Where can I get cheap travel money deals?

Save money by shopping around for the best rates

This summer, millions of Brits will be flocking to the continent and long haul destinations searching for sea, sun and sangria. In this article, we’ll help savvy holidaymakers find a cheaper and fairer travel money deal. 

Most holidaymakers will have planned the trip well in advance, booked the flights and reserved their dream hotel. For a large proportion of travellers, working out where to get a cheap travel money deal is often left right to the last minute. This can often be costly and make the difference between saving or losing out on hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. 

Warning: Ignore 0% commission marketing tactics

Travel money suppliers will often boast of 0% commission on travel money. This is largely pointless and should be seen by consumers as simply a marketing gimmick. 0% commission with poor rates of exchange does not equate to a cheap travel money deal.

What can you do?

Focus on the exchange rate alone. The markup that travel money companies add to the ‘ real exchange rate ‘ will be the difference between a cheap or expensive holiday money purchase

Warning: Cheap travel money deals won’t be found at an airport bureau.

Airports are one of the most expensive places in the world to buy retail space. As such, travel money suppliers need to factor this into the exchange rate offered to customers. As a captive consumer, expect exchange rate markups of up to 12% away from the mid-market rates

What can you do?

Plan at least 2 weeks ahead when thinking about where to buy your holiday money. Booking online for home delivery or airport collection usually works out overall cheapest

Warning: If you are asked to ‘pay in pounds’ or ‘pay in local currency’ always select the local currency

If you opt to pay in your home currency rather than the local currency, the retailer will do the currency conversion. This is dangerous as the rates can be much worse than letting your card dictate the markup added.

What can you do?

If your travelling from the UK, consider a specialist card for overseas spending. They provide excellent savings for ATM withdrawals and point of sale transactions

Warning: Shop around for a cheaper travel money deal. Compare & save

Leave plenty of time in advance to book your travel money. Multiple quotes will always lead to a better saving. Start by using comparison websites to start researching who is offering the best value currency deals. Dynamic aggregators like MyTravelMoney  will screen scrape the live rates so you have an accurate snapshot of the best deals on the market. Think whether you want to pick up at the airport OR have currency delivered to your house.

What can you do?

Even if you have 24 hours before departure, book online for collection at the airport. You’ll be offered preferential rates and takes a little over 5 minutes. If you end up leaving currency to the very last minute and have no choice (explore all other alternatives!) but to buy from the airport, don’t be afraid to haggle. Often, cashiers will go to huge lengths to offer you a cheaper currency deal than being quoted. It costs nothing to be slightly cheeky and you’ll be surprised at the outcome!

To compare live travel money rates, visit MyTravelMoney.co.uk

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