research by TotallyMoney, a credit report company, revealed.

TotallyMoney found holidaymakers had lost out due to high transaction fees and poor exchange rates. According to the research, just 8% of those surveyed used travel credit cards while on holiday. These types of cards avoid the high transaction fees and exchange rates that other traditional credit cards might include.  

As using a travel credit card can help save UK adults millions during their summer holidays, we’ve taken a look at the best travel credit cards currently available.

A loyalty scheme that let Mastercard users collect points from by shopping with ‘ethical’ retailers has now ceased trading leaving customers with no way to claim their outstanding rewards.

Set up less than two years ago, the Mastercard Ice scheme encouraged members to claim points for buying goods and services from a range of ‘environmentally-friendly’ high street shops and businesses, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Toby Carvery, Harvester, First Choice Holidays and All Bar One.

Mastercard Ice customers had already been contacting consumer websites with complaints that they had been unable to contact anyone or spend their points online prior to a closure message being posted on the Ice website and Facebook page.

In the statement posted on its website, Ice said “It is with the greatest regret that we have to inform you that Ice has now ceased trading. The directors will be seeking shareholder approval to put the company into voluntary liquidation.

We would also like to reassure customers that the directors are continuing to ensure that all customer personal data is dealt with securely in accordance with GDPR rules.

The Ice team would like to thank everyone who has supported Ice and our mission to mitigate climate change. We would also like to express our sadness that we have been unable to find a way to allow the Ice business to continue and for any inconvenience and disappointment this has caused to our customers.”

It has also been made clear that in accordance with Ice's published terms and conditions, any Ice points in circulation will now not be able to be redeemed.

Ice had appealed to many Mastercard customers due to the fact that in addition to the ability to collect points towards rewards, it could also be operated alongside other discount offers and loyalty schemes. Sadly, it seems that existing customers will have no way of redeeming their collected points for rewards with the closure of this scheme.

Over the past twelve months the average interest-free period available on 0% balance transfer credit cards has reduced by 63 days, while their equivalent purchase cards have seen a reduction of 29 days, according to data from the Moneyfacts UK Credit Card Trends Treasury Report.

According to the report, which is due to be released later this week, although interest-free terms continue to be reduced, the rate of these reductions has slowed between April and June 2019 compared to previous months.

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