With the UK summer season entering full swing and holiday makers start thinking about the best way to change their British pounds for Euros, American dollars or Thai baht, it is worth remembering that – like most things – it pays to plan ahead to make sure you get the best deal from the currency exchange.
A truism put into sharp relief this week when a story in the Independent highlighted the newspaper’s research into the nefarious practices of airport bureaux de change and uncovered some truly extortionate examples.
The Independent’s research, which used advertised exchange rates at the Gatwick North Terminal branch of Moneycorp on 21 July, found that “At the time, the midmarket rate for sterling against the euro was around €1.12. But £1 bought less than 95 euro cents at Gatwick.”
Another notable discovery by the Independent team was if “A passenger who exchanged £1,000 to euros and immediately switched back to sterling at these rates would lose £308 on the transaction – ending up with just £692.”
“These kind of unfair rates are there to take advantage of holidaymakers that have no other choice”
Commenting on the news Jared Jesner, CEO of WeSwap, a British peer-to-peer currency exchange platform, said: “Ultimately, these kind of unfair rates are there to take advantage of holidaymakers that have no other choice. At WeSwap we believe in complete transparency, with a focus on how person to person currency exchange can offer the most competitive exchange rates.
“We are at an exciting time in which travellers can take control of how they obtain and sell their travel money and avoid the trap of using airport currency exchange centres. Our spending this year – nearly £50 billion will be spent on holidays in 2018 – is testament to how important our holidays are to us. For us at WeSwap, travel money is something that should enrich your holiday experience rather than be a barrier to overcome.”