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Martin Lewis: How to get the best holiday money deals

So you've book your holiday

You know you're gonna go,

you're dreading there isn't horrible building work going on next door

a bit like where were filming right now

but the key question everyone asks me what is the cheapest way to spend when I go?

my first option

And the best option of the lot is to get yourself a specialist overseas credit card

Let me explain first of all how all plastic works when you're overseas, whether its debit or credit.

you spend on it and and they add a hidden load

usually at 3%, the exchange rate they get.

So that means if you spend 100 Pounds worth of Euros

you'll be charged 103 Pounds

And it gets worse to in some cases

You'll be charged for withdrawing cash,

on credit cards you'll pay interest even if you clear the card in full on those cash withdraws.

And on some, what I call the "Debit Cards From Hell"

Lloyds, Natwest, Santander, RBS, Halifax,

they charge you an additional fee every time you spend.

Up to one pound fifty.

But the Savior here is the specialist credit cards,

because they on load free worldwide

and there's a range of them,

So that means you spend 100 Pounds worth of Euros and it costs you 100 Pounds

Now they will still have ATM charges of various amounts

although they tend to be lower

which means you're better to spend on the card than to withdraw cash and to spend that

but overall this is the cheapest way to spend.

it works in every country, your getting perfect rates everywhere.

Of course you need to set up a direct debit to repay the card


every month or you're going to be charged interest which makes it not worth it

But in general that's the cheapest way to go. I know some of you out there will be going

"Aren't there any debit cards that do this?"

Well the only one remaining as I film is the Norwich and Peterborough current account.

But do you really want to switch your current account just to get cheap spending abroad?

There are many better perks on current accounts

and you can just apply for a credit card anytime willy nilly

and do what I do. I have an overseas wallet, it sits in there

I never spend on it in the UK because it doesn't give me any advantage here

but when I go away, Wey Hey HEY!!!!

Tip two, if you actually want a bit of cash in your pocket how do you get it?

The worst thing to do, the great sin when it comes to money overseas

is to get your money at the airport.

they know you're captive customer they give you worse rates

if you've left it that late and you do need to get your foreign exchange from the airport

at the very least pre order it for airport pick up and you get a better rate.

But the best thing to do is compare!

Ignore spiel like commission-free because often commission-free yes, but worst exchange rates.

You just simply want to know, I want to change 500 Pounds to Euros

how many Euros will you give me after all charges, and compare like that.

You can do this online in seconds, comparing online bureau at

when you go abroad you use your card in a bank or in a shop and it offers to let you pay in pounds

rather than in Euros or Dollars

the simple rule of thumb is always pay in the local currency

that way your card is doing the conversion rather than the shop or the bank

because generally when you allow the shop or the bank's convert

you get a very very poor rate.

This is especially true if you've got one of those specialist credit cards I mentioned earlier.

The're giving you perfect rates,

guaranteed the Overseas Bank or shop is not giving you a perfect rate

So if you choose to Press pay in pounds

it's doing the conversion for you, you're losing out.