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The best cards for your holiday spending

Written by Oliver Laker on July 10, 2013.

Forget ordering your euros online, or getting one of those newfangled multi-currency prepaid cards.

New research, compiled for the Telegraph, shows that one of the cheapest ways to pay for your holiday spending is simply to use a debit card in an overseas cash machine.

Both Nationwide and Norwich & Peterborough building societies offer a combination of competitive exchange rates and low foreign-loading charges, that match – or beat – the best online currency deals. Meanwhile Halifax offers a credit card that features far more competitive rates than most prepaid cards. And the research shows that even some of our high street banks may not charge as much as you think to use your plastic overseas – provided you use it wisely.

But as sterling falls again – hitting a three-year low against the dollar this week – tourists will find their holiday spending may not stretch to as many cocktails, so it makes sense to get the best deal possible.

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The £40,000 cost of borrowing on credit cards

Written by Oliver Laker on February 2, 2013.

Do you know how much interest you’ve paid on your credit cards since you got your first bit of plastic?

Most of us have probably never bothered to find out. After all, it would involve quite a lot of work – collecting together all your statements, which probably go back several years, then identifying the interest charges and adding them all up.

Someone who did go to the effort was Samantha Womack, the former EastEnders actress. When she was interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph last year, she said: “I don’t use credit cards now. I had them as a young adult and I didn’t even look at the interest rate.

“So when I was older and I had all my leftover statements, I totted up how much interest I’d paid and felt physically sick.”

In fact, figures collated by this newspaper suggest that many borrowers end up wasting almost £40,000 in interest on credit cards. Of

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FinMin favors net banking, transactions via debit, credit cards

Written by Blake Teen on January 6, 2013.

Finance Minster P. Chidambaram has said that the government will support the increased use of net banking and would like customers to carry out banking transactions through debit and credit cards. This is inspite of the huge hike in cases of cyber fraud as these transactions are always recorded and thus leave an audit trail.

He explained that frauds pertaining to net banking and misuse of plastic cards (like debit or credit cards) form a small part of all such transactions across the country.

He said, “There is no proposal to discourage use of net banking and debit and credit cards. In fact, we must encourage it as such transactions are recorded and leave an audit trail.”

He further added that “RBI is vigilant in the matter…banks have been asked to be vigilant.” He also mentioned that investigations will be carried out in every such case of banking fraud and that the miscreants will be brought to justice.

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Smart things to know about interest charged on credit cards

Written by Blake Teen on October 28, 2012.

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Here is a look at 5 things you should know about the interest charged on credit cards

1) Interest is charged on the outstanding balance on a credit card if only the minimum or partial amount is paid by the specified date, not the full amount that is due. This is called the ‘revolving credit facility’.

2) There is an interest-free period, during which the amount used on a credit card does not attract any interest. T

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0% balance transfer credit cards – the facts

Written by Tim Peak on September 27, 2012.

The 0% balance transfer credit card is designed for those with existing credit card balances on which they are being charged high rates of interest. These cards enable borrowers to transfer these existing balances, thus benefiting from having just one credit card debt to deal with and more importantly avoiding interest charges on the balance for a specified period of time.

You should bear in mind that most 0% balance transfer credit card providers do charge a transfer fee, and the average fee is around 2.5% of the balance being transferred, often with a minimum charge in place. You will have a limited time within which you will have to transfer your balance, and once you have done this you will be able to enjoy a specified period of time within which to repay the balance without incurring any interest charges.

You should make sure that you avoid making purchases on a 0% balance transfer card, as not only will you be charged interest on purchases unless otherwise specified but your purchase balance will get trapped behind the transferred balance, where it will continue to accrue interest at a high rate.

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