Money, Money, Money....

By , 15 August 2017

When it comes to travelling, perhaps surprisingly, there’s a few ways you can save money on….Money!

By considering our guidance, you could easily save 3% or more on the overseas cost of your holiday by reducing the hidden fees associated with foreign currency transactions:

  1. When in Rome... When offered the choice of GBP or local currency, choose the local currency. If you’re paying using your domestic credit or debit card, you’ll often be offered the choice of paying in the local currency (the currency of the country you’re visiting) or your home currency (GBP). You should probably choose to pay in the local currency.

    This is because the shop or restaurant you’re buying from will add on maybe 3-4 percent to your bill in 'exchange fees' to convert it to your home currency. Paying in the local currency means your bank may charge for the conversion but this will almost always be less than the shop or restaurant charges. The BBC published an article on this last month, we think it’s great advice. Tourists warned over exchange rate costs

  2. Get a credit card that offers 0% foreign purchase fees. Most credit cards will make a charge (maybe 3%) for transactions in foreign currency. This can be avoided if you chose a credit card without these fees for use when you are abroad.

    You should take a couple of minutes to contact your bank or credit card provider to find out what percentage fee you’ll pay for using your card abroad.. If you are paying a fee then you should think about whether a new card might be a good addition to your wallet or purse. Most comparison websites have a section for travel-credit cards which can help you. For example it's worth taking a look at

  3. Get a good deal on cash. If you want to pick up your currency in the airport then make sure you pre-book the rate as you'll generally get a much better deal than just going to the currency desk. Other high street alternatives also offer competitive pricing. MoneySavingExpert can help you identify a great deal.

  4. Lock in with a “buy-back” guarantee. Ideally, you will take just enough cash to cover your needs abroad with little or no spare. If this isn't possible (either because you cannot predict how much you'll need, or you like to take a little extra for emergencies) then consider a buy-back guarantee. In this case you pay a small amount (perhaps £5) so that you can convert your unused cash at the same rate you purchased it for. This can make a big difference as otherwise you'll pay a fee to convert into the foreign currency and then another fee to convert back.

    If you travel to one currency destination regularly (perhaps the Eurozone), then consider retaining the foreign currency for your next trip. Minimising the number of conversions will minimise transaction fees.