How to Avoid Unnecessary Charges on Currency Exchange
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Most UK credit and debit cards let you spend abroad, but will charge you for the privilege. Foreign transaction fees (officially called 'non-sterling transaction fees') are normally around 3% – so £100 worth of foreign currency costs you £103. On top of this, some debit cards charge a flat fee (typically 50p-£1.50) each and every time you spend overseas, regardless of the amount. Withdrawing cash usually attracts fees and unavoidable interest on credit cards. The good news is that there are specialist pre-paid travel cards that don't charge these fees and you get the same near-perfect rate the bank does. If you need any recommendations for these then please get in touch.
When it comes to larger transactions (e.g buying or selling a property) then using a currency broker is definitely the best approach. A broker will often give you a better rate of exchange than the bank and will also be able to offer solutions to reduce the risk of fluctuating exchange rates. We work with Smart Currency who are excellent. To register for currency updates and/or to have a chat with someone you can get in touch here: