Survey Reveals Canadians Are Prudent Planners, Save to Splurge

Thomas Cook Launches TravelMoney Card for Financial Peace of Mind

TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - Canadians are going to find it easier to save and spend on their next vacation as Thomas Cook Financial Services launches the Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card. The new save-as-you-go card offers the security of travelers' cheques with the convenience of plastic, and can be used at millions of locations where Visa is accepted and at cash machines worldwide.

And saving money and budgeting is what many Canadians are about. Showcasing willpower and fiscal responsibility, seventy percent revealed they save money in advance of a trip (70%) and don't come home from vacation with their budget blown (66%) -- this according to a just-released Harris Decima survey conducted on behalf of Thomas Cook.

What's more, with one-in-four Canadians (28%) citing losing cash or having credit cards stolen as a top travel worry, the new Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card helps ease travel concerns and offers freedom and safety.

"Thomas Cook Financial Services is committed to offering innovative and secure financial tools so Canadians can minimize stress and enjoy their vacations," said Kevin McAdam, Director Financial Services, Thomas Cook North America. "Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Cards are non-personalized and PIN protected, providing welcome security features for protecting ones finances while traveling."

Travelers simply purchase (CAD $14.95) and load up the card with the amount budgeted (minimum activation amount $100). It provides peace of mind, and -- unlike debit and credit cards - there are no unwelcome bills or bank statements when you get home.

To mark the launch of the Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card, Thomas Cook Financial Services commissioned a survey to determine what Canadians worry about when traveling. The Harris/Decima survey found:

  • Canadians are planners. More than two-thirds of us (69%) save money and budget in advance of our vacations. And 66 per cent of us would come home without blowing our budgets.
  • We splurge on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Four out of ten Canadians would indulge ourselves on vacation doing something we would never do at home such as swim with dolphins. One quarter of Canadian travelers said they would spend their hard-earned money on a delectable meal.
  • When asked what is an essential item that every traveler needs, 23 per cent said local currency followed closely by a guidebook (20%). Ten per cent said a pre-paid travel card is a necessary item.
  • Canadians worry most about their personal safety when traveling. In fact, residents of the Atlantic (41%) and Western provinces (42%) were most worried about their personal safety in traveling while 39 per cent of Quebecois respondents said they don't have a care in the world when they travel.
  • Money matters. Twenty-eight per cent of us said we worry about losing or having our money stolen when traveling. This was the top concern for single Canadians (38%).

"The new Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card eliminates many anxieties and fears Canadians face," McAdam continued. "Unlike cash, if your Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card is lost or stolen while traveling, we will issue a new card and refund the balance. Plus, the card is not linked to your bank account, so the traveler's money remains completely safe."

More about the card

  • Available in US dollars immediately, Canadian dollars on August 23, with cards in British pounds and Euros to be available in early 2011
  • Your dollars will be instantly exchanged at the time you purchase the USD$ card - this means there are no surprise charges when making purchases
  • Consumers can use the Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card up to $2,500 per day with retailers and withdraw up to $1,000 per day from an ATM
  • Point-of-sale transactions are FREE of charge;
  • ATM transactions cost $3.50 for the USD$ card and cost $3.00 for outside Canada and $2.00 (inside Canada) for CAD$ card. Similar rates will apply for the Euro and GBP card
  • The card is available at Bel Air Travel and My Travel locations across Canada, as well as the Thomas Cook Financial Services store at 75 Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto
  • More information about the Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card can be found at www.thomascook.ca/prepaid

Thomas Cook Visa TravelMoney Card is one of the many products and services offered by Thomas Cook Financial Services. In addition to the card, Thomas Cook offers foreign exchange and travelers cheque products (www.thomascook.ca/foreignexchange) on demand at its Toronto store, or on pre-order for next day delivery from Bel Air Travel and My Travel stores. Canadian, American, British and European currency is available at Thomas Cook four-currency ATM locations across Canada.

About the survey
The Harris/Decima TeleVox Survey was conducted July 15 - 18, 2010 among a representative sample of 1,007 Canadians. The survey responses are considered accurate to within +/- 3.1 percentage points.

About Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook Financial Services is a fully-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook Canada, which is part of Thomas Cook Group plc, the second largest leisure travel group in the world. Thomas Cook Group plc was created by the merger of MyTravel Group plc and Thomas Cook AG in June 2007.

Each year, more than 22 million people choose to travel with Thomas Cook Group plc, buying holidays from its network of more than 3,400 owned or franchised travel stores, online or through call centres.

SOURCE THOMAS COOK FINANCIAL SERVICES

For further information: For further information:

Katherine Griggs

PUNCH Canada

(416) 360-6522 ext. 237

kat@punchcanada.com

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THOMAS COOK FINANCIAL SERVICES

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