How to Get the Best Exchange Rate on Your Travel Money

The obvious answer to the question is shop around! No one currency provider will be able to give you the best deal all the time. If they could then they would be the only one left in the industry, why would anyone go to anyone else? The reality is that most of the providers have some unique selling point or niche where they are the best.

There are some generalisations that we can state right from the start. Firstly, online providers will almost certainly give you a better exchange rate than a high street provider. Secondly there is almost no good reason for having to pay commission on your currency order.

Right, now that is out of the way, lets look at those online providers. The exchange rates change constantly throughout the day so I cannot tell you explicitly who has the best offering because it could change before you had finished reading this. I will look at three typical providers that do business in different ways, but are fairly typical of their type.

Travel FX are a purely online travel money provider, you order your currency online, pay by bank transfer and they deliver, normally the next day, by royal mail special delivery. This is the cheapest option 99.99% of the time. They could be anywhere in the UK, it makes no difference so they are paying minimal business rates, and none of the expenses associated with regular retail.

TTT Moneycorp. You will not find any high street stores but they have a presence in all themajor UK airports. You can choose whether to have your money delivered by post or pick it up at the airport.

The Post Office. Order online and then have it delivered or pick it up at your local branch. Here you have a truly local service but still with competitive rates.

So which do you go for? Well there are other considerations to take into account, you could get a great exchange rate but then pay more in delivery charges than you saved. All these providers and the other in the industry have a tipping point where they will offer you free deliver. With so many options to juggle, exchange rate, delivery options and collection options and delivery charges a comparison table would be helpful.

One option is to use a price comparison website. Not many compare foreign exchange rates but a Google search for compare exchange rates or Euro rate comparison will turn up turns up all the big names that offer this service.

What none of these sites can tell you is when to buy though. Exchange rates vary day by day. On top of that if you are having cash delivered then you do not want to be caught in a postal strike. Be prepared and get your travel money in plenty of time. If you give yourself a week before you travel that is plenty of time to guarantee that you will have your cash before you go.

If it all goes wrong? British Airways will happily sell you cash on the plane and it is about the worst exchange rate you can imagine, but then you can hardly get off and go somewhere else at that point can you.

Compare Holiday Money is the top UK impartial travel money and travel insurance comparison website. They publish articles and regular blog posts with focus on saving money when you travel.

Travel Money Cards – Do They Offer Advantages Over Debit Cards and Traditional Credit Cards?

How do travel money cards work?

These cards are fairly recent additions to the cards that are available out there, and they give you the ability to place a certain amount of a specific currency on the card at a predetermined exchange rate, so that you have ready access to funds when you travel.

You can apply for these cards on the providers’ websites online, and the transfer of funds to the card can be made on the phone, the internet, or through SMS services, in some instances. At this time, only the pound, euro, and U.S. dollar can be uploaded onto currency cards.

How are travel money cards better than traditional credit cards?

One major benefit is that you will receive an exchange rate that is much more favorable than if you went to High Street and use the services of the bureaux de change. Another advantage is that the exchange rate of the uploaded funds is fixed, so there will be no surprises after you use it. Traditional credit cards and debit cards typically use the exchange rate that applies at the moment of the transaction, so you never know what you have spent until you see your bill.

Is that all there is to it?

Not at all. When you use a traditional credit card or debit card to make a purchase abroad, you are typically charged around 2.75% of the transaction as a fee for the foreign currency exchange.

These foreign currency exchange fees also apply in shops and eating establishments; however, a travel money card does not have these associated charges. The rates charged for obtaining cash with a credit or debit card can be very high, but since you have prepaid the amount on your currency card, it is not a loan, and there are no fees for the service.

Wonderful. Are there disadvantages to having a currency card?

Since you are uploading cash onto the card before your trip, your vacation is paid for up front, not with credit, so you must save for your trip. But, that may not be a disadvantage in the current economy. Currency card do have fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs, but the associated fees are much less that those incurred with credit or debit cards.

One example of this is that, when this article was written, NatWest and RBS both had a withdrawal fee of two percent, which amounts to about EUR6 each time you withdraw the sum of EUR300. Currency exchange cards, however, have a flat fee that amounts to as little as EUR1.50 no matter how much your ATM withdrawal is.

The major disadvantage of a travel money card is that you will be charged as much as 2.75% if you use the card for a currency that wasn’t assigned to it when it was issued. For instance, if you paid for something in U.S. dollars on a card issued in euros, then you would have to pay this foreign currency exchange fee. There are cards, however, that don’t carry an FX fee.

What about credit cards that can be used without FX fees?

Traditional credit cards like Post Office, Nationwide Gold, and Abbey Zero fit into this category. The first two cards, though, have 2.5% withdrawal fees for cash with a minimum charge of £3 per transaction, even though they don’t carry FX fees. This isn’t as good a deal as a travel money card, unless you don’t have the cash upfront for your vacation.

There are no cash withdrawal or FX fees associated with the Abbey card, however, which makes it the preferred credit card. Cash withdrawals do carry very high interests rates, though, which are at 25.9%; the cash withdrawal interest rates with Post Office and Nationwide are 20.83% and 22.9%, respectively.

Tell me more. So which travel money cards are the best?

The best card available for euros is the FairFX Euro Currency card, because its ATM fee is the least at EUR1.50; it has no foreign currency exchange fees and has fantastic exchange rates. Another euro card, the Indigo Travelcard Euro has just a slightly higher ATM fee of EUR1.95, but its convert fee is high at 2.75%. There is no convert fee associated with the ICE Travellers CashCard Euro, but the ATM fee is a whopping EUR3.

When considering dollar cards, again, FairFX is the best deal, as the currency card charges just $2 for ATM transactions, and it doesn’t have a convert fee. Another bargain for dollar cards is the ICE Travellers CashCard, because it does not have a convert fee, and the fee for ATM transactions is just $3. Keep in mind that when there is no convert fee, the cards can used for any available currency.

What’s the best travel money card for world travel?

FairFX have just launched what they call an ‘Anywhere Card’ which at the time of writing appears to be the best value of all the travel money cards for worldwide use.

With a FairFX Anywhere Card there are no loading fees and no ATM fees! the only fee that applies is a 1.5% transaction fee which as far as we can tell beats every other similar type of card in the market.

FairFX have just launched what they call an ‘Anywhere Card’ which at the time of writing appears to be the best value of all the travel money cards for worldwide use.

With a FairFX Anywhere Card there are no loading fees and no ATM fees! the only fee that applies is a 1.5% transaction fee which as far as we can tell beats every other similar type of card in the market.

How To Book Cheap Last Minute Flights

Travelling by air was once a luxury, but today, it’s a necessity, which sometimes, becomes difficult for us to afford. Everyone loves the fact that a plane can take you across the world within a few hours. However, the high price tag that comes with this luxury is not something we desire. If you want to book cheap air tickets, your best bet is to watch out for the cheap last minute flights.

Here are some ways in which you can get hold of cheap airline flights.

Subscribe to Emails

Airline companies have mailing lists that send out news about discounts and special offers. It’s quite possible that you might have subscribed to some of these airlines, but are you keeping an eye out on these mails?

Sometimes, if a flight is flying out empty or hasn’t been able to rope in a lot of passengers, they might sell out the flights tickets. Keep checking these mails so that you don’t miss out on that ticket that might save you a lot of money.

Check Out Your Contacts

Do you know someone who works with any airline company? Find out where your friends work not just because they might be able to get you a job because sometimes, it might mean a cheap flight.

They would have some inside information or might even be able to use their employee benefit to give you a cheap ticket. So, put up a post on social media saying you need a cheap ticket from X to Y place and who knows someone might come to your aid.

Follow Airline Companies on Social Media

If you aren’t following social media sites of airline companies, then it’s time you did so. You don’t have to stalk them on all social media platforms but you should definitely keep an eye on them on the most popular ones like Facebook and Twitter. Usually, airline companies too want to sell out all their tickets and wouldn’t want to fly with empty seats. So, if any last minute tickets are available, you might be notified of them on social media.

Be a Little Flexible If You Can

Okay, so here’s the deal. You want to fly to Y airport but there are no cheap flights on this route. Now, what you can do to save a little bit of money is to fly to another nearest airport and take another bus or train ride from there.

Sometimes, airlines work in really weird ways and you would never understand how they price the tickets. So, if you are willing to spend a little more time on travelling, consider changing your route a bit and getting some awesome best flight deals in return.

Get in touch with us and book your Cheap Last Minute Flights today on 1300 837 920. At Fortune World Tour support in your business travel management needs and travel packages.