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High street best for holiday cash

Get your foreign currency before the airport


A few Euro notes poking out of a wallet.

Travellers can make significant savings by buying their foreign currency on the high street or online rather than at the airport, says Which? Money.

It found there was a saving of up to £35 between the least and most expensive when buying 500 euros at ten providers including banks, high street outlets and airport bureaux de change.

Carrying the right cards can also make a big difference – almost all cards add a foreign exchange loading fee to the exchange rate, and a growing number of debit cards also charge a flat fee on purchases.

For spending abroad, Which? Money recommends credit cards from Liverpool Victoria, Nationwide, the Post Office or Saga.

Credit and debit cards

Debit cards are better for cash withdrawals as they usually have slightly lower handling fees – Nationwide’s debit card is currently best.

Which? Money Editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘Don’t leave changing your holiday money until the last minute – check if your own bank offers preferential rates, and shop around to get the best deal on the high street or online.

‘Check the charges on your cards too, and if you’re going on a long holiday speak to your bank before you go – if it sees a spate of foreign transactions it might query them or even block your card.’

The full ‘Holiday money made simple’ article appears in the June issue of Which? Money magazine.

Travellers cheques

It includes the results of a survey on carrying money abroad and the pros and cons of using cash, traveller’s cheques, credit cards and debit cards.

Which? Money is published monthly and is available by subscription only.  A special trial offer of 2 issues for £2 is available by calling 0800 0321 177.

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