By our Currency Card Partners FairFx
We all look forward to our summer holidays. We work hard through the year to have the best break we can, and we’ll also probably do a good amount of research when booking hotels, flights and car hire so that we can get even more for our money.
But do you realise how much you’re losing out by not putting a little more effort into buying your currency? We’re losing £5bn a year as a nation by making simple travel money mistakes.
By making a few smart decisions when buying and spending your foreign currency you can take charge of your travel money and go even further.
Always pay in the local currency
If you’re given the option to pay in pounds whilst abroad, always say no – this is a trap called Dynamic Currency Conversion which often offers poorer rates and additional fees applied by the merchant.
These DCC fees add 6% to the overall cost of your transaction on average, but it can sometimes be as much as 10%. Over a full trip abroad it could end up costing you between £60 and £100, depending on how many times you make the mistake.
We’ve discovered that £380m is being lost by UK travellers opting to paying in pounds when abroad, instead of the local currency.
Don’t leave currency until the last minute
Want to know one of the worst places for buying your currency? The airport.
Each year, a potential £94.3m is wasted by UK travellers exchanging money at the airport.
Our recent research of 15 UK airports found the average difference between the market rate and the rate you’re offered at the airport for euros is 13%, with the worst offender at Southampton Airport using a margin of 26%.
What does that mean for your travel money? We take an average of £1,100 of travel money on holiday, this means buying currency at the airport would lose you £102 worth of euros. If you bought it from the worst offender you’d lose £208 worth of euros.
Buy your currency in advance of your trip and you can effectively choose the exchange rate, rather than having to buy at the poor rate on offer at the airport.