Whether you want to buy dollars, Euros or any foreign currency, to get the best deal you need to think about both the commission charged and the currency exchange rate. Operators offering commission free currency exchange will typically be offering poorer currency exchange rates so the best deal is likely to be a combination of low commission fees and a good foreign exchange rate.
Where is the best place to buy travel money? On the internet, high street or airport?
If you have enough time before you travel, there are often good deals on foreign exchange to be found on the internet, with some of the best exchange rates and low commission fees around. If you decide to order your travel money online, there is also often a choice of home delivery or collection from branches or airports to make sure you safely have your travel money before you depart.
Airports and smaller local exchanges are often best avoided, as the foreign exchange rates quoted often get you less foreign currency for your pound. If you are shopping on the high street, the larger travel money providers will often offer the best currency exchange rate.
Is it worth waiting until I get abroad to buy my foreign currency?
Whatever country you are travelling to, whether it is better to buy your foreign currency in the UK or abroad (e.g. whether you want to buy Euros in the UK or France) depends on what method you are using to exchange money. If you are using a travel money currency card already loaded with your destination currency, it is best to wait until you are in your destination country to make any withdrawals or purchases. Otherwise you will be charged an additional foreign exchange rate to convert currency on your card back into pounds.
However, if you are using a normal bank card, credit card or travelers cheques there is no guarantee the exchange rate and commission charged will be any better than the rates you have seen in the UK.
How do I know if I am getting a good deal on my travel money?
A good deal on travel money is a combination of a good currency exchange rate and low fees, while also taking into consideration how you will be using and spending your money abroad and give you the best Euros buy back rates. Basically, you want to find the tool that will give you the most foreign currency for your pounds, whether that is cash, travel money cards or travelers cheques.
What is dynamic currency exchange?
When you are making card purchases abroad you may be asked if you want to choose the currency in which you pay. This should always be avoided; you will not be quoted an foreign exchange rate and will often be given a very poor rate, meaning you pay more for your purchase.
When I am looking for the best foreign exchange rate, should I be looking for a higher or a lower rate?
When you are buying foreign currency, the best exchange rate will be the highest rate. However, remember to consider commission fees, as well as any other fees when you buy currency as this will impact on the overall conversion you receive.
Commission free buy back is a service offered by many travel money operators, and it is worth checking if your travel money provider offers this service when you initially buy currency.
Commission free buy back means that if you return from your trip with any excess foreign currency you can take it back to your travel money provider in exchange for your home currency. No fee (commission) will be charged on the transaction, and the currency (dollars, Euros etc) will be converted at the quoted, daily buy back currency exchange rate of the provider.
What is the difference between a buy and a sell rate for currency exchange?
A sell rate is the foreign currency exchange rate for when you buy foreign currency in exchange for pounds. Whereas a buy rate, means the travel money provider will buy your foreign currency in exchange for pounds.
Will the foreign exchange rate vary each day? How much will it vary each day?
The foreign exchange markets vary continuously, and your exposure to this varies depending on where you buy your travel money. If you buy currency online, you are likely to be quoted currency exchange rates over set time intervals, e.g. every 15 minutes. However, if you buy offline, at retailers such as the Post Office M&S travel money booths you will be quoted a daily rate, allowing you to compare currency rates across different retailers in one day before you buy.