exchange rates

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
66 replies 18.6K views
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  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    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].

    This means they are making 3% vs interbank rate. Strongly encourage you to check out the discount currency brokers mentioned above. Instead of 1.50 you would likely have gotten 1.535 or better. Again, no commission.
    Titch :)
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    I've always used Marks & Spencer's in recent years for exchange and without exception, got the best rate for different types of currency.

    I've found M&S to be better than the high street banks, but not as good as discount brokers.
    Titch :)
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    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.

    Not had to do this, so just suggestions:
    1. Ask your bank if they have euro accounts, and if you had one, could you withdraw euro notes (with advance notice, of course, for that amount). If so, you could get isxfx to do the exchange and transfer the funds to a euro account at your bank.
    2. Are you taking the euro notes to the continent/Ireland? If so, consider opening an account over there and getting isxfx to transfer the funds to your euro account.
    3. If you can find someone in London to do this, consider going there -- you will save a lot over doing this with your bank, I suspect.
    4. My sense of isxfx when I spoke to them is that, while their rates are great, they just didn't seem as motivated to discuss finding solutions to unique problems. I found HIFX very, very helpful that way. So I would try the other currency brokers and see if they can help you.
    Titch :)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
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    I transfered a large amount to Spain for a property purchase after comparing rates and services with Currencies Direct, Halewood and Travelex. I found Travelex by far gave a better rate with no commission, so opened an account and done the transfer with them.
    I send funds to my Spanish bank every few months with them as there is no minimum amount unlike the others. Always found there service to be fast and efficient and now european banks cant charge commission to receive euros under 12500 makes it even better. ;D
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Best i've found for delivery next day to home or work is
    https://www.onlinefx.co.uk

    Consistently best rate for pick up is to pre order online with travelex at https://www.travelex.co.uk .They also have a price match promise if you find better. The advantage with this is you can order up to 60 days before your trip so you can watch the exchange rate and pick the best time. We are going to the S 8)tates next week and by doing this we got $1.83 to the GBP. 8)
  • TalkingTalking Forumite
    5 Posts
    Sorry Thats TOURIST RATES I am talking about above
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    If anyone would like to chat through the options and what a broker can do for you (eg fixing forward, offering solutions to fit your exact circumstances) give me a call here on 0800 328 5884!

    Robin Haynes
    Director
    Foreign Currency Direct

    PS thanks for the recommendation to Mr Ainsworth!! ;D
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    What guarantees do I have that these organisations are secure and absolutely trustworthy?
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    What guarantees do I have that these organisations are secure and absolutely trustworthy?

    An excellent question -- because you electronically transfer your funds to a currency broker, and basically trust them to transfer them on.

    1. Research. I discovered HIFX, Caxton, & CurrencyUK in a Telegraph article over a year ago, but used none until recently. I figured if they were dodgy the Telegraph would have posted a clarification by now.
    2. Still in business. They've been in business for a while. If they were dodgy, they would have been shut down and run away with someone's money by now.
    3. Physical presence. HIFX is part of Halewood, who actually have a real office building. Seemed unlikely they would put all they have at risk to rip me off of £5K.
    4. Bank association. Make sure they are banking with a reputable bank. This is easy to check, since you have to transfer funds to their account!
    5. Personal experience. I tried the minimum £5K for my first transfer to make sure all went well, before risking any more than that. Obviously, that's a lot of money to risk, and I wouldn't have done it unless I felt very confident already. But it was one more reassurance for me when the transferred funds hit my account.

    ISXFX does have better rates, but I won't be quick to jump unless I know they are sound....

    Anyone have any other ideas as to how you can evaluate a currency broker?
    Titch :)
  • jgjg Forumite
    32 Posts
    If anyone would like to chat through the options and what a broker can do for you (eg fixing forward, offering solutions to fit your exact circumstances) give me a call

    Please don't post for personal gain, it's against the rules of the site (except the referrer's board). Mr Ainsworth recommendation was good enough for anyone who wants to contact you -- in fact, better than anything you could say.

    You could provide some beneficial help, though, by giving your thoughts on the above question as to how we can know a currency broker is legitimate. Don't just tell us how we can know you are legitimate, but general information about how we can compare competing brokers.
    Titch :)
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