Currency exchange

Currency exchange

Planning holiday finance ahead of time can help make your trip run smoothly and also save you a few extra pennies/cents. Compare foreign currency exchange rates to find out details about costs and exchange rates when withdrawing money abroad. Also consider the option of using travellers cheques, personal finance and, of course, security carefully. Use the helpful Directory Search fields below to find out more.

Currency exchange and ATM machines

There are now over 1.5 million ATM machines worldwide that make withdrawing funds in holiday destinations easier than ever. This option works well for many travellers as it negates the need for currency exchange of large sums in advance. Currency exchange rates are usually very competitive but certain banks use a lower rate for these transactions which can leave you out of pocket… so check with your bank first!

Most banks will charge a fee for each transaction and these fees can vary wildly between banks. Some offer cards that are free to use abroad and these are well worth considering. Using your cards to make purchases can incur a secondary fee so try to avoid using cards in shops and restaurants wherever possible.

Currency exchange & global exchange rate mechanism

All currencies are exchanged using the global Exchange Rate Mechanism. This system will determine what one currency is worth against another on a daily basis across the world. The currency exchange rates you receive from your bank or bureau de change will be set using the these daily figures.

These organisations will sell currency to you at one rate and buy currency from you at a much higher rate and the difference will be their profit. Go online and hunt around for the best rates, many companies will offer you better rates if you order your currency in advance.

Some will deliver to your door, others will make the funds available to you a few days after ordering at an office of your choice. This can even be organised so that you can collect at your departure airport. Try to avoid waiting to the last minute as ‘on the day’ currency exchange rates at airports and sea ports can often be 5% to 10% worse than if you ordered in advance.

Foreign currency exchange rates

With ATM machines becoming easier and easier to use, travellers cheques have become less popular. Travellers cheques are an excellent option if you need to carry around large sums of money, as they are useless in the hands of anybody except the person that has purchased them and they are insured against loss or theft. They can be used as cash in many places and most banks and bureau de changes will exchange them for local currency.

Travellers cheques cards are the new fad, doing away with the paper cheques. The cards can now be used almost as efficiently as debit cards, allowing you to withdraw money from ATM machines. Another major benefit of the travellers cheques and cards is that they offer very competitive currency exchange rates and will also allow you to withdraw your remaining funds in your native currency when you get home.

Good luck and happy spending!