What should you do with your leftover travel cash?

We've all come back home from holiday with a wallet full of leftover euros, pesos or lira, that end up in the odds drawer at home along with spare batteries and random keys.

Leftover travel cash means you managed not to burn through your whole budget and also means you have an opportunity to get value from what you have left.

High street buy-back services might seem to be the quick & easy option to get pounds back in your pocket, but it comes at a price. There’s a big difference between the rates that high street bureaux buy from and sell currency to you, so you rarely get a good deal if you just sell your travel cash back to high street providers.

If you’re looking for a smarter way to get value out of your leftover currency, here are our tips to get more from your holiday money, even when you're back home.

Sell it to a friend or family member

If you know someone that’s heading to the same destination in the near future, swap currency and make it a win-win.

They’ll no doubt be thinking about how they can get the most currency for their pounds and together you can agree on a rate that works for both of you.

It might help them with some taxi cash when they arrive or walking around money. The rest of their holiday budget can go securely on a FairFX Prepaid Mastercard®.

Keep it for next time

If you're going to same country again in the near future or you make regular trips to the eurozone, keeping a foreign currency wallet at the back of your wardrobe for next time could be useful.

But if we’re talking hundreds of euros, carrying cash is not the most secure option.

A securer way to keep travel currency is a FairFX Currency Card. A secure Chip & PIN Mastercard where your leftover currency stays until your next trip or you can spend it back home in the UK.

Donate to charity

If you'd like to donate your leftover travel cash to charity, you’ll find most major charities with a high street presence will accept foreign currency donations.

Charities such as Oxfam and Alzheimer's Society accept foreign currency but simply contact your preferred charity to check.

If you really don’t have much leftover cash…

Why not keep some of those small notes and coins as souvenirs?

Less common currencies make great keepsakes and could be included in your travel scrapbooks. Beautiful notes such as the Hong Kong Dollar and Bermuda Dollar help you keep the memories of your trips.

Get some inspiration from sites like Etsy.

Prepare for next time

To avoid the leftover travel cash headache on your next trip, order a FairFX Currency Card.

Your card will be valid for 3 years after which you can simply renew, so keep your leftover travel money on your card until your next trip. Or, if you’d prefer, you can simply spend your remaining balance back home for a low fee - just 1.4% on the Everywhere Card and 1.75% on the Dollar Card and Euro Card (your currency is converted back at market rate).

You can also top up and manage the card from anywhere through our app and website. It’s a secure Chip & PIN Mastercard, accepted all over, that helps you keep control of what you’re spending.


Prepare for your next trip with a prepaid card. Choose a FairFX Currency Card for award-winning exchange rates and an easy way to manage your travel money.

Already taking cards when you travel? Find out which is best for your next trip: prepaid cards vs debit vs credit.
Have you got a long list of countries that you want to explore this year? Follow our tips on planning your holidays like a pro and your money will travel much further…

Travel further this year


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