Posted by Allison on 1 April 2009, 16:16
What is the one thing most of us need to do before we go on holiday each year? Well if we are going abroad we need to change our money up into the currency of whatever country we are visiting, and that means trying to decide which outlet will give us the best exchange rate in the process.
So where do we start? This is an especially important subject at the moment since the pound has been on something of a permanent slide for some weeks now, and it is buying us a lot less than it used to. One prime example is that a few weeks ago you could swap a pound for roughly two US dollars, whereas at the time of writing it is down to something in the region of a dollar and seventy five cents.
This means we need to get the best bargain we can, and the best way to do that is often online.
It's strange when you think about it, because most of us go straight to our bank, post office or travel agent to get our currency. With many other things in life we check online first to see if we can get a better deal, but this isn't the case with currency. Is this because it is money and it doesn't seem like an actual product that we can get a discount on? If that is the case then it is a trait that we should try and get past, because we could save more money and get more foreign currency for our efforts if we go online.
In order to find the best deal for your needs, it's important to do some window shopping first. The best bet is to go to Google and search for something like 'buy currency' (with the results set to UK only) so you can see how many websites there are available that provide this service.
One typical example that is also a very well known name is the TravelEx website. You can see how their site works by visiting https://www.travelex.co.uk/uk/mywallet.aspx to take a look at your online wallet, which you can fill with more than one currency if you choose. Another good bet is the Post Office; the appropriate page of their site can be found at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/product1?catId=19100174&mediaId=62900708.
The great thing about shopping for your money online is that you will often get a better rate for doing so. This is because the same rules that apply to other virtual businesses also apply to the foreign exchange business when compared with bricks and mortar businesses – namely that because the overheads are better with online businesses, you will be encouraged with lower rates to make sure you get your services online.
Normally you will find that the company will either send your money directly to you (often by courier) or in the case of places like the Post Office you can opt to pick it up from your nearest branch. This makes the online service even more beneficial, and if you get your currency delivered to your home you'll find that it is a lot more preferable to waiting in line to get what you need as well.
What could be better when you are about to jet off on holiday?