Travel money: where can I find the best exchange rates?

If you’re sticking to a strict budget while you’re away, prepaid travel cards can be useful. You can load them with currency from your bank account before you leave, and use them like a bank card while you’re abroad, making it easy to keep track of spending. Find out more in our guide Prepaid cards explained. 

You benefit from the best exchange rate at the time when you move money onto a prepaid card, as it’s based on the market rate (‘interbank rate’). This is the rate banks offer each other when exchanging currencies, which you can’t get on the high street. This means that you don’t need to fear currency swings eating into the value of your money while you’re away if you’re using a prepaid card, as you’ve already secured your exchange rate in advance. 

For example, you can top up the Caxton FX Currency Mastercard through direct debit or online before you go, or while you’re away. There are no fees on spending or withdrawals abroad, or limits on how much you can withdraw. However, you must have a minimum of £100 loaded onto the card. 

Revolut is another example of this type of card, but it’s more than a prepaid card and comes with several extra features, such as spending analytics, cashback and rewards with certain retailers. 

You can load most major currencies onto this card in advance of any trip abroad to lock into the exchange rate. If you want, you can hold balances across a range of currencies on a single card, which can be useful if if you travel abroad frequently. 

You avoid exchange rate fees by loading and spending on the card on weekdays (but you’ll pay a mark-up between 0.5% and 2.5% at weekends to move between currencies, when the markets are closed). You’ll need to sign up for a physical card (the card delivery fee is £4.99), and use this to withdraw cash, if needed. If you need cash, you can make up to five free withdrawals or withdraw up to £200 a month (there’s a 2% fee above this).

Author: wpadmin

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