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Money Saving Secret for Brits Abroad Revealed: The One Button You MUST Avoid!

Financial guru Martin Lewis has warned British holidaymakers about a particular button they should avoid pressing when on trips abroad.

When individuals withdraw cash from an ATM or make a purchase using their debit or credit card in a foreign country, they’re usually asked if they want to complete the transaction in the local currency or British pounds.

Lewis highlighted that the ‘convert to GBP’ button should never be used, as it likely introduces a surcharge for the conversion.

While presenting an episode of ITV’s Martin Lewis Money Show, the 51-year-old journeyed to Malaga, Spain, showcasing how ATMs levy a fee for conducting a currency conversion. He noted: ‘[The ATM] says “markup 4.5 per cent”, so they are adding a 4.5 per cent load on top of the exchange rate.

‘You do not want this machine to do the conversion for you. You want your card company at home to do the conversion because, even if it’s not a good card, it’s a better rate. Continue with conversion? No way, it’s going to cost me 20 quid more than it should.’

He further mentioned that the machine’s proposition of performing a conversion is a ‘psychological scare tactic’ that travellers might fall for, cautioning: ‘Do not pay to pay.

‘When you go into a shop, when you go to a cash machine, and it says “do you want us to do the conversion for you”, no, no, no. Pay in the local currency.’

Lewis, the TV celebrity who launched the website MoneySavingExpert.com, also suggests that tourists acquire a specialist overseas debit or credit card to capitalize on the ‘near-perfect’ exchange rates they provide.

He outlined: ‘What normally happens when you spend on plastic abroad is when you spend on the card, the bank or the card provider gets a near-perfect rate and they add a 3 per cent non-sterling exchange rate fee.

‘This means you get £100 worth of euros, dollars, or dong, which is the Vietnamese currency… but it costs you £103 because of the extra 3 per cent.’

‘But the specialist cards don’t add that 3 per cent and you get the near-perfect rates that they do.’

According to Lewis, the currently preferable specialist cards are the Barclaycard Rewards credit card, the Chase debit card, and the Halifax Clarity credit card.

Travelers can also save on their holiday budget by choosing a location where the British pound will inherently have a greater value.

Earlier this year, Post Office Travel Money announced that Cape Town in South Africa is the most affordable holiday location for Britons in 2023.

It’s trailed by Marmaris in Turkey and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. Conversely, Reykjavik in Iceland was identified as the least cost-effective holiday spot for British travellers.

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