Mastercard increases fees Europe
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Flights, hotel and car hire prices could rise as Mastercard increases fees

Flights, hotels, car hire and other holiday services in Europe could become more expensive for some UK travellers as credit card giant Mastercard is raising its fees.

From October, Mastercard will increase its charges for goods and services bought from the EU from 0.3% to 1.5%  of the value for UK cardholders.

The increase will also apply to travel services bought by UK cardholders in countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

Mastercard said the increase will only affect online sales, so spending overseas with a Mastercard shouldn’t be more expensive for UK holidaymakers.

The fivefold increase for online sales is possible because Mastercard is no longer bound by the EU cap on fees, introduced over five years ago.

Service providers are likely to pass the rise on to customers in the form of higher prices.

UK holidaymakers are most likely to be hit by the increase when booking and pre-paying for rooms on hotel websites, or pre-paying for hire cars with local providers.

Visa, Mastercard’s biggest rival, hasn’t yet increased its charges for UK holders buying goods and services in the EEA, but it told the FT it was keeping its prices under review.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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