Wait­ing for Fri­day can buy more hol­i­day cash

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - MONEY - Adam Wil­liams

For­eign trav­ellers and ex­pats could have made hun­dreds of pounds by tim­ing their cur­rency pur­chases cor­rectly this year. Data com­piled by cur­rency transfer ser­vice WeSwap, ex­clu­sively for Tele­graph Money, shows that £1,000 trans­ferred into United States dol­lars would have been worth $1,434 on April 17, the most favourable time to buy, com­pared with $1,248 on Dec 11, the least. This is a 14.9pc dif­fer­ence in ex­change rate.

For those trans­fer­ring pounds to eu­ros, the best date to ex­change was also April 17, dur­ing a pe­riod when favourable eco­nomic data had been re­leased, when £1,000 would have been worth €1,158. By com­par­i­son on Aug 29 this fig­ure was €1,101, a dif­fer­ence of 5.2pc.

The time of day of­ten af­fects the ex­change rate that can be achieved. The best time can be in the morn­ing or late af­ter­noon. For Amer­i­can dol­lars the best time to transfer was 3am. Eu­ros, Cana­dian dol­lars and Aus­tralian dol­lars were bet­ter trans­ferred later in the day, with peak times of 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm re­spec­tively.

WeSwap said this was be­cause eco­nomic an­nounce­ments from gov­ern­ments and cen­tral banks, which can move ex­change rates quickly, of­ten took place in the morn­ing and at lunchtime in the UK.

Mak­ing cur­rency ex­changes later


Worst ex­change rate 1.101 1.248 1.717 1.661 1.813 Aug 29 Dec 11 Dec 4 Aug 15 Dec 13 in the week can also lead to bet­ter rates. For those trans­fer­ring pounds into for­eign cur­ren­cies, Fri­day was typ­i­cally the best day, while Mon­day and Tues­day were gen­er­ally the most ex­pen­sive.

Greg Bag­gio of WeSwap said: “The trends seem to show that we rarely hit the peak cur­rency value on a Fri­day or Satur­day.”

Jenifer Swal­low of Trans­fer­Wise, an ex­change ser­vice, said trav­ellers should also check any com­mis­sion and fees added by providers.

“Make sure you al­ways com­pare the rate you’re get­ting from your bank or cur­rency ex­change provider with the real rate you can find on­line,” she said. Best ex­change rate 1.158 1.434 1.872 1.835 2.046 Apr 17 Apr 17 Oct 11 Mar 20 Oct 11 Per­cent­age dif­fer­ence 5.2pc 14.9pc 9pc 10.5pc 12.9pc

Hol­i­day­mak­ers have felt the pain of a weak ex­change rate for much of 2018

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