Travel Money

Money Transfer Comparison is the premier site for international money transfers through banks, business foreign exchange services and currency brokers reviews. Our top rated companies don’t offer a travel money functionality and our guide does not relate specifically for people who are after making a currency cash exchange. With the above being said, we understand that soon after the pandemic settles down further, travel shall be reopened and that there will be a massive demand for buying travel money (also known as “holiday money”).

Buying Euros, Dollars, Australian Dollars or any other currency for cheap can help frequent travelers save up to hundreds of  pounds a month, and this is our guide on how to find them.

Travel Money Exchange Rate Comparison

Cash Exchange + Home Delivery Options – Top 3 (focused on Pound to Euro exchange)

Updated May 4, 2021


COG 

Fees: For £250 the delivery is £10, for £500 the delivery is £5, and delivery is free for £750 and above

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer:

~1% for Euros above £750

TravelFX

Fees: £5 Below £700 (Delivery); Free above the mark . Min order £300.

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer:

~1% for Euros above £750

Covent Garden FX

Fees: 6 Euro delivery

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer:

~2% for Euros above £750

fourex

Fees: free delivery, £2 handling fee if you pay by credit card

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer:

~2% for Euros above £750

SterlingFX

Fees: £6 delivery fee below £700, above that mark free delivery

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer:

~2% for Euros above £750

NatWest Bank

Fees: £5 Below £500 (Delivery)

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer: 4.2%

** Last monitored Dec 2015

Thompston

Fees: None

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer: 3.5%

** Last monitored Dec 2015

Barclay’s

Fees: none

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer: 5%

** Last monitored Dec 2015

RBS

Fees: £5 Below £500 (Delivery)

Exchange Rate Markup Avg. Transfer: 4.5%


 

Notes: Based on an impartial research conducted by the Money Transfer Comparison team; we do not guarantee those are indeed the rates you will experience when coming to use either of these companies or banks. We don’t have any current commercial relationship with any of the providers listed above. 

Cheap Holiday Money – How To

Different Alternatives for holiday money:

In cash via exchange bureaus

This is probably one of the most common ways to buy currency before a holiday.

Advantages: Easy if live beside a bureau, Cash delivered on the spot

Disadvantages: Often consists of hidden fees, impossible to compare to alternatives, hassle to get there if it is not walking distance from your house, unsafe to walk with cash, a chance of fraud / forgery, often bad exchange rates.

With banks (cash on the spot, or home collection)

This is the traditional “safe” way of getting money exchanged.

Advantages: Safe, Secure, and Insured

Disadvantages: Extremely expensive. Look at our comparison above. In some cases you’d be paying twice as much using a bank rather than using a commercial companies. If you have a transparent quote that beats the 2-2.5% mark, then it might be a good idea to give banks a try.

Currency Cards

As debit spending passes the 600bn barrier in the UK for the first time, it’s only natural people would love foreign currency cards. These are specialised cards that allow you to exchange at set rates, and have several different currencies loaded on the same card.

Advantages: No hassle required. Simply take your card with you as you travel abroad.

Disadvantages: Debit currency cards are usually a very good choice, and the same rates mentioned above will apply also to currency exchanges on the card. On the other hand if it’s a foreign currency credit card, saving is unlikely – and charges abroad could incur additional 3% in interest.

Traveler’s cheques

Traveler’s cheques are not as half as popular as they were before as a mean of travel money purchase, with good reason.

Advantages: Insured against losses, No need to carry large amount of cash around

Disadvantages: Often expensive, archaic (hard to find cash exchange points), and online order is possible only from £400

Travel Currency Firms

This is probably the way to get the cheapest travel money in Australian Dollars, Euro, US Dollars, Czech Koruna, Canadian Dollar or Swiss Frank.

Advantages: Easy to execute with online purchase with debit card, multiple pickup options including cash at airport, home delivery, or loading into a prepaid card. On top of that, they offer the best exchange rates, superior client service.

Disadvantages: It depends which company is it. Some companies, and mainly the popular ones like Western Union and Moneygram are not particularly popular with their clients – and poorly rated on our website as well.

Bank to bank / Multi-currency Online Wallet

This method is usually not applicable when you go on a holiday someplace abroad, but when it is, it a potential huge saver against all other alternatives, by a far cry.

Advantages: Safe, Secure, Done online or via phone, higher limits, and exchange rate could potentially be much better.

Disadvantages: Longer process, more documentation, apt only for large transactions

Paying for luxury items like hotels is much better done through a debit card (if you have low FX fees on your card) or through a bank wire. Why carry large amounts of cash which is expensive to exchange when you have an alternative to send and receive money for cheaper?

Using money transfer companies, you can enjoy sub 1% margins on your transactions and get a lot of extra benefits like hedging, currency forwards and top notch guidance. Using a multi-currency account you can actually receive money in foreign currency too and exchange it freely to any currency of your liking. There are even companies like Payoneer that will allow you to accept money in your multi-currency account and withdraw it in cash using a MasterCard the company will issue for you.


Finding the Best Travel Money Rate.

For those hunting with hope to discover the best travel money rate available – it is probably feasible to find cheaper alternatives to the above with a local exchange bureau. Small businesses, corporations, and people who have cash income in FX would normally be able to haggle down their FX margins by a lot, if they speak to one specific (reliable) exchange bureau about their expected volumes. It may take a lot time and home delivery of the cash may not be possible, but that is the most common system for those who are really sensitive about their travel money exchange rate.

For those transferring large volumes of cash it is recommended to consider using a bank instead a we have a dedicated guide on finding the best foreign exchange rate for bank transfers. .

The Best Travel Money is Still Somewhat Expensive.

Using a travel money service providers to sidestep the bank is a great idea that can save substantial amount of fees for those going abroad. With banks charging as much as 5% on a currency exchange, there are about 80% in fees to be saved.

With that being said, 1% is still a massive amount of money for those exchanging large volumes of money. For businesses that require cash, avid or luxury travelers, or anyone who exchanges more than £5,000 a year – alternatives should be considered. Customers who need to pay for an item or a service abroad better stick to bank transfer solutions over straight cash exchange into travel money.


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