According to data recently released by Travel Supermarket, the average UK holidaymaker spends £617 on their holiday and due to the convenience offered by low or zero interest credit cards, many are turning to credit to fund their week or two away in foreign countries.
So, what's the problem?
Credit cards do offer a great level of convenience and especially if the credit agreement includes provisions for use abroad. However, some people are finding it difficult to pay off their monthly minimum payments, even without any added interest. If you were to pay the £617 that holidays cost the average British holidaymaker over the 12 month interest-free period, it would cost £50 per month.
Yet the fact is that some people can't afford the £50 it would take to avoid paying interest on this balance. Instead, people in this situation are much more likely to just pay the minimum balance, in which case they will pay of £300 and still owe £317 by the end of the year. This means that the holiday will in fact – according to the MoneySavingExpert.com minimum payment calculator – take nine years to pay off when affected by an interest rate of 17.9% APR and there holiday would actually cost £906.
Choose your card wisely
If you look for a credit card with a longer interest free period, this will mean that you have longer to pay off the debt before the interest kicks in, which in turn means that you have much more chance keeping the overall cost down. Totally Money is a credit comparison website whose sole purpose is to help consumers choose the right credit card for their needs and the comparison tools available on that particular website are claimed to increase your chances of being accepted for a credit card.
Of course, the simple solution to avoiding paying too much for your holiday is to book a cheaper holiday, but there are a number of ways to be able to choose the same holiday without finding yourself in the same amount of financial strife. This include simply asking for a discount from the travel agent, booking early, booking late, and searching special offers, as well as avoiding hidden extra costs.