Considerations Surrounding Online Currency Exchange For Your Holiday

Exchanging your currency at the airport may be the most convenient way to get your travel money but it is often not the best way. Besides turning up at the airport’s bureaux de exchange to find that they do not have a single coin of your much-needed currency moments before your flight, you will no doubt discover a very mediocre rate available.

Nowadays many banks or supermarkets that offer currency exchange also host their services on the internet too- these rates are slightly better than in store in most cases.

Online currency exchange is becoming a popular method of obtaining travel money and there is an obvious reason why- the competitive rates the internet offers.


Apart from better rates in general when buying your travel money online, there are other advantages:

  • You can view live currency rates on the internet in real time showing you the most accurate rates at any given time.
  • Some currency exchange providers will offer a reserve and collect type system by where a customer can buy currency online and then pick it up at the airport. This bridges the gap between convenience and the best deal on offer.
  • Your travel money can be delivered to your door with some online exchange services. Usually the Royal Mail recorded delivery service will be used so you must ensure that you are at home when your currency is due to arrive. A small fee may be charged for this service but as online exchange rates are usually better, the money you have ‘made’ (saved) could be put towards this convenience.
  • Online currency exchange websites have a currency calculator where you can type in as many values as you want in your own privacy.


No different from all walks of life, buying currency online has disadvantages as well as advantages.

  • Foreign currency exchange is not a regulated service which means should a provider go bust; there is no guarantee that you will get your money back in such event.
  • Unlike banks or high street outlets that offer currency exchange services, you may not be able to sell your surplus currency once you’ve returned from holiday.

General Tips

Use a debit card rather than a credit card for online currency orders. This will circumnavigate the standard credit card handling fee on some providers. (Some currency exchanges may still charge a fee for debit cards so if you do not wish to pay a fee then check the terms and conditions first).

Like everything, it’s always best to shop around to see what’s available for you and your requirements- using a price comparison website, like Cost, is often the quickest and easiest method of doing this.

As an alternative to carrying foreign cash when abroad you can alternatively use prepaid/currency cards. These pay-as-you-go cards are widely available in Europe and America.

Cost is an online comparison website specialising in insurance, monetary, travel and utility needs.

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