When it comes to travelling, we always want to make sure we’re getting the best deal at every turn, whether that’s a great hotel in an ideal location or just the best travel money deals to make sure you can make the most of your holiday. However although we want to get the best deal, some of us often don’t know where to start finding the greatest rates and things around.
That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the cheapest ways to get travel money. No matter if you prefer cold hard cash or would rather use your credit card online for some peace of mind and protection, there’s always a deal to be had and a pitfall to avoid. Let us help you get the cheapest travel money for your next holiday!
If you’re exchanging cash:
Make sure you know where you can find the best exchange rate each day, as that’s the key to getting a good deal. Sites like TravelMoneyMax.com can quickly and easily compare a number of rates from around 40 different bureaux, and helpfully orders them not in terms of exact exchange rate, but how much cash you’ll actually end up with after any fees and charges, making sure you end up with the most currency in your pocket for your GBP.
Remember cash is useful if you want to lock in a specific rate, for example if you’re getting a high rate of Euro to the pound on a specific day, and is ideal for budgeting, but also has its downfalls such as being the least secure form of travel money in terms of theft or loss.
If you’re using prepaid cards:
Prepaid cards are sometimes used as a safer alternative to cash, as you can still use these to stick to a budget, but can ensure protection if the card is lost or stolen. These cards work much in the same way as a Ukash voucher – if you’ve ever played on Ukash bingo sites you’ll know that you pay for the voucher with cash, limiting yourself as to how much you spend, before entering the code on the site and turning it into cash to play with.
A good way to get the cheapest money with these cards is to keep an eye out for exchange rates, as the currency is exchanged at the rate of the date you load the prepaid card, not the dates you use it. We always do this when traveling to Barbados but again, online comparison tools work well here as you can get a good idea of where to get the best rate, but beware that not all bureaux offer these cards, and not every international outlet accepts them.
If you’re using a credit card:
Be sure to shop around before you go on holiday to find a credit card with the best terms on withdrawal fees and transaction charges abroad. Look out for card companies with special offers for spending abroad, but of course beware of the interest rates and ensure you can repay the card in full when it comes to bill time, or your travel spending could cost you far more in the long run.
If you’re already abroad:
If you’ve already set off and found yourself in Europe ready to pay using a card, whether prepaid, debit or credit, beware the question: Do you want to pay in pounds or Euros? It may seem like a good idea to pay in pounds as you’ll know exactly what you’re spending but often the stores use an overseas conversion rate which works out worse for you, meaning it could cost you more in the long run to pay in Euros.
And a couple of don’ts:
Don’t use your debit card to spend abroad if you can help it. These often come with hefty charges and aren’t as secure as credit cards.
Don’t walk into the first Bureau de Change you see. Shop around either on the high street or online to get the best deal for you