Spring Half-term Could See Brits Abroad Withdraw Over £236 Million In Foreign Currency

21 February 2011

Analysis from Sainsbury’s Credit Cards reveals that around 380,000 Brits will withdraw the equivalent of £236.4 million in foreign currency over next week’s half-term break(3).

Given that many debit and credit cards typically charge a cash withdrawal fee and foreign exchange fees, often up to 3% or £3 per withdrawal(4), Sainsbury’s Finance is urging travellers to make sure they know what fees they will incur before they use their card to withdraw cash; this will avoid any unforeseen amounts appearing on their credit card bill once they return home.

Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card offers customers a number of attractive benefits when travelling, including no foreign exchange transaction fees, interest-free cash withdrawals (if the whole balance is paid in full and on time each month)(1) and worldwide family travel insurance(2).

In addition to these benefits, the Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card offers customers a low rate of 9.94% pa (variable) on purchases and offers users double Nectar points on their Sainsbury’s shopping in-store, online and in petrol filling stations(5). The card carries a fee of just £5 per month.

Stuart McKeggie, Head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards said:  “The spring half-term holiday is one of the peak times for Brits to get away and many people will be relying on their debit and credit cards to withdraw currency whilst they’re abroad. We’re encouraging holidaymakers to think carefully about how they’ll access their money, and where possible, find a way that will prevent them from being charged additional fees. Being unaware of this could be a costly mistake and ultimately make their holiday more expensive.

“Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card holders benefit from an interest-free period on any cash withdrawals they make – both home and abroad – providing they pay the balance in full each month. This means they won’t incur any unwelcome interest charges to withdraw cash during their holiday, and have peace of mind they can make the payment when they receive their next statement.”

The Sainsbury’s Gold Card is the latest Sainsbury’s Finance product to offer double Nectar points on customers’ shopping, in store, online and in petrol filling stations.  The extra Nectar points mean shoppers will receive the equivalent to 2 per cent, when used in conjunction with a Nectar card, off their Sainsbury’s shopping bill.

To find out more about the Sainsbury’s Gold card call 0800 030 4429 or log onto or pick up a leaflet in your Sainsbury’s supermarket.  Customers applying for a Sainsbury’s card will need to have their Nectar card ready when they apply.

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For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Sophie Woodcock
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7282 1037/1072

Notes to editors:
(1) Assuming balance is paid in full and on time (46 days – interest rate reverts to 24.9% pa variable)
(2) Worldwide travel insurance covers up to two adults and six children including travel to the USA, Personal Baggage, Winter Sports and Independent Traveller cover. Travel insurance policy is worth up to £250. No foreign exchange fees apply, assuming balance is paid in full and on time (46 days – interest rate reverts to 24.9% pa variable)
(3) Sainsbury’s Finance analysis of ICM research and public data sources.
380,000 Brits derived from a combination of ICM data and the ONS International Passenger Survey and based on the assumption of an even spread of visits abroad in February.
£236.4m derived from a combination of ICM data and the ONS 2009 Travel Trends Survey and based on the assumption that those going abroad will make a seven day trip with the same ratio of ATM withdrawals to days spent abroad as exists across the year as a whole.
ICM interviewed a random sample of 2029 adults aged 18+ via online between 29th July and 1st Aug 2010.  Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted (grossed-up) to the profile of all adults (over 18s).  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at
(5)9.94% pa variable on purchases and balance transfers – 20.1% representative variable which includes £5 monthly fee.  Credit subject to status to UK residents aged 18 or over. Minimum monthly repayment is EITHER (a) 1% of balance plus CCRC premiums, interest, monthly fee and default sums; OR (b) 2.25% of balance; OR (c) £5 (or full balance if less than £5); whichever is more, plus any amount over the credit limit.

Sainsbury’s Finance Travel Insurance is administered by FirstAssist Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Sainsbury’s Finance:

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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Finance provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Finance recent awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Direct Personal Loans Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider, Best Online Life Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards 2010.

Sainsbury’s Finance is a joint venture between J.Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Finance enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit