I am a big fan of money. I don’t think I’m alone with this view, lots of people like money. But what really grinds my gears is people taking my money for nothing. For anyone who has travelled abroad, queueing up at the Bureau de Change and working out how many Euros you need for a week on the Costa del Sol is dull. Changing thousands of pounds into several different currencies for use over the next 6 months is a not just a no-brainer. It’s damn-right stupid. Travel Money is my current obsession.
I was put in charge of researching the travel money situation, and making sure that Lucy and I don’t pay Messrs Halifax and Natwest shed loads of cash for the privilege of using our own money abroad.
After about 20 minutes of research, it was clear that there were 2 front-runners. Caxton FX and FairFX appear to have pretty good currency cards, with a reasonable exchange rate and decent low-cost/no-cost transactions.
I have therefore opted for a Sterling Card from both, with different pros and cons. However, both do not charge anything to load the card (a surprisingly unusual benefit);
FairFX charge £1 for each ATM withdrawal plus a 1.4% charge, whereas any POS transactions incur just the 1.4% charge.
Caxton FX do not charge for ATM withdrawals, but there is a 2.75% charge on everything.
Normally FairFX charge £10 for the card, however I have managed to by-pass this fee, and also get £10 back from them for initially transferring £550 onto the card. I’m not really sure if this was deliberate, but I followed this link and actually made money.
The plan is to spend evenly on the cards to start off with, and see which is cheapest and then use that one – no doubt anyone who cares will find out in due course how this has gone.
Until next time, stay safe