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    • pthompson
    • By pthompson 19th Jul 03, 5:31 PM
    • 106Posts
    • 46Thanks
    How to buy travellers cheques or foreign currency
    • #1
    • 19th Jul 03, 5:31 PM
    How to buy travellers cheques or foreign currency 19th Jul 03 at 5:31 PM
    Can anyone advise where best to buy 1000 worth of Euros (in cash)?

    I was told that the Post Office is the cheapest as they charge 0% commission, however they're not very transparent on the buy/sell spread -- which is probably where they make their profit -- so it's difficult to compare them with high-street banks, bureaux de change and travel agents.


    Official Insert.

    There is now a full article on SENDING MONEY OVERSEAS AND CURRENCY OVERSEAS please read that.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 21-05-2007 at 12:14 PM.
Page 2
    • EileenH
    • By EileenH 18th Jul 04, 9:04 PM
    • 221 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    Gaz, I have a Nationwide debit card and use it abroad instead of currency and travellers cheques.
    Nationwide don't charge their customers for using their cards in cash machines overseas, which answers your question, so when in America key in the amount you want to withdraw in dollars and you will get that amount of dollars at whatever the rate is on that day with no additional charges being deducted. The beauty of using your card instead of taking currency and travellers cheques is that you just withdraw the amount you need and at the end of your holiday you don't have to take home surplus travellers cheques and currency which needs to be changed back at extra cost - you also get a better rate of exchange. The only problem that could occur is that the machine could keep your card or you could even lose it. If you have a 2nd cardholder on your account make sure you take both cards with you, just in case. Luckily I have never been in this situation.
  • Gaz
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    Thanks for the reply
  • Birdy
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    Thomas Cook told my hubby they would match any other price he got - and they did (but all it meant was him not having to go all the way back to the place he first started at!). Not sure if the price-match was just for high street or not
  • archived user
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    not all post office branches have euro . I dont expect the smaller sub post offices to keep euro ,
    but I know several medium sized branches that dont sell them either .
  • boblevin
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    The best deal (apart from using a Nationwide Credit Card in resort) is with Marks and Spencer - selected branches only so check out www.Marks & Spencer Or if you have a M&S credit card you can purchase over the phone or internet without incurring any fees - and delivery is free.
  • Juanita
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    I am going to the US. If I take few dollars and pay for purchases on rely on a Nationwide credit card, is that likely to save me money? Sorry, I am just so used to it being drummed into my head to take travellers cheques or cash. Does anyone know the current rate of exchange with Nationwide? I don't want to be stuck out there, relying on a credit card and being burned by a poor exchange rate.
    • payless
    • By payless 3rd Aug 04, 10:18 PM
    • 6,602 Posts
    • 2,355 Thanks
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    I take a couple of hundred $,and then use my natwide card

    has not failed me yet

  • Juanita
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    On the credit cards comparisons, it says the Nationwide CC has an APR on cash advances of 13.9 - 15.9% even when paid off in full. Does this mean if I withdraw (for example) $100 on my CC then pay it off in full at the end of the month, I will be charged interest? If so, how much?

  • boblevin
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    The message seems plain enough but perhaps is not clear to all, so here goes . . . . . If you have a NATIONWIDE CREDIT CARD, this is by far the best way to spend in a another country. Nationwide will give you the wholesale (true) exchange rate applicable at the time the transaction is processed by them (this is not the same as the point of sale), so it is not possible to quote you figures - just be certain that THE RATE WILL BE THE BEST YOU CAN GET. If you would rather have travellers cheques, the best deal is with MARKS & SPENCER. If you would like to take a gamble that the rate is currently much better than is likely to be the case when you travel, you can always buy some travellers cheques or currency from M & S and sit on them, but remember - they do not earn interest. Hope this helps.
  • Juanita
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    Nationwide will give you the wholesale (true) exchange rate applicable at the time the transaction is processed by them (this is not the same as the point of sale), so it is not possible to quote you figures - just be certain that THE RATE WILL BE THE BEST YOU CAN GET.
    Thanks! Does this apply to cash advances as well as purchases? Sorry for being an idiot.
  • ubiquitious
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    The bank is the best bet.
  • Yorkieds
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    Small amount of Euros for the obvious needs, ie those payments that will not accept plastic.

    Everything else on Liverpool and Victoria, Credit Card.

    You get the bank rate not the tourist rate.
    Your money () stays in your interest bearing account.
    You get 54 days free credit.
    Pay off upon receipt of your statement.

    As a regular visitor to Spain, Martins advice saves me around 2.5% commision and 5.5% interest on the cash.

    Yorkieds ;D
    • nettles
    • By nettles 14th Aug 04, 5:26 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    I have been looking, and the best I can find at the mo is 1.4289 at the post office, 1.457 at m&s, 1.46 at currency express and 1.4601 at travelex.
  • Allexie
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    good old M & S for me!
  • Greenstuff
    Re: Cheapest Euros?
    I used them and they were brilliant, they had the best exchange rate I found and no commission, no charge for credit or debit card (although they remind you that your issuer might make a charge).
    I ordered it on the internet and my Euros turned up the next day by special delivery (no charge).
    They had a clear exchange rate and no hidden extra's.
    • superhoop
    • By superhoop 28th Oct 04, 6:33 PM
    • 295 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    Re: How to buy travellers cheques or foreign curre
    If you're flying and you want cash euros, I have used many times and find it the best service.

    In my view they have the best rates (and guarantee them). They don't charge a cash advance fee if you pay by Switch/Maestro.

    You turn up on the day and show your passport at the Travelex kiosk and you get the dosh. Simple as pie.

    At Luton the Travelex kiosk is easy to find landside, and is open 5am - 10pm. I have also used it at Stansted with success.

    (No I don't work for them!)

  • halloumi
    Re: How to buy travellers cheques or foreign curre
    I see that nothing has been posted on this thread since 28th Oct and I was interested in seeing if there were any gems here like all the others on this site

    Anyway, I just thought I let you know that if you live in London and are in the vicinity of Earls Court then there's a couple of places that charge no commision and who's rates can't be bettered. I think it must have something to do with the amount of tourist in the area and the amount of sterling they sell ???

    There are two of them (business must be great :P), they are called 'Raffles' and they can be found a couple of hundred yards in either direction of Earls Court tube station.

    • MarkyMarkD
    • By MarkyMarkD 3rd Mar 05, 7:41 PM
    • 9,795 Posts
    • 4,216 Thanks
    I always use Travelex and they are always the cheapest.

    Buy ONLINE not at their offices and it's always commission free. Pay on a Switch card and there's no credit card charges. (I actually always buy on a credit card (because I don't have a Switch card) but the Nationwide charge is only 1.5% and it's STILL cheaper than elsewhere including the Post Office).

    As Martin says, the only answer that matters is "how many Euros do I get for every 1 out of my account". Even if you have to factor in a 1.5% credit card charge, that's easy enough.

    1.40 EUR:1 less 1.5% is 1.379 EUR:1 which is better than 1.37 EUR:1 "commission free" at the Post Office. (Those are the actual approximate figures from when I bought a few weeks ago).

    Travelex also allow you to specify "small" "mixed" or "large" notes on their website - if you ended up with all 200 EUR notes, you must have selected large in error / by default. We always go for "small".
  • Stickems
    Beware M&S foreign exchange
    M&S is fine for buying foreign exchange but if you need to sell some back to them they take a hefty 6.5% cut on the difference between buying and selling. They don't shew their buying rates on their web site, they offer commission free transactions. This was most unexpected from M&S.
    • MarkyMarkD
    • By MarkyMarkD 1st Apr 05, 10:44 PM
    • 9,795 Posts
    • 4,216 Thanks
    Everyone who does "commission free" currency makes money on the turn between buy/sell rates. They aren't doing it for charity, you know!
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