Changing your travel money and obtaining the cheapest foreign currency exchange rates can be a bit of a hassle before you go on holiday but many people just don’t realise the different ways you can save money on your spending abroad. Here we cover the best methods, including cash, credit and debit cards, and pre-paid cash cards.
The method you use will depend a lot on when you are going on holiday. Exchange rates also change daily so a deal you will get one day from one provider may change the next day and mean another provider is cheaper at the time you need to change your holiday money.
The world’s biggest foreign currency exchange provider, serving over 30 million customers each year. Travelex can provide a cash pre-order service and pre-paid currency cards, along with a VAT refund service for non EU residents.
Pre-order your cash now for free next day home delivery on orders over £500.
These cards are essentially like a debit card which you load with the currency of the country you are travelling to, or you load them with sterling which is then converted when you spend.
If you have time to order one of these cards online for delivery before you travel, they can be one of the least expensive ways to spend your money abroad. They often have very favourable rates and can usually be delivered fairly quickly.
We have included a selection of some of the best pre-paid cards here.
Some credit cards can provide very good deals for spending abroad. You will need to research carefully into what each one offers, and ideally keep this credit card purely for use when you are travelling.
Banks will change the terms and conditions of the cards they offer from time to time so it is important to check that your credit or debit card still offers the same terms. It is best not to use your normal credit or debit card abroad because they will normally include large hidden fees.
Tips on Spending Abroad
DO get any cash you want to take with you in advance. You can research rates and make sure you are getting the best deal.
DON’T leave it to the last minute to buy your cash at the airport, you will be hit with huge fees. If need be you can pre-order your cash for pick up at the airport, which will make use of more favourable rates.
DO your research about your current debit and credit cards to find out what fees they charge when using them abroad.
DON’T withdraw cash at ATMs with your debit or credit card – this will normally result in very high charges.
DO always spend in local currency. ATMs and retailers may ask if you wish to pay in sterling. This may seem like a good idea but it means you are allowing the bank or the vendor to set the fees, instead of what your card or bank has chosen (and you have researched, hopefully!).