Avoid Airport Currency Costs, Experts Warn

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Going abroad for a holiday means getting a fair amount of preparation done, but something that often gets overlooked or left until the last minute is making sure you’ve got some local currency for your destination.

travel money

With many of us taking breaks in countries that are part of the Eurozone, making sure you’ve got the right notes and coins is far less of a hassle than it used to be, especially if you are travelling through various different European states.

However, according to new research from Which?, how and where you decide to exchange your money can make a great deal of difference to the spending power you end up with in your pocket.

The new data from the consumer group shows that airports can be the worst places to make a currency exchange.

The worst airport exchange rate was found to be at Manchester airport, where exchanging £500 of currency at Travelex resulted in just €517.52, a loss of over €50 compared to the best rate to be found online at International Currency Exchange (ICE).

Researchers at Which? compared rates at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Manchester with those available online and from the high street over a six-week period.

Bureaux de changes at airports consistently offered low rates which were worse than high street outlets and far less than online transactions could achieve.

Compare travel money cards online to find the best rates before you jet off abroad and keep overall holiday costs to a minimum.

Converting £500 into euros saw widely differing results, ranging from an average of €540.52 by ICE at Heathrow, €523.39 by Moneycorp at Gatwick and just €517.52 by Travelex at Manchester.

Online rates saw far better returns, with consumers squeezing an additional €47 from their money.

On the high street the Post Office remains the most popular supplier although its return rates of €551 were beaten by Co-op Travel at €559.89, Asda Money €559.08, Tesco €558.93 and other well-know outlets.

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