The ghosts and ghouls will soon be out for Halloween but that’s no reason to get a fright from hidden fees when spending or sending money abroad.
When you’re deciding what card to take away on your next break, or looking at which payment service to use for moving money overseas, always consider your options carefully.
If it looks good from the outside, check for hidden fees and scary exchange rates before you use them. Here’s our tips to avoiding nasty tricks at Halloween and the rest of the year.
Compare like-for-like rates
The foreign currency market is very dynamic and rates often change from one minute to the next. If you’re looking to find the best rate from a foreign exchange supplier, remember to compare rates at the same point in time. This is easier to achieve online, but if you’re phoning around for quotes, try to keep the calls with the shortest time frame possible to get an even comparison.
Don’t be fooled by no commission
You’ve no doubt seen ‘no commission’ signs outside of currency exchange bureax, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they’re offering you a good deal.
‘No commission’ promotions usually mask poor exchange rates which means you get far less travel money for your pounds. There might be no commission on the receipt but there will be commission hidden in the unfavourable rate.
Don’t pay for services that should be free
With many reputable money transfer providers available online and over the phone, don’t pay for a service and guidance that you can get from expert suppliers at no cost elsewhere.
With FairFX you can send money abroad for free with great exchange rates.
New doesn’t have to be scary
Make sure your provider is FCA registered, but don’t be afraid of venturing away from your bank when making international payments. When it comes to security and good rates, you can have your cake and it eat with foreign exchange professionals such as ourselves, as we keep customer funds in segregated accounts for additional protection.
Say no to travel money tricks overseas
When you use debit, credit or currency cards overseas to withdraw cash or pay in shops and restaurants, you’ll often be given the option to pay in pounds rather than local currency.
This practice exposes you to extortionate fees and unfavourable rates and more often than not it leaves you out of pocket.
If you’re asked what currency you want to pay in, always choose local currency. And the same if you’re using an ATM.
Always do your homework before you send money overseas, order your travel money or spend abroad – you could get stung by hidden fees if you don’t.
If you want to get more travel money for your pounds, or send money overseas for less, sign up to our Rate Alert. We’ll email you when the exchange rate is in your favour.