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leaving only 30 days for families to save between Half term and the Easter holidays
iceplc.com

Families planning to escape the UK’s wet weather this half-term and Easter may want to budget carefully. In a budget squeezing double whammy, there are just 30 days between the two school holidays and the Pound has sunk by almost 8% against the Euro compared to last summer, according to leading travel money provider ICE – International Currency Exchange.

In July 2015, the Pound was buying 1.40 Euros, now it has come down to 1.29 Euros*. Those planning trips to the US fare little better. In July last year the Pound bought $1.53 USDs, now this has sunk to $1.39 USDs**, a drop of 9%. While exchange rates have deteriorated for many destinations across the board, exceptions include Canada - welcome news for skiers - and Mexico - offering a warm reprieve from the UK winter.

Koko Sarkari, COO of ICE said: “There’s little doubt that kids will love the two school breaks in quick succession, but an early Easter this year may put family finances under extra pressure. A bit of planning both in terms of ordering travel money and methods of payment overseas can help make budgets go that bit further. Getting a good deal on currency should be a top priority for travellers wherever they go and by combining a number of options from pre-ordered travel money cash, loading currency onto prepaid cards, or using a credit card that’s free of overseas charges, travellers can take advantage of convenient payment options and competitive rates of exchange.”

Travel Money Tips from ICE

•Try not to leave organising travel money to the last minute as it may limit your options
•Online exchange rates tend to be more competitive than the high street but shop around and compare.
•Remember to factor in postage costs if you are having money delivered to home.
•Look for deals offering competitive rates from foreign exchange branches so that you can pick up your cash in person if that’s more convenient. Some require upfront online payment to secure a rate while others such as the Click & Click*** service from ICE simply offer a voucher to show at the counter to access the best rate on the day.
•Take enough local currency to pay for drinks, tips, taxis and so on, then consider putting the rest on a prepaid currency card such as the ICE Travellers Cashcard.
•If you plan to use a credit card be aware of exchange rates applied and charges for overseas use.

END
February 2016

Please contact the ICE Press Office at HSL – Parm Heer or Alison Reeson on 020 8977 9132.iceteam@harrisonsadler.com
* Iceplc.com – July 2015
** Iceplc.com – July 2015
*** Travellers to the Eurozone or US can access the best rate on the day using the ICE Click & Collect service. There’s no up-front payment, customers simply print off a voucher from the ICE website or show the voucher on their smartphone to be offered a preferential rate on Euros or US Dollars.

Key Benefits of the ICE Travellers Cashcard|iceplc.com/cashcard
• 1.5% cashback on all purchases of £50/$50/€50 or more on the respective cards
• No commission
• Free to obtain if the initial load is £700 or more. £4.75 if the initial load is less than £700.
• Free cash withdrawals from ATMs 1
• Free backup card in case of loss/theft
• Free to top-up the Euro and US Dollar cards 2
• Free balance enquiries either online or at ATMs 3
• Free 7 day same rate buy-back guarantee – funds can be converted back to sterling at the same exchange rate 4
• No penalty fees, e.g. no charge if you fail to use your card for long periods of time and if you lose your card and need a replacement ICE will replace it for free
• Accepted wherever the MasterCard® Acceptance Mark is displayed 5
• Free supplementary Family Cards for up to 2 family members 6
• Cardholders also enjoy a range of discounts to help budgets go further including car hire, hotels and airport parking.

1 Some ATM operators and merchants may charge a fee or set their own limits
2 A 2% fee will be levied if topping-up with a credit card
3 Some ATM operators may levy their own charge for checking account balances
4 Up to $100/€100, 7 days from the date of the last top up
5 The card cannot be used for participating in online gaming websites, at casinos or other gambling institutes, or to make regular money transfers
6 Family members need to be over 18 years of age.

Notes to editors

International Currency Exchange (ICE) has been providing retail foreign exchange for over 40 years and today has over 400 locations in 20 countries, on four continents, conducting one transaction every 6 seconds. Through its retail network, ICE offers a wide range of products and services to support the travelling public’s requirements, including foreign currency and phonecards. ICE’s online products include commission free secure next day home delivery currency and the ICE Travellers Cashcard, an innovative prepaid MasterCard® in £, € or US$, which can be loaded with holiday spending money before travelling, allowing levels of convenience that are similar to using a bank debit or credit card, but without the risks and charges sometimes associated. Find ICE on Facebook /iceplc and follow them on Twitter @icetravelmoney|iceplc.com

The ICE Travellers Cashcard has been recognised in the following awards:

PayBefore 2015 Europe: Winner Best Travel Companion
Moneyfacts 4 & 5 Star Rating in Moneyfacts Annual Credit Card & Pre Paid Card Star Ratings, as per below:
• ICE Travellers Cashcard Euro Travel Card 5
• ICE Travellers Cashcard Dollar Travel Card 5
• ICE Travellers Cashcard Sterling Travel Card 4

Prepaid365 2014:
• Best Free Prepaid Card - ICE Travellers Cashcard - Winner
• Best Incentives/Rewards Prepaid Card - ICE Travellers Cashcard - Runner Up
• Best Prepaid Card Website Design - ICE Travellers Cashcard - Runner Up

ICE Travellers Cashcard is issued by R. Raphael & Sons plc, pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Inc. Raphaels Bank is a UK Bank authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (registration number 161302) and is permitted to issue e-money. Head office and registered office at 19-21 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7ED, company registration number 01288938.

Raphaels Bank is a leading issuer of prepaid cards in Europe with over 5 million cards issued through 21 partners across 14 European Countries with over 180 programmes ranging from gift cards to full Chip & PIN cards to mobile technology payment solutions|raphaelsbank.com

Payment Card Technologies (PCT) is the programme manager for the ICE Travellers Cashcard. A leading programme manager in Europe providing full debit and prepaid solutions from MasterCard and Visa, PCT is owned by Lenlyn Holdings plc and is a sister company to Raphaels Bank. PCT provides one of the most robust, reloadable prepaid card systems available in the market, offering customised and flexible prepaid card solutions to retailers, online merchants, large and small corporations operating in a fast moving, dynamic and global industry as well as driving emerging payment innovation with payment account platform.|

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