exchange rates

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
66 replies 18.6K views
Legacy_userLegacy_user Forumite
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MoneySaving Newbie
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
Does anyone know how to get the best exchange rate for pounds in to euros?

I want to transfer a substantial amount to France and would like to get the best deal possible.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

Insert From Martin:


The discussion below is well worth reading if you are doing this. The key is using currency brokers - and there are some currency brokers themseleves actually explaining how to do it here.

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Replies

  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    Try Caxton Fx, CurrencyUK, or HIFX.  DON'T use your bank.  

    Minimum amount £5K (£6K with Caxton).

    Setting up an account is free.  You could set up an account with all three (there are undoubtedly others as well) then call on the day and see who gives you the best rate.  You might even mention that you have to check another service (and name it), maybe they'll compete a little -- though they aren't charging you a very large margin.

    Your bank will probably give you an exchange rate that is 2 1/2-3% worse than the interbank rate.  You should be able to get within 1% of interbank or better.
    Titch :)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Try ISX FX (https://www.isxfx.com), they provide the most competitive rates. They offer 0.4% of interbank, and no charges.
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    Hey! I knew there would be others out there!

    Yes, their rates are better than the ones I mentioned. The 0.4% rate is for amounts in the £50-100K range. More than that is 0.35%. Less than £50K is slightly worse, but still better well ahead of the others.

    Time to change!
    Titch :)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    I'm not sure if this is any help. We recently needed to send around £60k to Spain. Just by chance we discovered that we could transfer the money in Sterling to an account in Spain and do the exchange at the Spanish Bank's rate, which was considerably better than the rate here. In fact,we were about 2000 euros better off, even though there was a charge of 0.2%. I'm don't know if this would be the same in France, but it's worth looking into. Up to then we weren't even aware that you could do it that way round.
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    I think you would find that, while a foreign bank might have a more competitive exchange rate than a U.K. bank, the currency brokers will be better.
    Titch :)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Try Currency Direct (https://www.currencies.co.uk) 0800 328 5884. I used the recently to move US$ for a house purchase and saved £3,500. Free account set up and trades at 1% below spot, fast efficient and friendly - I would recommend them and use them again.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Regularly change euros to pounds using a bureau in London. Changed 6000 euros at 1.50 last week - bank rate 1.55 - no commission. Largest amount I have changed is 50,000 euros with out any problem. Regularly have euros to change - let me know I will offer at 1 cent higher than I get quoted to change. E mail me at [email protected].
  • I've always used Marks & Spencer's in recent years for exchange and without exception, got the best rate for different types of currency.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    What is the cheapest and best exchange rate way to get the euro's in cash. isxfx is good but transfer the funds electronically to an account. I have requirement for about 15,000 euros in notes. I'm not in London.
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    Try Currency Direct (https://www.currencies.co.uk) 0800 328 5884. I used the recently to move US$ for a house purchase and saved £3,500.  Free account set up and trades at 1% below spot, fast efficient and friendly - I would recommend them and use them again.

    This is comparable to HIFX, Caxton, and CurrencyUK.

    What I find impressive about isxfx (I've never used them) is that the spread is at most 0.5% below spot, better for larger amounts. Also, and this I like, they post the spread right on their site. So if you know how much you are transferring, you check the interbank rate and you will know the rate.

    I've not seen that with the others, you have to call to get a quote. And the quote is an absolute quote, not a spread to interbank, so it is hard to compare. But typically, they seem to be between 0.8% and 1.0% off interbank -- good, but not as good.

    If you transfer £10K, the difference between 0.5% and 1% is £50. Not a huge amount, of course, but worth it.
    Titch :)
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