Since 2015 the Great British Pound has had a rough ride. Until we reach the conclusion of Brexit (which will hopefully be in October), a major recovery of our currency will most likely remain a fantasy. This is bad news for 2019’s summer holiday season. So it’s more important than ever to get the best bang for your buck (literally!)
If you want cash (and you should always take some), the top way to get the best rates is to order online. You can either order online and get them delivered (sometimes there is a delivery fee), or you can click and collect. Using the Post Office is one of the best ways to do this. You can order your currency online at a better rate than you get in store, then go to the store and pick it up.
If you booked your holiday with a travel agent they most likely tried to sell you a pre-paid card. You can top it up whenever you want and you’ll get the rate of whatever it is on the day, meaning you can take advance of spikes to top up every now and then before your holiday. Although be careful, these cards, as well as some cards like Revolut do have some nasty ATM fees. They also can charge exchange rate fees if you purchase over a certain amount, so watch out and read the small print. Also, watch out that the provider is FSCS protected (at the time of writing Revolut is not). Otherwise your money won't be safe in the unlikely event they go out of business.
Credit Or Debit Card
To get the best rate possible you have to use the MasterCard or Visa currency rate using a debit or credit card (also named the interbank exchange rate). Although you can’t plan ahead and are stuck with whatever the rate actually is when you’re there, this is the best way to get to as close to the actual rate as possible. When exchanging cash, you’ll usually find that you’re getting around 5%-10% below the actual value (for example if the rate is 1.25 you’ll get around 1.20). Using a MasterCard or Visa 0% debit/credit card you'll get as close to the actual exchange rate that's possible.
It’s very important that you use a 0% fee credit or debit card. Your standard current account debit card will likely charge you in the region of 3% of each transaction. For debit cards, open a free Starling or Monzo current account. They both offer debit cards with 0% international fees. For credit cards, use cards like Santander Zero, Tandem Credit Card, or Halifax Clarity.
For emergencies, it’s always a good idea to take a credit card with you whether you plan on using it or not. However, make sure it is a 0% credit card as listed above. Using a credit card is generally better than debit cards for the extra consumer protections you get, and the ease of filing chargebacks if you’re been scammed or a victim of fraud.
Most important, don’t exchange cash at the airport. You will be ripped off.
Avoid Being Stung By Declining Pound
If you’re going to Disney World soon as have yet to purchase your extras, now is the time to do it. If you’re looking to do the Christmas or Halloween parties, buy tickets NOW via vendor that still sells them for GBP,. As they soon may have to adjust the prices.
Nobody knows. If you could correctly guess the markets, you’d be very rich. The best you an do is to make sure you’re not paying any fees you don’t need to and get the best rate possible. It's unlikely the pound will recover before Brexit happens, and a recovery will still depend on how Brexit is managed. While there are other factors that go into the value of Pound, the majority of the decline is down to the markets being bearish on the currency. And sadly, the markets control the value of the pound. For the summer holiday period, it's not looking good. Although depending on how the markets look come October, there might be a recovery for those planning go to Disney World at the end of the year.
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