If you’re planning a holiday to Europe – or anywhere else for that matter – don’t leave exchanging your travel money to the last minute. Purchasing Euros at foreign exchange counters in airports or high street banks can set you back up to 14% more than the general market rate.
Exchanging money at airport counters will see you get far fewer Euros for money than anywhere else. These agents pride themselves on offering a “premium” service, as they are open from first to last flight, 365 days a year. Essentially, you’ll pay a lot more for a little extra convenience.
While your local bank is a better option than airport currency counters, even these can charge up to 5% more than the market rate when changing Pounds to Euros.
Beware of signs saying “zero commission” when you’re exchanging your currency at a high street bank. While it’s likely that you’ll save on fees, it isn’t always indicative of a good deal. Banks often make up for the loss of commission by offering you a poorer exchange rate.
You may wonder “now what”? Preloaded currency cards, will likely get you a better exchange rate than bank branches, but there could be potential extra costs you aren’t aware of. Make a point of looking up charges for inactivity or putting money back into your UK bank account at the end of a holiday.
If you want to get the most Euros for your money, it’s best to use an independent foreign exchange provider. They monitor the markets and buy and sell currency in bulk, saving them money on purchases and allowing them to give their clients better rates. More often than not, they also have online portals which allow you to complete transfers whenever it’s convenient for you.