Foreign Exchange

Strong euro = more money on holiday? Skyscanner reveals 10 Secrets of currency exchange to get more pounds, dollars or kunas.

Above all things clear, the euro is not going through its best moment and it seems that things will improve in the very immediate future, but it never hurts to learn a few things when you have to change money if you visit foreign countries. So when you go to change currency, make sure you get the best deal. A financial expert, Claire Connachan, it clarifies. [php snippet=3]

1. Know the lingo

The currency exchange has its own jargon. Learn the language so you do not pig in a poke when you go to change currency. For example:

-rate sale: what you get when you change euros

-rate purchase: what you get when you change foreign currency surplus

Interbank -rate: the rate of wholesale money when banks are exchanged between them

2. Research your currency

This is good for the dollar or the euro, but there are more exotic currencies that have some peculiarities. For example: the Moroccan Dirham can not be traded internationally and Cuba has two currencies, A for tourists and one for locals! Be sure to find out what money you need before changing (Lonely Planet is a great resource in these cases).

3. Notes exchange rates


Look at the daily interbank rates for the currency you’re interested to see what a good exchange rate. Currencies fluctuate constantly, so the price of change varies from one day to another. There are many factors that make the currency fluctuate from unemployment to predictions of economic growth, so attentive to the movements of the currency and buy when the rate rise.

4. Browse and compare

The price of the currency not only changes from one day to another, but also by provider. Prices are not the same everywhere, so it is very important to search and compare exchange rates before making the purchase. Instead of kicking the city center, use the telephone and ask prices or compare them online.

5. Negotiates!

Exchange rates are not set in stone and it is possible to negotiate a discount on specialized agencies if going to change a lot of money. You can usually get an extra 0.5% in the exchange rate announced if you change a lot of money (and it shows!). As you can also negotiate prices if you’ve seen a better rate elsewhere. So to haggle!

6. Purchase online

You should know that many currency exchange specialists offer better prices online. If you place an order online to go pick it up in a store or to get it sent home you usually get a better price if you go to the city center. Use search engines and price comparators to see who offers better rates.

7. Beware of hidden fees


While entering an exchange bureau card in hand and get foreign currency is easy, is not recommended because it usually involves more added commissions. Each bank has its conditions, but commissions usually start at 1.5 EUR. Withdrawing euro is much better ATM and change to another currency later.

8. Use travelers checks

If to carry large wads of cash when you are abroad it gives you juju, travelers checks are a good choice. Moreover, in case of loss or theft they can be reimbursed and offer more security than cash. The most accepted worldwide are those of American Express. Still, they have their limitations: only offered in six currencies and usually have to exchange them for hard currency in overseas travel.

9. Become a prepaid card

Another alternative to going walking wads of money is to hire a prepaid card. Before leaving the country, the charges to the amount you want and when you get to your destination use it as a debit card. As travelers checks, often there are limitations and you have to read the fine print before becoming a. Some of them carry purchase costs or hidden fees. Be careful.

10. Do not believe everything

There are agencies that offer currency exchange type stuff “0% commission”, “the best market rate” or “the best guaranteed rates.” These claims are sometimes dubious and much credit must not give them. For example, a 0% commission sounds great, but maybe you offer a lower exchange rate also hides a commission on your profit margin. The best way to get a good exchange rate is search, compare, negotiate the price and know what’s going on!

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