For those who need holiday cash at the last minute, the high street is one of the few options left. Banks and building societies generally offer poor value as this service is only a very small part of their business, and as a result, they tend to have uncompetitive rates and sometimes high fees. However, they may have special offers for holders of certain account types from time to time, so can be worth a look.
Commission Free Services Sounds Good – WARNING!
Other high street foreign currency providers include the Post Office and a number of large department stores. Rates offered are generally better than the Banks, but beware ‘commission-free’ services (meaning no fixed commission charges levied on the transaction). This can appear to be an instant saving, but if combined with an inferior exchange rate, can give you fewer Pounds to Euros than a service with a one-off commission charge and a superior conversion rate. Across the board, it tends to be the case that exchange rates improve, and fees decrease, the more money you change.
Poor Deal On Exchange Rates – Don’t Be a Last-Minute Customer!
Unfortunately, the ill-prepared will certainly not find the best Euro exchange rate at an airport or port. Here, the captive market of last-minute customers is offered a poor deal on the exchange rate compared to all other currency providers, so should be avoided if possible.
When comparing high street services, the important question to ask is:
- How many Euros you will get, after all, charges, in exchange for your Pounds.
- Also consider the ‘buy-back’ rate if you’re likely to bring Euros home with you. Some outlets will buy your currency back for free, stopping you paying-out twice.
Currency Comparison Websites Are Very Useful
If you have time before you travel, very useful “currency comparison websites” can be found online. Use these to compare buy-online exchange rates, which are generally much better than those offered on the high street, with many online providers offering secure next-day delivery of cash. Rates do vary from day-to-day, so ensure you compare different providers at the same time to get the best Euro exchange rate. As with high street services, a better deal can be found for larger denomination transfers, which often benefit from free delivery, and fixed fees may make low-value conversions a poor deal.
Know About Dynamic Currency Conversion
- When abroad, avoid ‘dynamic currency conversion’ offered by some merchants.
- Shops may ask if you wish to pay in Sterling or Euros, which may seem convenient – but will normally incur a very poor exchange rate.
- Check before signing anything or entering your PIN, and if you see a conversion, make sure you ask to be billed in Euros.
A fresh innovation for getting the best Euro exchange rate is the new breed of prepaid, credit and debit cards aimed specifically at holiday use, which are good for those who don’t want to carry large quantities of cash. These cards can offer good exchange rates without the spending fees, percentage load, and ATM withdrawal fees that have previously made some cards costly to use abroad. Beware the high costs of not clearing holiday spending in full within the month though.
Sending Money to Europe
For sending money to Europe, specialist foreign currency brokers offer a better Euro exchange rate than major Banks. As they trade a high volume of currency, foreign exchange brokers tend to offer a much more favourable Pound to Euro conversion, as they rely on making a profit from a smaller margin on more transactions. Market competition has the benefit of low transaction fees for their clients.
As with cash conversions, with the large brokerage firms, more Pounds to Euros are gained with higher value transactions. There are specialist online firms and services that offer the best rates for lower value transfers.
Additional services from these companies include:
- Online tracking of transfers.
- Best-value’ exchange rate guarantees and the option of ‘forward contracts’- exchange price hedging to ensure the best Euro exchange rate for future transactions.
If you’re looking for more resources or want to check out rates visit some other experts in this field.
Money-Saving Expert – http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/