Euro Exchange Rates

Compare Euro Exchange Rates

Find the best euro exchange rates for you and find the best deal when buying euros for your holiday.

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Finding the best euro exchange rate for you

By Laura Rettie, Personal Finance Journalist.

Laura Rettie

Discover the best euro rates and get the best deal on your holiday money

How does the exchange rate work?

An exchange rate is how much one type of currency is worth compared to another. An example of currency is the Euro or American Dollar.

Exchange rates are always listed in pairs – for example, euro to pound (EUR to GBP) or dollar to yen (USD to JPY).

As an example, when converting pounds to euros the amount you’ll get depends on euro exchange rates at that time.  So, the euro rate today tells you how many euros you'll get for each pound at the moment of conversion, but exchange rates constantly fluctuate.

Euro exchange rate in action - 1 GBP to EUR

A euro exchange rate of 1.161 would give you €1.16 for each £1.00 exchanged, therefore if you buy £500 worth of euros you’d get €580.80.

When is the best time to buy euros?

Exchange rates change regularly so if you’re planning to exchange pounds into euros to either travel abroad, make an international money transfer or make a foreign purchase, it's important to check the euro exchange rate in advance to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

The best time to convert euros to pounds or vice versa is when the pound is strong against the euro. This will ensure you’ll get a good euro pound exchange rate and more money in your pocket.

Planning ahead and getting your travel money in advance will mean you’ll get a better deal than leaving it to the last minute.

Don’t exchange your money last minute at the airport, the rates are generally poor compared to what you can get online or on the high-street.

How do I get the best euro exchange rate?

1. Plan your exchange in advance

If you need to exchange euros on a specific date or you know when you’ll need it, for instance for a holiday, plan ahead.

2. Consider a forward contract

If you are buying a property abroad, planning a long trip or a foreign wedding you may want to consider using a currency forward contract to exchange your money.

If you are confident you know what a good exchange rate is and understand currency fluctuations, this is a good way to lock in the best euro rate. Bear in mind forward contracts may require a deposit.

3.  Order your currency in bulk

The more currency you order, the better the rate, so if you’re planning a wedding or large family holiday order for friends and family at the same time.

Some providers deliver for free, others charge according to how much currency you buy, so check delivery charges and compare total costs.

Where can I get the best euro exchange rates?

There are several places you can buy euros so shop around and compare rates from different foreign exchange services.

Most online providers have a euro converter tool which enables you to check the current exchange rate in real-time.

Here are some of the places you can buy euros:

  • Banks
  • Exchange bureaus
  • Online currency services
  • The Post Office
  • Supermarkets
  • Travel agents

It’s not usually a good idea to buy euros at the airport or from high street exchange bureaus because you’ll get a poorer exchange rate.

Wherever you decide to buy your euros, be alert to hidden charges like commission fees but also bear in mind that commission-free doesn’t mean it's the cheapest deal.

When comparing online rates, don’t forget to take into account delivery fees.

What are the benefits of buying euros?

Euro is a currency used widely in the European Union and accepted in most countries.

If you can get a good pound to euro rate, it’s a cost-effective and simple way to spend on holiday or do business abroad.

The benefits are:

  • Euros are quick and easy to buy
  • Euros are accepted almost everywhere
  • There are no hidden charges if you pay in euros
  • You can track your spending and budget easily
  • You can easily convert euros back to sterling

Are there any disadvantages to buying euros?

It depends on the type of transaction you’re planning to make with your euros, but if you’re buying euros to spend on holiday, here are some of the pitfalls:

  • Euros can be lost or stolen easily
  • Paying in euros means your purchases are unprotected
  • You may exchange more GBP to Euro than you need and have to convert euros back, which means losing out
  • If the euro rate improves after you’ve purchased, you could miss out on a better exchange rate

Are there any alternatives to buying euros?

Aside from travel money, there are several other ways you can spend abroad but each has its pros and cons.

Prepaid multi-currency cards

You can load the euros you need onto one of these cards and use it like a debit card. Simply top up with euros if you need more.

Prepaid currency cards are safer than carrying cash and you can’t spend more than what’s loaded on the card. Transaction fees are often lower than credit cards and you may have some protection if you lose the card.

The downside is that you’ll need to apply for the card and wait for delivery.  Also,  cash withdrawals abroad can be expensive so it’s a good plan to take a combination of cash and a prepaid card.

Use your credit or debit card for payments

Many people choose to use their existing credit or debit cards for foreign transactions, business dealings or holiday spending in the Eurozone.

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted worldwide and using your bank or credit card is often more convenient and safer than carrying cash.

The other advantage, compared to buying euros, is that some credit cards offer:

  • zero foreign transaction fees
  • travel perks
  • Section 75 and chargeback protection in the EU

However, there could be hidden costs such as transaction fees and cash withdrawal charges that only show once you’ve received your bank statement.

There’s also a danger you could overspend and get overdrawn on your debit card or incur interest charges on your credit card.

The information provided does not constitute financial advice, it’s always important to do your own research to ensure a financial product is right for your circumstances. If you’re unsure you should contact an independent financial advisor.

Frequently asked questions

What countries use the euro?

19 countries in the European Monetary Union (EMU) have replaced their national currencies with the euro. These are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
Is there a maximum amount of euros I can buy?

Some foreign exchange providers may set a limit on how much euro you can buy online, for instance, up to £100,000.  

If you want to buy a very large amount of euros it’s advisable to phone and talk to a broker or exchange specialist about your needs.

If you’re planning to move more than £10,000 to the eurozone, you must first declare it to HM Revenue & Customs. 

When travelling with large amounts of euros, you’ll need to declare it in advance and airport security may wish to question you. They are also allowed to take action on values lower than £10,000 if deemed suspicious.

Can I use a credit card to buy euros?

Yes, you can, but you may get charged a cash advance fee. You’ll also have to pay interest on your card if you don’t settle the balance before credit interest charges are applied.  

Use cash, bank transfer or your debit card to buy euros whenever possible.