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Travel Money: How to “Get a Better Rate” When Exchanging Foreign Currency | Travel News | Travel

Exchanging your money into foreign currencies for the holidays can sometimes mean that travelers end up losing out due to exchange rates or currency exchange fees. But as more Britons return to the skies, two travel money experts have shared their top tips to ensure hopeful holidaymakers get the best possible rates.

According to Simon Phillips, managing director of travel money specialist No1 Currency, it all starts with research and planning.

For those with secure travel plans, the expert urged people to avoid leaving their vacation change until the last minute.

He explained: “It’s always best to buy your foreign currency before you travel.

“It gives you the ability to shop around for the best deal, saving you more euros and avoiding the terrible exchange rates usually offered at airport money changers.”

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And although many retailers and restaurants have turned to contactless payments since the pandemic, Michael Foote, editor of travel money comparison site QuoteGoat, said travelers shouldn’t rely on payments alone. by card.

He explained: “Leaving it to the last minute is when it will cost you if you change your money at the airport or go abroad with only a standard credit or debit card to use.

“If you use a standard debit or credit card to buy items overseas, you’ll likely have to pay a fee each time you make a purchase, which is usually three to six percent, which can be s ‘add up considerably if you’re away for a few weeks.’

By planning ahead, Britons can keep up with the current exchange rate and choose a time when their chosen currency seems most fruitful.

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Mr Foote explained: “The exchange rate tells us how much of one currency we can exchange for another.

“The exchange rate will be blocked if you choose to exchange money before leaving.

“Exchange rates go up and down all the time based on supply and demand.

“You might get lucky and get more bang for your buck before you fly, or you might get a better fare when you arrive.”

While vacationers can shop between travel money stores, the QuoteGoat expert recommended turning your attention to the internet.

He said: “If you want to take cash with you, you’ll almost always get a better rate online, so you need to consider how long it will take for your cash to be delivered.”

Alternatively, travelers might be better off opting for a challenger bank card.

Challenger banks such as Starling and Monzo allow customers to conduct card transactions overseas at the current exchange rate without incurring fees.

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Mr Foote said: “While you can get similar exchange rates when comparing cash and cards – if you use the right card your money will go further using a card.

“The right card will depend on which bank you bank with or what type of card you plan to carry with you.

“If you use a card from challenger banks like Monzo or Starling, they won’t charge you for using your card abroad.

“Other options include taking out a travel credit card or loading a prepaid travel card before your flight, so you don’t have to pay a fee for your purchases.

“Using cards designed for free use abroad will often give you a near-perfect exchange rate.”

But even if you find the right card, planning ahead is essential.

Mr Foote added: ‘Give yourself plenty of time to apply for a card if you opt for a travel credit card or a challenger bank card like Monzo or Starling.’