PRN: Plan Ahead to Take Full Advantage of Strong Currency Rates Before Heading Off Abroad

17/mag/2012 12.11.57 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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Plan Ahead to Take Full Advantage of Strong Currency Rates Before Heading Off Abroad

 
[17-May-2012]
 

CHESTER, England, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Four in ten Brits only buy their foreign currency in the week of travel
  • Two thirds fail to find the best exchange rate possible
  • Euro exchange rates stay strong, up from this time last year

Brits planning to head into Europe or further afield this summer can cash in by taking advantage of a strengthening pound against a number of foreign currencies giving them more money to spend abroad, according to analysis from MoneySupermarket.com.

The UK's number one comparison site looked at exchange rates** for buying Euros to load a pre-paid foreign currency card or for calculating purchases on a credit card and found holidaymakers are currently saving up to an extra £80 per €1,000 compared to the same time last year. For example, someone with a Travelex pre-paid card this time last year would have received an exchange rate of 1.1115 compared to 1.218 today, meaning an extra £78.67 for their holiday cash, while those using a credit card for €1,000 of purchases abroad would be £77.99 better off.

However, Brits are failing to take advantage of buying their foreign currency early, with only one in ten people polled in a recent MoneySupermarket site survey buying their currency at least a month before they go on holiday. Four in ten buy their currency in the week of travel. However, almost a third (29 per cent) try to time it to get the best possible exchange rate while one in six (16 per cent) sort their money when abroad, of this, nine per cent withdraw their cash from an ATM machine when they arrive and seven per cent buy their money when on their holiday.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at MoneySupermarket.com said: "Leaving it to the last minute to sort your travel currency is madness and will generally cost you more. Planning ahead and buying currency online or applying for one of the market leading pre-paid, debit or credit cards which are designed for use abroad can help you really make the most of your money. With sterling currently performing strongly against many foreign currencies, including the Euro, if you have spare cash, now is a great time to take advantage of these rates and give yourself more bang for your buck when travelling abroad. There are no guarantees that the rate won't improve further or even come crashing down as rates have done in the past, so it is a gamble. However, for those who don't want to take the risk, buying some Euro's now and the rest closer to your trip could be beneficial.

"If you are planning to use cards abroad, then a pre-paid card offers a favourable exchange rate and many come with no foreign usage fees, both for purchases and for cash at an ATM. However, it is also worth double checking your existing debit or credit card to understand what charges are made for using them abroad. The majority of credit cards charge interest for withdrawing cash at an ATM, and have loading fees for over the counter purchases, but you should always check before heading abroad. If you are planning to take out a card specifically to use abroad, plan ahead and don't leave it until the last minute as you have to allow at least ten working days to receive the card from the date of application.

"Remember if you are travelling abroad this summer, be savvy; plan ahead; shop around; buy currency online, and work out how much €1,000 will cost you before you buy. That way you can use those savings to treat yourself while away or simply make your money go further."

Notes to editors:

*MoneySupermarket webpoll

When do you usually buy your travel money?

  • Once I am on holiday: 7.3%
  • The day I travel: 1.5%
  • The day before I travel: 4.5%
  • A week before I go away: 38.7%
  • At least a month before I travel: 7.9%
  • I buy all of my travel money for the year in one go: 1.3%
  • I try to time it to get the best possible exchange rate: 30.1%
  • I withdraw it from an ATM when I arrive: 8.7%

Poll ran from 11th to 16th May 2012, total respondents: 2,046

**Comparison of year on year pre-paid and credit card Euro and USD rates

Travelex:
 
Euros
Today - 1.218
Last year - 1.1115
You are now better off by £78.67 compared to this time last year.
 
Dollars
Today - 1.5610
Last year - 1.5855
You are worse off by £9.90 compared to this time last year
 
Visa:
 
Euros
Today - 1.256001
Last year - 1.144513
You are better off by £77.56 compared to this time last year
 
Dollars
Today - 1.612200
Last year - 1.624569
You are worse off by £4.72 compared to this time last year
 
MasterCard
 
Euros
Today - 1.256743
Last year - 1.144553
You are better off by £77.99 compared to this time last year
 
Dollars
Today - 1.611900
Last year - 1.625099
You are worse off by £5.04 compared to this time last year

Rates conducted from 9am to 10am on 15th May 2012

Travel Money - Based on transactions carried out in Europe

Sourced by:  http://www.MoneySupermarket.com  15.05.2012 between 9am and 10am

Pre-Paid Card - Based on 5 withdrawals- Euros

                  Application           Total   Sterling  Exchange     Provider        Fee      ATM Fee   Fees      Cost      Rate     Euros                                                                         CaxtonFX        GBP0     GBP0.00  GBP0.00  GBP818.33  1.2220  EUR 1,000     FairFX          GBP0     GBP1.00  GBP5.00  GBP819.00  1.2285  EUR 1,000     Travelex     Cash                                                                Passport        GBP0     GBP0.00  GBP0.00  GBP821.02  1.2180  EUR 1,000 


Pre-Paid Card - Based on 5 purchases- Euros

                   Application              Sterling   Exchange       Provider        Fee      Total Fees    Cost       Rate       Euros     FairFX            GBP0        GBP0    GBP814.00    1.2285    EUR 1,000     CaxtonFX          GBP0        GBP0    GBP818.33    1.2220    EUR 1,000     Travelex     Cash Passport     GBP0        GBP0    GBP821.02    1.2180    EUR 1,000 


Credit Card - Based on 5 purchases- Euros

                 Transaction           Sterling   Exchange     Provider       Fee       Fees      Cost       Rate       Euros     Halifax     Clarity     Card           0.00%    GBP0.00  GBP795.71   1.256743   EUR 1,000     Sainsbury's     Finance     Gold Credit     Card           0.00%    GBP5.00  GBP800.71   1.256743   EUR 1,000     Thomas Cook     Credit Card    2.50%    GBP19.90 GBP816.08   1.256001   EUR 1,000     Barclaycard     Platinum       2.75%    GBP22.44 GBP819.41   1.256001   EUR 1,001 


Credit Card - Based on 5 purchases- Euros

                 Transaction           Sterling   Exchange     Provider       Fee       Fees      Cost       Rate     Dollars     Halifax     Clarity     Card           0.00%    GBP0.00  GBP620.39   1.611900   $1,000     Sainsbury's     Finance     Gold Credit     Card           0.00%    GBP5.00  GBP625.39   1.611900   $1,000     Thomas Cook     Credit Card    2.50%    GBP15.51 GBP635.78   1.612200   $1,000     Barclaycard     Platinum       2.75%    GBP17.06 GBP637.33   1.612200   $1,000 


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