The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region as a whole is also a source for immigrants who often leave their home countries to find better economic opportunities within MEA and beyond
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Ziglu Finds 1 in 3 Feel “Ripped Off” When Using Cards Abroad

Nearly one in three holidaymakers have felt ripped off when using credit or debit cards for spending abroad, new research from UK-based banking, crypto, FX and investment app Ziglu shows.

Its study found 31% of adults felt they were overcharged when using plastic overseas while 3.3 million say they have come home to find ‘substantial’ unexpected extra charges for using their credit or debit cards abroad.

The research by Ziglu, which offers fee-free US dollar and euro accounts enabling tourists and business travellers to spend without being hit by commission charges, found 28% of travellers use debit cards for spending abroad while 22% rely on credit cards.

More than a third (35%) say they withdraw local currency from ATMs despite most UK debit and credit cards being subject to a range of fees in the US and Europe including non-sterling transaction fees and non-sterling purchase fees. Customers converting pounds into dollars or Euros can be charged commission and margins on the exchange rates, as well as receiving uncompetitive exchange rates.

However, around one in five adults (19%) say they are not aware they could face extra charges for using their cards overseas and tourists who take money with them are often not helping themselves either.

Ziglu’s research found one in seven (14%) admit they do not shop around for the best deals on foreign exchange before going overseas. That more than doubles to 29% who do not shop around for the best deals when changing money overseas.

Mark Hipperson, Founder and CEO of Ziglu said: “With so many people feeling ripped off from using debit and credit cards there definitely is a need for change in how we spend overseas.

“People who were lucky enough to get away on holiday this year given the current travel situation can be forgiven for not focusing on foreign exchange too much but with minimal effort they can make substantial savings.

“The big banks do not make it clear and easy for customers and that is reflected in the high numbers of people who have come home to unexpected charges for simply spending their own money.”


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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