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
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card review
Earn Avios or cashback on all your business spending with this business Visa from challenger Capital on Tap.
Compare prepaid business cards in the UK 2021
Learn more about how prepaid business cards can be used to spend money with any retailer that accepts debit or credit cards.
Compare the best business credit cards of 2021
Saving time on expense reports and streamlining your cash flow are just a couple of the many perks you could enjoy with a business credit card. Compare interest rates and check your eligibility today.
How to buy Bitcoin in the UK
Want to buy Bitcoin but don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how and where to buy BTC in the UK.
Bank accounts for charities
Opening a bank account is one of the very first things you need to do when setting up a charity. Here we look at how to go about finding the right account, from comparing different options to saving on fees.
gohenry vs Osper: Fees, features and more
Both gohenry and Osper are suitable for parents looking for a children’s prepaid card that comes with great parental control options. We compare their features and fees to help you choose the best for you.
Tide vs Starling: Which is best for a small business?
In this guide, you’ll learn the key differences between the Tide and Starling business bank accounts and which one is most likely to suit you.
Best bank account for teens in the UK 2021
Find out about bank accounts for teenagers, how to choose the right one and how they differ from kids’ prepaid cards.
How we rate kids debit cards
Here’s how we came up with our ratings for kids debit cards and those we picked as best for different categories of use.
Best current accounts in the UK 2021
Find out what the best bank account is for packaged accounts, basic accounts and cashback accounts.
Ask an Expert