Top 5 Tips for Buying Travel Money - Finder UK

Top 5 Tips for Buying Travel Money

Many of us can only afford to go abroad once a year – if that! That’s why it’s so important to make sure you get the best price possible when you exchange your cash for foreign currency. A holiday can end up costing hundreds of pounds more if you spend in the wrong way, and so many of us do.

One of the easiest ways to rack up costs is to make mistakes when buying travel money. So here’s a list of our top 5 tips for buying foreign currency.

1. Don’t change cash at the airport

At the last minute, it’s the easiest option – but so wasteful! The rates at the airport are always awful, as they know you need the money then and there, and take full advantage.

Even if you’ve forgotten to get money sorted, you can still order in advance online with most providers – and collect at local branches or even at the airport.

2. Compare top rates

Using finder.com you can compare the best rates among travel money providers. Our provider pages will also tell you about additional fees and potential charges you could incur.

Getting your cash sorted in advance and having it delivered, or picking it up from a branch, can be a great option for sticking to a budget and keeping things secure. The main drawback is the fact that it might not be the best rate out there.

3. Be wary of withdrawing cash abroad

This probably goes without saying, but you need to know what happens if you’re taking money out abroad.

On credit cards, withdrawing can incur hefty fees. Debit cards can be similar (though probably not as bad).

To get around this you want to look at purchasing a prepaid travel card with someone like the Post Office, WeSwap or Monzo.

Alternatively, it might be worth looking at getting a cheap debit card that allows you to withdraw abroad. Metro Bank and Virgin, for instance, offer free spending worldwide.

4. Find out what your existing cards charge abroad

Linked to what we’ve just said, it’s worth checking out what your current cards charge abroad.

If you’re lucky you’ll already be banking with someone who offers good rates for foreign spending and withdrawals.

5. Consider a prepaid travel card or a travel debit card

As mentioned above, the best solutions for travel money are prepaid travel cards, or travel debit cards.

A prepaid travel card can be loaded up before you travel, and then used like a debit card. This suits people sticking to a budget, locking in a rate, and is safer. If someone nicks the travel card you carefully hid in your shoe on the beach, it’s not the end of the world! It is, however, if you’ve left your remaining €420 in there…

A travel debit card can be a good option if you’re happy to switch accounts. You might not get all the features you want, but if you’re okay with that there are many options which allow you to make cash withdrawals abroad with no charge.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site