Over 50s stash the foreign cash

Monday 27 July 2015

• Two thirds of over 50s plan ahead and exchange money when rates are good • Half of people don’t change foreign cash back to sterling when they get back to the UK • More than £400 million of foreign currency stashed in the over 50s homes

Over 50s stash the foreign cash

The over 50s are packing their bags and heading off in search of some sun this summer, as almost two thirds are planning to travel abroad, according to a recent Saga survey of nearly 10,000 over 50s*.

While the over 50s are adventurous travellers picking far-off destinations to visit, they play it safe when it comes to their holiday spending money with eight out of ten changing up foreign cash before they go abroad. In fact, 63% of these people say they keep a close eye on exchange rates and only buy foreign currency when the rate is good. And it seems they don’t want to get caught short without enough cash while they’re away, as on average they take £487 with them; with men planning to be the biggest spenders packing £541 on average, compared to women who take £411. 

However, some over 50s could face a big bill when they get home as a third heading abroad this year say they will withdraw cash from a local ATM whilst abroad or get their money changed up at the resort where they are staying.

People could be sitting on a pretty penny as nearly half (46%) said they never convert their foreign currency back into sterling and have accumulated around £240 worth of foreign cash as a result. Saga estimates that the over 50s could have more than £400 million of foreign cash stashed in their homes.

While more than half of people use the local currency when abroad, two fifths use a credit or debit card when they’re on holiday. Those packing their flexible friend are wise to do so but only if it doesn’t charge them to use it abroad, like the Saga Platinum credit card. 

Saga offers the following tips to make holiday spending money go further for the over 50s travelling abroad this summer:
• always check your drawers at home before changing money up as you might have some euros around the house;
• keep an eye on exchange rates leading up to your holiday;
• if you are planning more than one trip to Europe this year buy euros in bulk as you can get a better rate if you exchange large sums of cash;
• pack a credit card that doesn’t charge you for using it abroad and always let your provider know before you go;
• before going abroad, always check with your bank or credit card provider so you know if you will get charged for drawing cash out from an ATM or using your card abroad;
• it’s a good idea to take cash and a credit card abroad with you so you can use cash in the local shops and markets and a credit card in large stores or restaurants;
• when using a credit card abroad always accept the bill in the local currency and not sterling as you could get charged more;
• always check how much cash your travel insurance provider will cover before you go.

Jeff Bromage, Chief Operating Officer at Saga Personal Finance, commented: “The majority of people are quick to shop around for a bargain break and cheap holiday essentials, but not everyone is as quick to shop around for the best rates when it comes to their spending money.

“The best things people can do if they planning on heading abroad this summer is keep a close eye on exchange rates in the run up to their holiday and raid their drawers for their stash of foreign cash before they change any money up. Packing a credit card that doesn’t charge any fees if you use it abroad is also a great way of making sure your holiday spending money goes even further giving you more cash to splash on souvenirs.”

However people decide to fund their summer holiday Saga may be able to help, either with its travel money service that offers 0% commission on foreign currency and free delivery to your home address, or the Saga Platinum credit card that offers 0% foreign currency fees on transactions made abroad and 11.9% APR rate.


Notes to Editors:
*Populus interviewed 9,885 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 21st and 27th April 2015. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.

About Saga Platinum credit card
The Saga Platinum credit card is available for UK residents aged over 50 and offers:
• 11.9% APR (variable)
• 0% foreign currency fees on transactions made abroad
• 0% on purchases for the first 9 months
• 0% on balance transfers for the first 9 months (3% fee applies)
• For more information about the Saga Platinum credit card visit: http://www.saga.co.uk/money/saga-credit-card

About the Saga travel money service
With the Saga travel money service, the over 50s can order foreign currency and travellers cheques from the comfort of their home. People can benefit from:
• 0% commission on foreign currencies for over 60 countries*
• Free home delivery on orders over £300 (only £4.95 for lower amounts)
• Cash and travellers cheques in all major currencies
• Competitive exchange rates
• Next day delivery on orders placed before 2pm Monday – Thursday 
• For more information about visit: http://www.saga.co.uk/insurance/travel-money

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