Compare Travel Money

Find the best travel money rates across top currencies and discover the best deal for your holiday spending.

Finding the best travel money deal for you.

Discover the best travel money rates for top currencies and get the best deal for your holiday spending.

What is travel money?

It’s money used for spending when you’re in a country with a different currency.

There are several ways to spend abroad, including prepaid travel cards and credit cards, as well as paying in cash with foreign currency which can be a good option because it’s widely available and makes it easier to budget.

Here are some of the places you can order travel currency:

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

You can collect travel money from most foreign exchanges and most places will deliver it to your door if preferred

How does travel money work?

The amount of foreign currency you’ll get for pound sterling depends on the exchange rate.

For instance, a euro exchange rate of 1.1432 would give you €1.14 cents for each £1.00 you exchange. So if you buy £300 worth of euros you’d get €342.96 in return.

Travel money exchange rates fluctuate so if you’re planning a trip abroad, it’s worth checking the daily exchange rate to help plan your purchase and get the best deals on foreign currency.

Can you buy holiday money online?

Yes, you can buy travel money online. In fact, often the best travel money rates are available when you order travel money online.

A quick online search will provide you with a choice of holiday money exchanges or travel money comparison sites, allowing you to order currency and get it delivered to your door quickly and cheaply.

It’s easy to order currency online, you simply need to:

  1. Select the currency you need
  2.  Confirm the exchange rate offered
  3. Choose a delivery date
  4. Pay for your travel money

Online travel money orders are tracked and will require a signature on delivery.

Where is the best place to buy travel money?

The best place to get your travel money depends on what your travel money needs are:

For example:

  • the type of currency you need, e.g. euros or dollars
  • how much you want to spend
  • how quickly you need it

If you need holiday currency the same day, then it’s best to pop into your bank, a supermarket or a post office that has a travel money bureau. If you want a currency like euros or dollars, it’s more likely they’ll have the travel money you want.

Often the worse place to buy your travel money is actually at the airport where the exchange rates aren’t as competitive.

However, if you’re looking for the cheapest deal and can wait a couple of days then an online currency exchange is likely to offer the lowest travel money rate.

Each holiday money provider will offer a different exchange rate, so always shop around and check rates and charges before you go ahead. Travel money comparison websites are a great way to compare currency rates and get the best deals.

Bear in mind, If you order travel money online the rate may be good, but there could be hidden costs and home delivery charges so you’ll need to take this into account when you’re making a comparison.

How do I get the best exchange rate?

Travel money and exchange rates can seem quite complicated but here are a few tips to make sure you get the best travel money rates.

  • Shop around and compare rates from different travel money providers.
  • Order online and collect your order in person to avoid delivery costs.
  • The more currency you order, the better the rate, so 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 the total cost.
  • Be alert to hidden charges like commission fees but bear in mind that commission-free doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest deal. Check the rates too.
  • Don’t buy your currency at the airport or high street exchange bureaus on holiday because you’ll get a poor exchange rate.
  • Don’t buy foreign currency on a credit card – it’s always better to pay for foreign currency with a debit card because buying foregin currency on your credit card will be treated as a cash withdrawal, meaning you’ll be charged a fee, interest and a transaction fee by the travel money company on top.

What is the safest way to take money on holiday?

Travel money is easy to buy and makes budgeting simple, but it’s not always the safest way to spend on holiday.

Foreign currency can get lost or stolen and you’re left with little protection if something goes wrong. Travel insurance may cover your losses, but there are often exclusions and limits on how much you can claim back.

The safest way to spend abroad is to take a prepaid travel money card or use a credit or debit card designed for spending abroad. This allows you to freeze the card if it gets lost or stolen and may offer financial protection if you’re the victim of fraud or a dispute abroad.

What are the benefits of buying travel money?

Historically travel money has always been the most popular way to spend on holiday.

Despite the fact that more and more of us are moving towards a cashless society at home, taking foreign currency on holiday is still a good way to spend abroad.

The benefits are:

  • It’s quick and easy to buy
  • It’s accepted almost everywhere
  • There are no hidden charges if you pay in cash
  • You can track your spending
  • It’ll help you stay within budget

What are the disadvantages of buying holiday money?

Despite the simplicity of spending travel cash on holiday, taking travel money abroad can have its drawbacks.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • You won’t always get the best exchange rates compared to some travel credit and debit cards
  • It can be lost or stolen easily
  • You’re unprotected if scammed or mis-sold
  • Large amounts make you a target for theft
  • You may end up with too much or too little
  • You won’t benefit if the pound gets stronger

Are there any alternatives to taking cash on holiday?

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

Prepaid currency cards

You can load the currency you need onto one of these cards before your trip and use it like a debit card. It’s safe and portable and you won’t be able to spend more than what’s added to the card.

Pros

  • Transaction fees are lower than a credit card
  • Simply top it up if you need to
  • Your cash may be protected if you lose it
  • Some cards let you load multiple currencies

Cons

  • You may be charged when you make some transactions
  • It could be expensive to top up abroad
  • You’ll need to apply for the card and wait for delivery
  • Cash withdrawals could be costly

Travel credit or debit cards

Using a specialist travel credit card, or bank account designed for spending abroad, is almost always the cheapest way to spend overseas.

Pros

  • Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted worldwide and when they’re designed for spending abroad you can get near perfect exchange rates
  • Carrying a card is more convenient and safer than carrying cash
  • You can freeze your card instantly via an app if it’s lost or stolen
  • You have access to more funds if you need money in an emergency
  • Zero foreign transaction fees
  • Some travel credit cards offer rewards such as discounts on flights
  • You get Section 75 and chargeback protection
  • Some travel credit and debit cards allow you to track your spending via an app

Cons

  • Some retailers may not accept certain cards depending where in the world you are – it’s always best to do your research before you travel
  • Easy to overspend
  • You may need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for one
  • Only worth it if you travel frequently
  • Travel credit cards can charge high APR’s if you don’t pay off your balance in full every month

Standard credit or debit cards

You can take your standard debit or credit card away with you for peace of mind and added protection, but there could be hidden fees and charges that you don’t know about until you return home. Your bank may charge you a non-sterling transaction fee, fees for withdrawing cash and add interest on top.

Pros

  • Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted worldwide
  • It’s more convenient and safer than carrying cash
  • You can put a stop on your card if it’s lost or stolen
  • You have access to more funds if you need them
  • Some credit cards offer zero foreign transaction fees or travel perks
  • You get Section 75 and chargeback protection in the EU

Cons

  • You may be charged for every transaction you make
  • Some retailers and restaurants may not take certain debit cards
  • You’ll be charged fees and interest on cash withdrawals
  • You could overspend and get overdrawn on your debit card
  • It’s harder to keep track of spending and transaction fees

Travel Money FAQs

Can you get commission-free holiday money?

Yes, many travel money providers advertise they’re a commission-free exchange to stay competitive.

However, this can sometimes mean their exchange rate is not as good as others so compare the total costs before assuming you have the best deal. It’s also important to remember to take into account any delivery costs or other hidden charges.

How does commission work?

A commission is a service charge and some holiday money firms charge a commission to exchange pound sterling into a foreign currency.

This commission is usually charged as a percentage of the exchange amount or as a flat fee. Always check the commission fees and include it in the total cost when you’re comparing travel money rates.

How much money can I travel with?

According to travel advice from Gov.uk, you must declare cash of £10,000 or more to customs if you’re carrying it between Great Britain and a country outside of the UK.

If you’re travelling as a family or group with more than £10,000 in total you still need to make a declaration.

Before you leave the country, if you’re carrying more than £10,000 you’ll need to declare any:

  • Notes and coins
  • Travellers’ cheques
  • Cheques that are signed but not made out to a person or organisation

Is it cheaper to exchange my money when I’m at my destination?

It depends on the country you’re travelling to and the currencies you want to exchange. It’s best to do your homework on the specific country you are visiting and the currencies you are planning to convert.

Will anyone buy my currency back?

Yes, most travel money providers will buy back your foreign currency at a buy back rate with 0% commission. The larger providers may also offer a travel money refund guarantee if your holiday is cancelled.

Some holiday money exchanges will buy back your currency at the ‘spot rate’ which is the rate that foreign currency is sold and bought in the currency market.

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