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Consumers dodge credit card charges

Brits are becoming wiser about using debit cards rather than credit cards to make withdrawals from cash points, apparently doing so to dodge charges, according to Apacs.Research showed that the amount of cash withdrawn using credit cards dropped by ten per cent from £9.17 billion to £8.22 billion between 2005 and 2006. While debit cards were used to take out £156.2 billion of cash last year, there was a ten per cent increase on the £141.8 billion taken out with debit cards in 2005. Mark Bowerman, PR manager for Apacs, said: "[These results suggest] that customers do understand that taking cash from cash machines with their credit cards will generally cost them more, so they prefer to use their debit cards where they can."However, he said that it did not necessarily mean that debit card withdrawals with overdrafts were better than using credit cards for everyone."It's horses for courses: you need to shop around and work out what the best deal is for you," Mr Bowerman advised. "If it's cheaper to take out an overdraft on your debit account - if that's cheaper than your interest on your credit account - then yes, that's something you need to consider. But it's about familiarising yourself with all your options and making the correct financial choice accordingly." He added: "Certainly [consumers] are more [financially] aware than five years ago. Everybody's becoming more savvy with what they need to do to make a better choice about the products that they're using, and the ways that they use them."

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