Britons Save Themselves 4.92 Billion Pounds By Unpacking The Package Holiday - Santander UK

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Nearly half of holidaymakers cut out the middle man last year, resulting in an average saving of £423.

The Santander Zero Credit Card is one of the only cards on the market to offer fee-free foreign usage anywhere in the world

Holidaymakers saved themselves a collective £4.92 billion last year by cutting out the middle man and booking directly, new research from Santander Cards has revealed.(1)

Of the 25 million adults who went on holiday abroad last year, 11.6 million (47 per cent) saved money when booking their travel and accommodation by avoiding travel agents and tour operators, instead going online or calling directly to make their booking.

While holidaymakers estimated their average vacation spend over the year was £1,315, DIY holidaymakers calculated they had taken an average £423 off their holiday bill by booking themselves. Of these savvy travellers, 3.3 million estimated they had saved £500 or more.

The most popular money saving method was to book online (44 per cent). A third of holidaymakers (33 per cent) cut costs by contacting hotels and accommodation venues directly, while 17 per cent made the most of friends living abroad by staying with them.

The research also found that six million Britons asked for an upgrade in the past year, with the most popular requests being for hotel rooms (50 per cent) and aircraft seats (43 per cent). Of those who asked for an upgrade, 60 per cent were successful.

Emma Roberts, Director of Santander Cards, commented: "It's not surprising that in the current economic climate, holidaymakers are increasingly looking for value and are prepared to do the homework themselves in order to get the best deal. It's very much a sign of the times too that Britons are no longer shy about asking for an upgrade.

"The Santander Zero Credit Card is one of the only cards on the market to offer fee-free foreign usage anywhere in the world, helping travellers to cut out unnecessary costs when going abroad this year and making their money go further."

Last month, Santander announced its latest initiative to reward existing customers. Customers who have a current account or mortgage with either Santander UK or Alliance and Leicester can now apply for the award winning Santander Zero Credit Card and benefit from a zero per cent balance transfer fee for 12 months, in addition to the existing Zero benefits of fee-free foreign transactions anywhere in the world, zero per cent interest on purchases for three months, and no cash advance fee.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors
(1)Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,026 British adults from 29th January to 1st February 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

About Us

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with presence in 10 main markets.
In the UK, Santander operates two retail businesses - Santander, which was formed out of the Abbey and Bradford & Bingley retail network, and Alliance & Leicester. Together they have over 1300 branches, around 4,500 cash machines and they provide a full range of bank accounts, corporate banking and loans services to 25 million customers.

Alliance & Leicester will become known as Santander by the end of 2010.

http://www.santander.co.uk

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Siobhan O'Shea        
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Santander
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