Travel Money

Compare travel money and foreign currency

Our travel money site is designed to tell you about great rates on foreign currency exchange, no matter how you plan to pay abroad, from foreign currency to travellers’ cheques, as well as debit, credit and prepaid cards for overseas use

Compare travel money

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Foreign currency commissions

 

Ordering options

  • Online
  • Phone
  • Branch

Delivery options

  • Home delivery
  • Branch collection

Commission free buy back

Not stated

Yes

No

Great for
  • Free home and office delivery on all orders of £750 and over - order online before 12pm for next day Royal Mail Special Delivery. Over 50 currencies available.
  • Order online and collect from one of three London branches.
  • Postal currency buy back service offering competitive exchange rates - with in-branch currency buy back also available.
But be aware that
  • Home delivery orders between £300 and £749.99 are subject to a £5 delivery fee, while orders below £300 carry a £10 delivery fee.
FairFX FairFX

FairFX Foreign Currency

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Foreign currency commissions

 

Ordering options

  • Online
  • Phone
  • Branch

Delivery options

  • Home delivery
  • Branch collection

Commission free buy back

Not stated

Yes

No

Great for
  • Competitive exchange rates on over 35 currencies. No hidden fees, get the rate you see.
  • Delivered next working day to your home - for orders received before 1pm on a working day. Free deliveries for orders over £750
  • Saturday delivery available
But be aware that
  • Home delivery for orders under £500 has a fee of £7.50
  • Home delivery for orders between £500 - £750 has a fee of £5
Post Office Post Office

Post Office Foreign Currency

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Go to site

Foreign currency commissions

 

Ordering options

  • Online
  • Phone
  • Branch

Delivery options

  • Home delivery
  • Branch collection

Commission free buy back

Not stated

Yes

No

Great for
  • Order US dollars and Euros online at a great rate and collect two hours later from selected Post Office branches at no extra cost. The Post Office can buy back any currency you don't use
  • Over 60 currencies available from Australian Dollars to Vietnamese Dong. Order before 3pm on a week day and receive your money the next working day, delivered to your home or at a choice of one of 11,500 branches
  • Post Office’s Travel Money Refund Guarantee means you’ll be able to get a full refund on your Travel Money purchase, should a significant event lead to the cancellation of your holiday, including COVID-19
But be aware that
  • Minimum order £400. A £4.99 fee applies for home delivery on orders under £500. An extra £1.50 charge applies for delivery on Saturdays

   

 

What is travel money?

Travel money is the currency you use to pay for things abroad, instead of pound sterling (if you’re from the UK). You can use this currency in the form of cash, cards or travellers’ cheques.

How does buying travel money work?

You can either buy your travel money online or in branch at a bank, building society, travel agent, bureau de change or participating supermarket, or from the Post Office.

Exchange rates are constantly changing, and travel money providers often offer different exchange rates – some better than others. Some will also charge commission for changing your money – always check and factor it into your calculations.

It’s wise to compare travel money deals to get the most for your holiday spending money. MoneySuperMarket’s travel money listing tool helps you find great deals.

Why buy travel money online?

Buying your travel money online typically means better exchange rates than in-branch because of the reduced overhead costs involved, while there is usually a broader range of currencies are available.

How does buying travel money online work?

You can either choose to enter how much cash you have in GBP, or how much cash you need in the foreign currency. The site will then calculate how much of the opposite currency you’ll receive, and apply any charges or commission, giving you a final price.

You can then pick whether you want your travel money delivered to your home (you may be charged a fee), or whether you want to pick it up from a local branch.

How do you pay?

Use your debit card to pay for the foreign currency you want at the exchange rate the provider is offering for that day.

Is it safe to buy travel money online?

Yes, when you compare travel money deals with MoneySuperMarket and pick from one of our providers, you can rest assured that your money is safe. We have a strict vetting process when it comes to who we work with and all our travel money providers have passed several rigorous security checks.

How does commission work?

Companies often charge a commission to exchange sterling into a foreign currency. The commission might be a percentage of the transaction or a flat fee, but it should always be included in your cost comparisons.

Commission-free

Some travel money providers won’t charge a commission fee (a commission-free exchange). This can mean that the exchange rate they offer isn’t as competitive as other deals. So, it’s a good idea to compare the total cost you’d need to pay and the foreign currency value you would get if you exchanged with one deal over another.

Buy-back guarantee

If you’re worried about having leftover currency at the end of your holiday, some providers offer a buy-back guarantee. This means they will buy back your leftover currency from you at the same exchange rate that you bought it for and won’t charge a commission.

How to get the best travel money deals?

Different places will offer different exchange rates so it’s important to compare travel money deals to get the most for your holiday spending money. Here are our top tips:

  1. Consider the overall cost: Don’t just look for the highest exchange rate, take commission and delivery charges into consideration too
  2. Pay with your debit card: Try not to use your credit card as you may incur extra fees
  3. Organise your travel money in advance: Shop around for travel money well before your trip so you can compare deals and make the most of free delivery options which take longer to arrive

You can compare the ordering and delivery options, foreign currency commissions and whether or not the travel money provider offers commission-free buy-back when you use MoneySuperMarket’s travel money listing tool.

Compare the ‘Great For’ and ‘Be Aware’ points for each travel money deal to compare the benefits offered by each provider and any fees or limitations.

You can then visit the provider’s site to see how much they are offering for your money and compare the rate against other providers.

How much money do I need?

The amount of money you need to take on holiday depends on several factors, including where you’re travelling to and what things cost, what you plan to do and how long you intend to visit.

Some things to consider when planning your travel money include:

  • Drinks and eating out
  • Travelling around (taxi, train, bus)
  • Daytime activities
  • Shopping

How much money can I travel with?

Each travel money company has their own minimum and maximum amount they will let you order, so it’s something to consider when you are comparing deals.

Rules on how much money you can take in and out of a country vary across the globe. You should check before you travel as you might need to declare it at customs.

If you take more than the equivalent of €10,000 from the UK to a non-EU country, you have to declare it to customs or risk your cash being seized. Find out more on the GOV.uk website.

Taking cash abroad

No matter how you want to pay for things while you’re abroad, it’s always a good idea to take some cash in the local currency to pay for essentials like food and drink, tips and taxis. Taking large amounts can be risky though, so here are the pros and cons of cash:

Pros:

  • It’s accepted everywhere
  • You won’t face any card transaction fees
  • It may help you stick to a budget if you only have a limited amount of cash to spend, instead of mindlessly swiping a card

Cons:

  • Travelling with large amounts of cash can be inconvenient and may cause stress if you have nowhere safe to keep it
  • If your cash is lost or stolen, travel insurance only covers you up to a certain amount (typically between £200 and £500). Check your travel insurance policy so you know what you’ll be covered for

What are the alternatives?

If you don’t want to carry around large amounts of cash, there are other ways of paying for things on holiday:

  • Pre-paid cards: Lots of travel money companies offer prepaid travel money cards online and in store. You just top up the card with pounds sterling and withdraw foreign currency from an ATM abroad
  • Travellers’ cheques: Travellers’ cheques are pre-printed cheques with a designated balance which travellers can use worldwide across a range of currencies
  • Credit cards: A travel credit card can help you avoid overseas charges you might have to pay when using a debit or credit card, as well as giving you more competitive currency exchange rates
  • Digital banks: Digital banks like Monzo and Starling have all the same functionality as high street current accounts, but also usually offer free transactions and withdrawals abroad.

What currency do I need?

It depends on which country you are visiting. Most have their own currency but some share with other nations. You can check which currencies to use for all the countries worldwide at fxtop.com.

Are all currencies available as travel money?

You might not be able to buy or change up some countries’ currencies due to local restrictions. It may only be possible to change your GBP or other currency up when you’re in the country, or you may be able to withdraw cash in the foreign currency from their cash machines.

Some countries may even let you pay in one of the major world currencies, but it’s a good idea to compare what the exchange rate would be if you paid in your own currency versus withdrawing the money or exchanging it in the foreign country.

Other countries, such as Cuba, have separate currencies for locals and tourists, which each have different exchange rates.

Where can you buy travel money?

There are several places you can purchase money for your holiday:

  • Online: Lots of travel money companies allow you to order currency online with the option of home delivery or collection
  • Bureau de change: You can visit travel money companies on the high street or at the airport to convert your pound sterling into a foreign currency in person
  • Abroad: You can withdraw money using your debit or credit card at a foreign ATM, but this can be quite expensive due to foreign usage fees
  • Take a travel money card instead: Lots of travel money companies offer prepaid travel money cards online and in store

Is it cheaper to withdraw cash abroad or exchange it before?

Whether or not it’s cheaper to withdraw cash abroad rather than exchanging it in the UK will depend on the foreign transaction fee charged by your card provider to withdraw cash abroad, and the ATM fee charged when withdrawing money in the foreign country.

Travel money versus a travel credit card?

A travel credit card is designed for spending abroad, and can be a better option if you regularly travel or purchase items from international stores.

Can you use a credit card to buy travel money?

You can use a credit card to buy travel money, but you will usually have to pay a fee to do so.

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.