Euro rates drop to 90 cents for £1: how to get the most for your holiday money
Fears over Brexit have sent the pound tumbling to an eightyear low, giving holidaymakers the worst currency rates since the financial crisis.
This week currency exchange kiosks were reported to have been offering less than €0.90 for every £1. Those who bought travel money just before boarding their flight were getting just €0.87 at some airports.
Airports are notoriously poor value, particularly at times of currency volatility. This is because the kiosks build in a large safety margin in case rates go against them.
There are a number of ways to get far better rates. For example, Travelex is currently offering the best rate of €1.06. For £500 you can get €531 and delivery is free if you order in advance.
If you’re not travelling for a while but want to hedge your bets to ensure you don’t get caught out if the rate moves significantly against you, you can use “buy-back guarantees” and other tricks. If you are happy to take a gamble you can also wait and see what happens, accepting that no one can say with any confidence what is coming next.
If you want to pay cash, small local outlets tend to offer the best rates in areas where competition is fierce, such as central London and other major cities.
The consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com has an online tool called TravelMoneyMax that sifts through the rates offered by online bureaus, taking your location into account. Unlike larger rivals, there is often no discrepancy in the rate for cash ordered online or picked up in person. It is worth checking to see how convenient it will be to pick up your cash, as there may be queues at popular locations.
Those who don’t live in an area where providers compete vigorously can still improve the rate they get by ordering in advance from a larger bureau. Most bureaus offer preferential rates if you pre-order or print out a voucher to secure the online rate, rather than walking through the door.
Some currency firms will offer to post cash to you if you order online; you can expect to pay £5 for orders under £500. Order more and delivery is usually free. If you use a credit card to purchase the cash you will be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if something goes wrong. If you use a debit card you may be protected under the “chargeback” scheme.
Those heading abroad this summer will find their holiday money has taken a hit