Save Money on Foreign Currency

by Jeff Green on 27 Sep, 2012

For many of us, before we travel abroad, currency exchange is the last thing we think about, resulting in a last minute dash to the Bureau de Change, which will often mean that you don’t get the best deals. There are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that you get the best value for money on your foreign currency.

Particularly in these tough economic times, saving the pennies wherever we can is incredibly important and these few tips will help you stretch your holiday funds as far as possible. Whether you’re travelling on a holiday to Australia, Europe, the USA or anywhere else in the world, be sure to take heed of these top tips.

Commission Free Doesn’t Always Mean a Good Deal

Many exchange bureaus offer commission free currency, which immediately sounds appealing. But stop for a second – how do they make their money if they don’t charge a commission fee? The answer is quite simple. As is often the case, the exchange rate will be less competitive, although they don’t charge a commission fee. This is where the profit stacks up, and you don’t necessarily end up with the most favourable deal. Keep an eye on this when shopping around.
Leave Yourself Plenty of Time

Leaving it to the last minute will usually mean that you end up with the worst deals, especially if you leave it until you get to the airport. Airports often offer much worse exchange rates because you are essentially a captive customer. If you’ve passed through passport control, you usually have no other option than to use the more expensive bureaus.

Be Careful What Type of Card You Use Abroad

There are a number of credit cards available that offer highly competitive rates if you use them abroad, whereas many debit cards are more expensive to use overseas. Some debit cards can charge in the region of £1.50 every time you make a transaction. Again, it’s well worth shopping around until you find the best deal.

Credit Cards Are Often the Best Option

Some people run a mile whenever credit cards are mentioned, yet if they are used carefully, they can actually be really beneficial. Some cards will charge 3% to the exchange rate, but this can be avoided with specialist travel credit cards, which offer great deals when you use them abroad. If you grab one of these cards just to use and repay in full before you incur any interest charges, you could save yourself plenty of money.

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About the Author


Jeff Green is a travel blogger and frugal living expert from the UK.