Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Travel correspondent Andy Jarosz talks currency!

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Andy joined us in the studio today to give advice about currency when travelling abroad.

If you're going on holiday, you'll be thinking about currency; which? how much? and where's the best place to get it from?

You have two options:

1. Travel without any currency and go straight to the ATM on arrival..

Be aware that banks commonly charge 2 fees.  One on the transaction, which is typically 3% and a second currency charge is taken with regard to the exchange rate they give, below the inter-bank rate. Santander and HSBC have begun waiving the first of these fees. Do check with your bank before travelling.

Metro Bank in St Albans town centre guarantee that in Europe they will exchange at the inter-bank rate, which means they don't take the second type of fee.

2. Get your currency in advance..

If you prefer to take currency with you, avoid banks because they are noncompetitive.  Moneyshops offer better exchange rates and especially those in central London.  They will offer the best deals because they are exchanging foreign currency for tourists  (who will get a poor deal buying sterling) and are keen to off load the notes!  Don't be afraid to gently haggle for a better rate than the one first quoted to you.

Once abroad, be prudent with your currency.  Know the exchange rate each day and do your calculations before making purchases.  There are some great apps that do this for you. There's no harm in pausing to check before making your purchases - its a good negotiating tactic.

For more information visit Andy's website www.501places.com and find him on twitter: @andyjarosz

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