exchanging money abroad

The Cheapest Way to Exchange Money on Holiday?

In Holiday Money Saving by Money Saver Pete

Looking for the cheapest and safest way to exchange money when you’re on holiday? Then a credit card could be the answer.

Best Ways to Exchange Money

Unfortunately, with the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the cost of holidaying abroad for us Brits has increased. And exchange rates are one way you can be stung if you’re not careful. Do you really want to exchange all your money before you travel? Would you feel comfortable carrying large sums of cash about with you?
Travellers cheques aren’t particularly convenient and if you decide to use your debit card abroad, there is a good chance that you’ll be charged a fee.

So what’s the answer then?

The best option?  In my opinion, the Halifax Clarity Credit Card.  “A credit card for drawing out money” I hear you say?  Well, this card does not charge you a fee for drawing out money.  Nor does it charge you a fee if you use it overseas. These two facts together make it a near perfect card. Plus Halifax makes the exchange at the official rate, so you don’t get charged any extra that way. Oh, and there’s no annual charge for having the card.

But how do Halifax make their money?  They start to charge you interest from the moment you withdraw the money. So (if you are accepted at the advertised interest rate 18.95%) withdrawing £100 of local currency would cost you £1.45 if it took you a month to make a payment.  The savvy amongst us would pay it off the moment you return from holiday, or if you really care – whilst you’re back in your hotel room!

If you make a purchase using your card abroad, you will be given up to 56 days interest-free.

How much could it save me?

So let’s see how the cost of using a Halifax card to exchange money would compare to using a debit card from Barclays or Santander.

Barclays charge you 2.75% for foreign transaction fees and possibly a £1.50 fee if you don’t use a Global Alliance member bank when withdrawing cash.

Santander charge 3% (minimum charge £3).

If you were to withdraw £500 worth of currency over the course of your holiday, Barclays would charge a minimum of £13.75 and Santander £15. The Halifax card would cost you £7.25 if you took a month to pay your bill. But pay it off quicker, and you would pay even less.

Anything else?

Also when on holiday, if a foreign merchant offers to charge you in £’s instead of their local currency, politely decline.  They will use their own exchange rate and it could end up costing you far more.

And never exchange money at the airport. Their exchange rates are awful!

If you want to apply, or just find out more about the card then click on the link here.

If your credit rating isn’t great or you don’t want to take out a credit card, take a look at the Revolut card for spending abroad.

Find out more ways of reducing the cost of your holiday to Europe.