Find out if you could get a better deal on your travel money with our round-up of fees, exchange rates and order limits.
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Use our exchange rates table to find one that offers all the features you need from leading bank providers.
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Travel money refers to a foreign currency that you buy for use while you are abroad, for instance when you're on holiday.
When you are organising travel money, one thing that you need to focus on is the exchange rate. This is the amount of one currency that you can buy with another currency. For travel money, you will often be exchanging pounds for euros or dollars, but you can buy any currency that you need.
Exchange rates are usually given as a fraction – for example, a pound to euro rate of 1.18 would mean that you would get 1.18€ for every £1.
The table on this page will help you compare exchange rates and the cost of having your travel money delivered. It also lets you review any order limits or eligibility criteria.
We all love going on holiday, but organising travel money can be tricky. Where will you get the best exchange rates? What should you compare when buying holiday money? How much travel currency should you take?
Online deals are often better because they give you a more favourable exchange rate or a better package overall. That's because providers online have fewer overheads compared to foreign exchange brokers on the high street or at the airport.
You need to compare as many offers as possible when searching for the best currency exchange rate. Providers update their holiday money exchange rates and fees all the time to remain competitive, so you need to shop around.
Ordering your travel money online is a good idea when looking for the best deal. Whatever you do, avoid getting your travel money at the airport. Airport holiday money providers have notoriously high prices because they offer a last-chance solution for those who are just about to board a plane! By planning ahead you can save a small fortune.
The currency exchange comparison table at the top of this page helps you compare travel money offers to find the best euro travel money rate or dollar exchange rate.
When comparing travel money deals, it's important to pay attention to the following factors:
High exchange rates: The higher the ratio, the more spending money you'll get for your holiday. Compare currency rates to make sure you get the best deal
Delivery charges: It's best to arrange your currency exchange online, but you need to keep an eye on the cost of having your holiday money delivered to your home
Special offers: Look out for travel money deals – time things right and you could get a higher exchange rate or free delivery
Comparing offers in this way should allow you to find the best travel money exchange rate online before you go on holiday. You can find out more about travel money, best rates and other costs here.
Remember, exchange rates are constantly changing. You might get different rates from different providers on different days.
Yes and no. It depends on how you define it. Commission refers to the service fee that a currency exchange broker charges for exchanging your money. Many companies advertise 0% commission to exchange money online or on the high street, but they are still charging you for their service (otherwise they would go out of business). However, instead of charging commission, they offer a less competitive exchange rate. This is why you need to compare the complete deal rather than just opting for a zero-fee travel money deal.
Yes, you can buy most currencies online, including euros and dollars. But the total you're allowed to exchange depends on the travel money provider. You can usually buy up to £7,500 worth of foreign currency with the best online holiday money brokers.
It's standard practice to order a round number of the destination currency so that it can be issued in notes alone. So if the pound-to-euro exchange rate was 1.18, you would need to pay £423.60 to get 500€, as opposed to £420 to get 495.24€.
There are some currencies that can only be withdrawn when you're in the country you're travelling to. These are called closed currencies and you won't see them listed on travel money exchange sites.
When you buy your currency online, it's normally sent via Royal Mail's Special Delivery service. This means you have to sign for the package.
Cash orders that exceed £2,500 will be sent in batches because that's the maximum value that can be insured for each delivery.
It's a good idea to do your money exchange online if you want to get the best exchange rates. You can do a travel money comparison online. You'll usually get a better deal on your travel money exchange if you do it online compared with the high street or at the airport.”Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor
Some travel money providers do offer next-day delivery. These brokers send out currency using Royal Mail's Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm service.
Our comparison shows which operators offer this option and how much they charge for it. With some companies, you also have the option to pre-order your travel money for collection in person from a local branch, meaning you don't have to pay for delivery.
Travel money providers usually have a three-letter code for each currency.
Some of the most popular ones for UK travellers include:
GBP (UK sterling/£)
USD (US dollar/$)
AUD (Australian dollar/$)
NZD (New Zealand dollar/$)
CAD (Canadian dollar/$)
CHF (Swiss franc/Fr)
JPY (Japanese yen/ ¥)
Exchange rates are usually presented in pairs, such as "GBP/EUR" for pound-to-euro or "GBP/USD" for pound to US dollar. The pair shows how much of the second currency you need to spend to buy one unit of the first currency. For example, if you see GBP/EUR 1.18 it means it takes 1.18€ to buy £1. If the letter codes are the other way around, it shows how many pounds it costs to buy 1€.
How much travel money you need to take depends on your plans. You'll need to budget for your holiday to make sure you don't run out of money before the end.
Where you're going
Meals and price of local food
Some countries charge a tourist tax and others charge an entry fee or visa to enter. It's important to be aware of these before you travel.
If you've got leftover travel money from a trip abroad, you can use a buy-back service to convert it back into pounds.
The buy-back rate tells you how much sterling you'll get back.
Remember to factor in the rate and delivery costs, and compare exchange rates. You can check out the best euro-to-pound exchange rate by looking at our comparison table.
You might find that after you compare currency exchange rates, you decide that taking cash abroad isn't right for you.
You might like to think about how else you could pay for things while you're away. Some people like to take a little cash, and do the rest of their spending a different way.
Your options include:
Credit or debit card
You can use credit cards in most countries, but you'll be charged for each transaction with most accounts. Tell your bank where you're going before you leave, so your card doesn't get blocked.
You load these cards with pounds or foreign currency. You can use them around the world. Many will even let you withdraw foreign currency from free from local ATMs.
With these, you convert pounds into a foreign currency cheque. You then sign it, and cash it when you're abroad. The usage of traveller's cheques is increasingly rare these days, with very banks offering them.
Try to do your research on the best way for you to spend on holiday. The costs to you can vary a lot depending on which option is the best at the time. It can also vary a lot depending on exchange rates.
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to taking cash on holiday.
You know you'll stick to a budget
Some shops and restaurants outside of major cities may not accept cards, or may charge you to use them
You will able to leave cash tips for restaurant staff, hotel workers and taxi drivers if customary
You'll lock in a specific exchange rate for your whole holiday (so if the exchange rate gets worse while you're away, you'll be glad that you exchanged your cash when you did)
It could be lost or stolen
You might not want to carry all of your money on you
It's unlikely that you'll get the very best travel money rates with cash
Your hotel might require credit card payments
You won't get the same protections that you get with a credit card
If exchange rates get better while you're away, you won't benefit
Comparing travel money deals could help you save money on fees or get more foreign currency for your pounds. Our award-winning comparison service makes sure you get our best deals. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators so to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.
We have always aimed to provide the best possible services to bridge the gap between our users and our clients. Over the years, we have been thrilled to be recognised by various prestigious bodies and organisations for those efforts.
What you need to know to get as much holiday for your money as you possibly can - from where to go, how to get there, the best way to spend while away and your rights if anything goes wrong
Last updated: 15 July 2022