Travel Money – How to Find the Best Rates
Travel Money Rates
The first thing I do when I need travel money is to check where I can get the best rate for currency. Thankfully there are a number of online searches that can help do this.
My go-to site is Moneysavingexpert.
This has a number of things you can add into your search such a buyback and it always gives great rates.
I also generally do a quick comparison check on Moneysupermarket as they have a good travel currency section too.
ATM Card for Travel Money or Cash?
One of the questions I am often asked by travellers is which should they use for cash – an ATM card for travel currency or getting currency in advance.
This is also the most difficult question for me to answer because the rate you get for overseas withdrawals in foreign currency depends entirely on your bank.
Probably the easiest way to demonstrate this point is to do a comparison.
If I used a Co-operative bank card to withdraw Euros from an ATM here are the charges;
If I withdrew 20 Euros at the cashpoint my bank would charge me £16.00
That is made up of £15.57 for the cash and 43p cost of the transaction.
If the ATM charged any fees they would be on top of this rate so you can see that this can be a costly way to get cash.
A quick comparison on the Moneysavingexpert travel currency checker shows that getting 20 Euros through a currency exchange service with collection at the airport would cost £17.85 with an exchange rate of 1.12.
Most cards use the Visa Exchange rates which change daily and you can find them here.
The calculation about what is best for your holiday money really depends on your bank rates but generally, these are not as good as buying currency.
Travel Money Buyback
I have to say I have never used the currency buyback option when buying currency because generally I have just kept any currency for a leftover trip or of course I have spent it.
Who doesn’t love a last-minute shop around the airport!
However, I have used a currency buying service because I have in the past come back with more currency than I left with, generally because of tips received from guests, who were clearly using up their leftover travel currency.
I have found Currency Online Group to offer great rates and great service. I was a little nervous about posting money off initially but I have never had any problems with either the postal service or receiving the money.
If you send that 20 Euros to them that we started this article with you would receive £16.64 for it which is a pretty good currency buyback rate.
Travel Money – Pay in Local Currency on Card?
This is an easy question for me to answer when asked by guests.
I always advise that if they are using their card to pay for something they pay in the local currency.
This is because otherwise they could be charged an exchange rate into their home currency by the shop selling them the item/s and this can be quite high.
Prices Displayed in Local Currency
One of the tricks I have seen in Russia is to display the cost of goods in Euros.
However, it is against the law to pay in Euros in Russia so the shop the price paid was significantly different because of the conversion from Euros to Rubels.
Sorting out where to get the best money for your travel money takes a little bit of thinking about and a bit of time but that time can pay dividends in great rates and more holiday money to spend.
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