Compare Travel Money

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. Our best buys table, travel money saving tips and guides outline all of your travel money options from foreign currency to travellers cheques, as well as debit, credit and prepaid cards for overseas use.

Compare travel money

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
Travelex Travelex

Travelex 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
  • FREE home delivery on orders over £600! Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed™ service. Order by 3pm for next working day delivery
But be aware that
  • Delivery is £7.49 for orders between £100 and £299.99, £4.99 for orders between £300 and £499.99, and £2.99 for orders between £500 and £599.99
ACE-FX ACE-FX

Ace-FX 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
  • FREE Click & Collect service - pick up from ACE-FX's London Bridge and Canary Wharf branches. Euros and US dollars are available for same-day collection, all other currencies can be collected the next working day between 10am and 2pm
  • Order by 12pm for next working day delivery Monday to Thursday. Your currency will be delivered to your billing address
  • Sell your currency back using ACE-FX's buy back service, with competitive exchange rates and 0% commission. Walk into one of their three branches or send the currency to them using Royal Mail Special Delivery service guaranteed and insured
But be aware that
  • HOME DELIVERY: Minimum order is £350 and maximum order is £2500. A £4.95 delivery charge will apply for orders under £750. If you order more than £2500, you'll need to make an additional order via ACE-FX's website
  • Compliance checks will be done on every transaction
  • SELL CURRENCY: Please note we do not accept 500 Euro notes and 1000 Swiss Franc notes. ACE-FX do not accept coins
Continue
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
  • 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.

   

 

What is travel money?

Travel money is the cash you receive when you exchange your pounds (or other currency) for a different currency (foreign currency). You can then use your travel money to make cash purchases when you’re travelling in the foreign country.

Travel money providers will display currencies as a three-letter country code (not the normal currency symbol) with their exchange rates.

Some codes for popular currencies include:

  • USD (US dollar/$)
  • GBP (UK sterling/£)
  • EUR (Euro/€)
  • JPY (Japanese yen/ ¥)
  • CHF (Swiss franc/Fr)
  • AUD (Australian dollar/$)
  • CAD (Canadian dollar/$)
  • NZD (New Zealand dollar/$)

Currencies are presented as pairs showing how many of the second currency it takes to buy one unit of the first currency.

In a currency pair the first currency (shown left) is the base currency and the second (right) is the quote currency – for example GBP to USD (GBP/USD) or GBP to AUD (GBP/AUD).

The figures indicate the amount of the quote (second) currency that’s required to buy one unit of the first currency (base).

So if you see GBP/EUR (GBP to EUR) 1.1078 that tells you that it takes €1.1078 to buy £1 (as an example).

If you see it the other way round it might show EUR/GBP (EUR to GBP) 0.9028. That means you need £0.9028 (or just over 90p) to buy €1 (as an example).

How does travel money work?

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

  • Buying your travel money online: you can either choose to enter how much cash you have in GBP, or how much cash you need in the foreign currency. You’ll then be able to say 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 your local branch. You’ll then need to use your debit card to pay for the foreign currency you want at the exchange rate the provider is offering for that day.
  • Buying your travel money in-branch: you can buy your foreign currency in a branch or participating store, where you’ll normally be able to use either cash or a debit card to change up your pounds (GBP) for the exchange rate offered that day.

Buying your travel money online typically offers better exchange rates than in-branch because of the reduced overhead costs involved.

Exchange rates are constantly changing, and one travel money provider might offer a better exchange rate than another. Some will also charge commission for changing your money – always check that and factor it in to your calculations.

Comparing travel money

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 go onto the provider’s site to see how much they are offering for your money and compare the rate against other providers.

Different rates

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.

Currency commission

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 exchange

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.

Delivery charges

Most travel money providers will charge a fee for home delivery of travel money under a certain amount. If you are ordering over a certain amount of travel money (typically over £500) then home delivery is usually free.

Some providers can offer next day delivery if you need your travel money quickly. There may be an additional charge for weekend delivery.

If you’d rather collect your money from one of the provider’s branches then they will usually offer a free click-and-collect travel money service.

Loyalty points

If you buy your foreign currency from a supermarket where you have a loyalty card, you might be able to earn loyalty points for buying your travel money with them. Supermarkets that sell travel money may also offer a better exchange rate if you do have one of their loyalty cards.

Providers sometimes also offer deals when you buy your travel money (for example cashback or money off your foreign currency when you spend in store) to help you make the most of your money.

Leftover currency

If you return from your holiday with leftover foreign currency then you may be able to change the money back. Check to see if the provider offers commission-free buy back, and compare exchange rates to get the most money back.  

Some supermarket travel money providers might let you exchange the leftover currency for a gift card of that same amount.

Insurance limits

If your cash is lost or stolen while you’re abroad then your travel insurance policy may offer some level of cover – but this will depend on the level of travel insurance cover you opted for.

There will be a limit to how much you can claim for cash, and the amount will again be influenced by the level of travel insurance cover you have.

You might also have to pay an excess fee to claim for cash, which can reduce the amount of money you receive for a claim.

If you don’t want to take a large amount of travel money cash with you then a pre-paid travel card can be a way to take more foreign currency away with you.

Bring your ID with you if you’re buying your travel money in a branch

You’ll need to take some form of ID with you when buying travel money in a branch. This if for security reasons. Accepted forms of ID usually include:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid UK or EEA photocard driving licence
  • An EEA identity card

You will usually only need one form of ID.

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.

Are all currencies available as travel money?

You might not be able to buy or change up some exotic currencies due to that country’s restrictions. It may only be possible to change your GBPs 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 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.

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.