How to buy foreign money for the first time? Read more to see my options and advice.
I’ll start from the obvious – that you know which currency and how much you want to take in your own money.
Check the rate using the currency converter:
The result is the standard exchange rate - the interbank rate that the international banks offer on a daily basis. You WILL be offered a different rate to buy foreign money.
This is where the confusion sets in! You can buy foreign money from many different providers including banks, post office, travel agents, bureaux de change, large retailers and possibly a few other places. You can also buy travel money online.
The conversion rate you get from each varies greatly. Some will be almost the same depending on local competition, but there is enough difference to cost you lots if you get it wrong and don’t take the opportunity to shop around.
So, check the interbank rate using my handy converter. Then check out the rate of a few local providers as well as a few online providers. Calculate which offer the best rate. Take into account refund charges if you bring some of your foreign money back with you and wish to convert it back to your home currency. Also take into account the fees and commission as well as the exchange rate on offer.
From personal experience, some of the online providers offer the best rates and cheapest purchase price, but you will have to wait for the money to be delivered to you.
Although there are many different circumstances for people buying foreign money, it pays to shop around. It depends on where you are going, how long you are going for, etc, but my advice on how to buy foreign money is:
Return to the Buying Foreign Currency section.