Travel money: how to get the best deal

A good deal on travel money means getting the best return for your pound sterling. This guide will show you how.

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What is a good deal?

You need to find the best exchange rate with the lowest additional charges, like delivery fees, to get a good deal.

Compare foreign currency deals online and in store to find which company will give you the most travel money in total.

Case study – Gavin's story

"Excellent website for currency exchange: I have used it many times, it is simple to use and very fast and clearly shows the best exchange rates in an instant. I would recommend it to anyone."

Taking travel money with you is not the only way to spend abroad so make sure you explore all your options before your trip.

What are the costs?

Exchange rate

This shows how much foreign currency you can get in exchange for your money.

Travel money providers buy foreign currency at a wholesale price, meaning they can sell the currency to you at a profit. This is why there are so many different exchange rates.

The higher the number you can find, the better the exchange rate — for example...

Commission charge

This is taken by travel money providers to handle the administration of your order.

The charge is normally incorporated into the rate, so although many companies advertise 0% commission they could still be charging you by offering a less competitive exchange rate instead.

Delivery cost

A delivery charge may apply if you buy your travel money online or over the phone. The cost varies. Some companies offer free delivery to your home address while others offer free delivery for collection from a branch or at the airport.

Credit card charges

If you buy foreign currency with your credit card you will be charged:

    How should you buy?

    Ordering travel money online and in store both have different pros and cons:

    Online

    Pros

      Cons

        In store

        Pros

          Cons

            Can you order in advance?

            Yes, this is known as preordering and it means:

              Planning in advance gives you time to weigh up the pros and cons of the different travel money options, including online cash orders and travel money cards.

              If time is tight read our last minute travel guide to find out what your different options are.

              Top tips for getting the best deal

                Spending abroad can be costly, so make sure you compare the market for the best exchange rates available on your travel money before jetting off.