Foreign currency: top tips for buying your holiday money

20090806-currencyWe all get swept up in the excitement of a holiday or trip abroad, but just for some strange reason  we will still all leave packing our things until the very last minute. The flight to your vacation destination is booked, your capsule wardrobe is packed and you’ve already moved towards the airport.  Getting hold of the best deal can spend less on charges and commission and more on the holiday treats. Therefore, here’s a helpful guide that can help you arrange your currency and get you currency trading in no time.


Buying Cash from Bureau de Change:

Ordering for currency online that you can easily collect from the airport, is relatively low in price than exchanging it at an airport bureau de change, the Post Office states. They say that more than £21m goes in waste per annum on buying currency in the very last minute at the different UK airports due to huge commission charges and poor exchange rates on lower-value transactions. When planning to buy currency, remember that commission fee doesn’t equate to the best deal as the fees are likely to get loaded into the rate. Also be wary off the charges and the flat fees: the latter turns out to be more expensive to change small amounts of money, while the former can offer good value if you are changing large sums of money. Do check out the handling fees too which is usually around £3 but cannot turn out to be higher. Also the building society or your own bank might hold preferential rates for the account holders.

Travellers’ Cheques:

These are considered as a secure way of carrying your money abroad, because as long as you keep a track of the cheque numbers, you will get a full reward if the cheques are stolen or lost. However, the exchange rates are often poor and there are some that comes with high fees. When planning to cash cheques abroad it is likely that you have to pay extra couple of pounds, therefore, try and take your cheques in larger amounts as it will cost the same amount to cash £100 as it will in £10. You can pre-order cash and cheques in the same way but remember travellers cheques do not come in the same denominations that exactly matches the amount you wish to spend.

Pre-paid cards:

These are quite easy to use as you just have to load them with the funds before you plan to go on a holiday, then make use of the card to withdraw cash from the ATMs or to make purchases. Today all of the foreign exchange specialists now offer them, along with the banks and travel agents. Even the supermarkets offer pre-paid cards.

Debit Cards

Many Debit Card owners have to add a fee of about £1 for each and every purchase you make while you are on a holiday, as well as fees of about £2 each time you withdraw money from an ATM. The exchange rate you will get from your own bank on oversees purchases is usually worse than if you shopped around for currency.

Credit Cards:

Generally it’s best to keep away from using a Credit Card to withdraw cash in an outside country as you might be at home:but there are many providers who will levy an exchange rate fee up to 3%. There are some cards that offer 0% on purchases for up to 12 months, but you will have to double check to see that you are not hit with a loading fee and ensure that there are no restrictions given on the overseas than exchanging it at any airport’s bureau de change  purchases.

So, these are the top tips on buying your holiday money.

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