MONEY MATTERS: Get a valid travel health insurance card

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TRAVEL insurance claims could be rejected if you do not have a valid EHIC card.

TRAVEL insurance claims could be rejected if you do not have a valid EHIC card.

Schools break up this Friday and, for many, summer holidays are just a few weeks away. If you are travelling to Europe on holiday make sure your EHIC card is still valid and if, like many of us, you don’t have one then you need to apply as soon as possible.

European Health Insurance cards are valid up to five years and it is vital you take one with you when you are travelling abroad. If for any reason you need medical attention, presenting this card will entitle you to assistance at greatly reduced costs and, in some cases, for free.

The cards are not a substitute for travel insurance but increasing numbers of providers are inserting clauses into their policies requiring the cards, meaning you are not covered by insurance alone.

It is often the case that holiday spending money is left to the last and the result is your holiday could cost a lot more than you expected.

Many banks today cater for customers who need access to money when they are abroad. They have specialist travel spending cards, which can save you hundreds of pounds because they give the best possible exchange rates.

There are some very good options, such as the Clarity card from Halifax. The card provider does not charge a foreign exchange fee anywhere in the world and does not charge a fee for cash withdrawals. Interest will be paid on the amount you have withdrawn, whether repaid in full or not.

Pre-paid currency cards are a great way of having access to money and means you do not have to carry cash around. Top the card up with cash and use it like a credit card, but without having to pay interest or penalty fees.

I have a Euro pre-pay card as I normally get a better exchange rate, I can use it for cash withdrawals, plus it can be topped up last-minute via mobile phone or the internet.

WITH supermarkets coming under pressure to reduce two-for-one deals, plus claims they are creating billions of pounds of wasted food, isn’t it time to take advantage of what’s on offer?

One of my clients has an idea I thought I would share with readers. Once a week she visits her local supermarket with her mother, who purchases all her groceries on two-for-one deals. They select their products and, after checking out, they split the trolley. My client says her weekly food bills are greatly reduced as a result.