Waiting for Friday can buy more holiday cash
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
THE BEST AND WORST TIMES TO BUY MAJOR FOREIGN CURRENCIES
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