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The latest developments in dynamic currency conversion

Making the right payment choices when shopping abroad on holiday.

DCC Forum

If you ask someone to close their eyes and describe their ideal summer holiday, odds are you will get a pretty wide range of responses. Everyone has their different ideas when it comes to the ultimate trip away. For some it's the ability to lie on the beach all day working on their tan. For others it might be exploring a new city or culture. And for others, the perfect holiday includes lots and lots of retail therapy.

Whether it's to buy things you can't get at home, or to take advantage of lower prices, thousands of Brits will jet off this summer to splash their cash in shops abroad. In our most recent study in British holidaymaker behaviour, we found that 77% had spent some time shopping for clothes, shoes, or accessories in the last 12 months, with an average spend of more than 200 pounds each. Shopping abroad can be a great way to grab a bargain or get ahead of the latest trends, but it can also leave you feeling confused about how much you've paid or whether you've got a good deal. This is particularly important as 46% of holidaymakers said that they made purchases abroad specifically to get a better deal than they would at home. Many people aren't sure about what the different payment options available to them are, particularly when it comes to paying with a credit or debit card. After all, you don't want to come home to find out that you accidentally spent way more than you intended to on that new Italian suit.

Broadly speaking, when it comes to payment with credit or debit cards, shoppers have the choice to pay in the local currency or to opt for dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and pay in their home currency. We encourage anyone planning to use their cards abroad this summer to familiarise themselves with the two different options. We've included helpful advice on this website so please do stay to take a look around.

Although it doesn't sound exciting, it's worth spending time to ensure you're properly prepared before you head abroad to avoid any surprises. And our research shows that Brits aren't necessarily thinking through the consequences of their holiday shopping. 16% of those we surveyed went over the weight limit on their luggage allowance on their return flights because of their new purchases, and 14% were left having to buy more luggage just to take everything they bought home.

So this year, make sure you've planned everything you need to make your holiday go smoothly, whether it's making room in your luggage, or checking your different payment options. Unless of course your plan is just to sit on the beach all week, in which case just make sure you've packed the sun cream.