If you're planning on leaving the UK, every traveller will need to consider their foreign currency requirements. As such, it's important to compare travel money options to make sure you're prepared for any eventuality and have the foreign currency option most suited to you.
- It's always best to check the country you're travelling to for acceptable currencies - Some hotels operating in areas like Maldives for example accept more than one form of currency as payment. Most larger resorts accept major currencies such as the dollar, pound and euro, but it's always worth checking before you go to see which currencies will be accepted.
- Some countries do not allow money exchange before you go, instead requiring you to purchase your currency upon arrival. Examples of countries that operate a 'closed currency' system include India, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Morocco and Vietnam. It's always advised to do your research in advance to see if closed currencies are present in the country you are travelling to. Some countries, such as Iceland do not really deal with cash, preferring electronic payments instead. Cash cards are extremely useful here.
- Sorting your currency in advance of travelling is a guaranteed way to save money as well as get the best travel money for you. Getting money last minute at places such as airports before you depart or in hotels when you arrive is notoriously expensive.
- Peace of mind that everything is sorted before you depart.
- For more answers to some questions you may have, as well as contact numbers, please see our travel money FAQ page
How do travel money rates work?
When looking at exchange rates it's important you understand the terminology often used in the market.
Sell rate: The rate at which selling your currency in exchange for the local currency of the country you're travelling to.
Buy rate: The rate at which buying back currency from those who have returned from travelling.
In short, the higher the currency exchange rate (e.g Euro exchange rate), the more foreign currency you will get for your money.
It's important to note that, in many cases, companies will charge commission for currency conversion, so it's always best to ensure you have all the facts, figures, and exchange rates to hand to ensure you're getting not only the best deal, but the currency type most suited to your needs. You can keep up to date with the current exchange rates with a useful currency converter here
Travel Money Cards
Order your FairFX Prepaid MasterCard® Currency Card here
Pre-paid currency cards are an alternative way to fund your holiday, without any associated risks/fees that may arise getting hold of your money abroad. Pre-paid cards can be topped-up with currency and used to make payments or used in cashpoints. As well as this, cards can be topped up via internet or mobile phone while you are on your trip, so should you run short, you won't have to pay local rates for your money.
We work with our partner FairFX to bring you the best possible travel money card, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge you won't be tripped up by any hidden holiday money costs along the way.
- The FairFX card is FREE
- Valid anywhere in the world the MasterCard® logo is present
- Chip and PIN protected for security and peace of mind
- Maximum card load of £2500.00, €3750.00 or $5000.00 per week
- Manage your card from your mobile phone via the FairFX app available on iOS and Android
- Convenient to use - just load and spend
- £10 pre-loaded (you pay £10, you get £10 in your chosen currency)
- No hidden fees
Why opt for a currency card?
If you lose your FairFX card, it is stolen or you believe it has been used by an unauthorised user, contact FairFX as soon as possible on their 24 hour helpline 01753 775961.
Foreign currency as cash
Order your FairFX Travel Cash here
For many people, using foreign currency as cash is the way to go. Acquiring your holiday money before you go can set your mind at rest and can often avoid hidden pitfalls. Airports often have an inflated exchange rate, as do destinations abroad, so don't delay getting your cash sorted until the last minute. It's worth noting that some countries don't allow you to change up money into local currency before you go, e.g. Sri Lanka. Banks in Sri Lanka are a safe way to exchange your money and offer decent exchange rates. It's always a good idea to have at least some cash on you in case of emergencies. Having money to hand for getting around on public transport, or for food can cut down on the stress of using card payments. This way you're not stranded without cash should there be unforeseen circumstances such as ATM's being out of order, arriving late at night when bureau's/banks are closed or if you've done a last minute money transfer and it hasn't gone through yet.
- Peace of mind once the money is physically in your hand
- Better exchange rates than overseas or at airports
- Convenient and easily to hand (ideal for the first 24 hours of your trip)
Why take out foreign currency as cash?
If you're opting to go down this route, there are several things to bear in mind to ensure your money is kept safe and secure.
It's also important to note that UK law requires you to declare if you are taking €10,000 or more out of the country - this includes travellers' cheques too.
Money Transfers Overseas
If you're looking to avoid fees, an international money transfer to a bank account abroad can be a worthwhile option. Foreign exchange, or currency brokers often charge no fees and and can offer a better exchange rate than banks and post offices.
- Transfers typically only take 1-4 days
- Timed transactions
- Online money transfers available
Benefits of holiday money transfers overseas
As with other options, it's always best to give yourself plenty of time before your trip to secure your travel money. It's also useful to note that instant transfers often cost more than ordinary services, so planning ahead is extra important.Top