Prepaid cards set for holiday take-off
on: November 21, 2008, 9:48 am
Release Author: Virgin
Release Summary: Pre-paid cards are set to take a major slice
of holidaymakers annual spending on plastic this year as tourists
bid to keep summer spending under control, Virgin Money believes.
Release Body: Over £20 billion* spent on plastic overseas
by UK travellers each year, Virgin Money says
about the soaring cost of living and rising debts will boost the
popularity of the cards, which enable customers to spend overseas
and withdraw money but not to run up debts, Virgin Money
up to 40 pre-pay cards are available on the market with more providers
expected to launch over the coming months.
Money analysis** shows average one-off application fees
for the cards are £7.08 with some firms charging as much
as £19.95. However customers also need to be aware of monthly
40% of providers charge a monthly fee to users ranging from £1
to £5.95 while customers also need to take into account
fees on spending and overseas use when budgeting for holiday spending.
Typically debit and credit cards charge handling and commission
fees for overseas usage which can add up to as much as £5.95
for a £100 withdrawal.
which was among the first to launch into the market with its Pre-Paid
MasterCard in July last year, has already seen strong interest
from customers and expects the market to continue to grow.
Money spokesman Grant Bather said: “Everyone
needs to keep their spending under control as the credit crunch
and soaring inflation take a big bite out of household budgets.
cards remove the temptation to run up debt while you’re
on holiday as you can only spend the amount that is loaded on
your card. They’re a good discipline to get into to avoid
the risk of the sun going to your head and burning up your bank
balance on holiday.
they can be more secure to carry than cash as if you lose the
card you can get a replacement sent out. Plus if you really do
lose control of your finances relatives or friends can load the
card up with emergency cash.”
Virgin Prepaid MasterCard charges a £9.95
application fee but unlike other cards does not charge a monthly
fee. Customers can load it up for free by debit card, at Post
Offices or through a bank transfer. There’s a 2.95% charge
each time you use it in the UK rising to 3.5% when you use it
overseas for transactions or to withdraw cash.
also qualify for a range of discounts including 10% off at zavvi,
first month free with Virgin Media, 10% off Virgin
Wines (for over 18s), a free month’s membership
at Virgin Active gyms, 20% off at Virgin
Experiences and 10% off Virgin Car, Home, Pet
and Annual Travel Insurance.
To apply online go to http://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/prepaid-card/
Notice to editors:
**Virgin Money research