Getting the most out of changing currency


Moving abroad to an exotic new location is a tremendously attractive idea for many people in Britain, if you are reading this chances are that you are one of the many Brits who, each year, opt to start a new life away from the United Kingdom.

At the risk of sounding cheesy there is a whole world outside of England and hundreds of Brits seek to explore it, be they retirees looking for a relaxation hotspot, or a young worker seeking a new challenge and new cultures. When you get to the planning stage you’ll have lots of things to sort out, less exciting than buying a new bathing suit will be the task of changing your money into its new currency.

As dull as it sounds, changing your money will be one of the most important things you do, that’s why you must know exactly what you are doing, otherwise it could cost you an unsightly amount of money. The best way of ensuring your new life gets off to a good start is by having your finances in check before you set off.

Different Currencies

First of all you should know that banks aren’t always the best places to go for changing money. Specialist currency dealers often give better rates than high street banks. Research from exchange gurus HiFix shows that banks generally charge around four percent more than currency dealers, to put it into perspective if you were transferring funds of £250,000, using a bank would cost you an extra £10,000.

Of course no currency exchanging service will come free of charge, the charges usually work out to either fees minus commission or commission minus fees, or in some cases both. The cheapest option almost always comes from the specialist providers, some of these companies have neither fees nor commission, they make their money through the price of the currency and the price at which it is offered to the customer. This is their premium that is added on top of the interbank rate, established by the banks themselves. The banks often put in premiums of three percent whilst the specialists add just one percent or less.

Another important factor to consider is economic volatility, exchange rates are a tumultuous market and changing at the right time could also aid your cause in the form of cold hard cash. With the world’s economies in such turmoil currencies are currently at their most volatile, and a change at the wrong time could leave you seriously out of pocket.

Mark Bodega, marketing director at HiFix, says “The sooner you begin to understand what is happening with exchange rates, the more likely it is you will get a deal that is suitable for you. If there is a rate available and it will get you what you want, but you think it is a low rate, you should think hard about what it will mean to you if the rate gets even worse”.