The pound is going down faster against the Dollar and Euro than your first holiday beer so here’s five ways to boost the power of your holiday pound.
Planning pays off. Go online and pre-order your currency to bag better rates. I regularly use TravelMoneyMax.com from MoneySavingExpert.com to find the the best deals and then collect your cash or get it delivered to your door.
Ordering currency in advance usually always means a better deal than bowling up at a high street bank or travel agent to change your money. And leaving it last minute until the airport can mean some of the worst rates so why waste your holiday cash?
Have a whip round
The more money you exchange, the better the rate is the general rule.
Rates typically go up once you hit the £500 mark. So if you’re not planning to take this much yourself, pool your holiday cash with a friend, partner, neighbour, or whoever you’re going on holiday with, as this way you can all bag a better rate.
Pack the right plastic
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ with debit and credit cards. So that very same card you use on the high street may charge sky high rates if you produce it abroad.
Check charges with your bank or card company. Do this several weeks before you go so you’ve still got time to apply for a better value card.
The Santander Zero, Halifax Clarity and Tandem credit cards are among those that don’t add on fees for using cash machines abroad or charge more for spending. Plus there’s a bit of a bonus with the Tandem card as it pays 0.5% cashback on every £1 spent, both in the UK and abroad.
Always pay in the local currency. Lots of shops and restaurants will offer to switch the bill back to Sterling if you’re paying by card.
Can seem the easy option, but you’ll pay more this way as it’s the shop or restaurant that sets the rate, not your bank or card company.
Known as ‘Dynamic Currency Conversion’ this can bump up your bill by around 5% every time, so just say no.
Switch it back
Bringing home spare cash? Check if the place you bought it from offers a ‘buy back’ deal. This means you can swap your money back at the same rate.
Or trade with friends or family if they’re heading off to the same place.
Most places won’t take coins. Donate them to charity on board the flight home as most airlines have collections, or with some currencies you can change them in Coinstar machines in supermarkets. Not the best deal on the planet as you’ll lose 11.9% in commission but better than nothing.