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Bossybabe

Post Office Foreign Currency 'service'

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Recently returned from holiday in Spain, I was in my local shop yesterday, and for convenience decided to convert my surplus £180 euros into pounds. The smirking woman behind the counter offered me just £130. With the going rate, it should have been £150. Do the Post office think the public's collective head buttons up the back?mad.gif

I politely declined her kind but offer and went elsewhere, to get £150. BE WARNED.

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Over-the-counter currency conversion places with a big network of branches (e.g. Post Office, Travelex) will charge you a premium over the typical tourist rate, to reflect their running costs. No real surprise there.

Tesco recently stopped offering Clubcard points for foreign currency bought in its supermarkets. Their rates weren't the best, but with the points it added up to a good deal. Withdrawing that perk had the same effect for me as a much less competitive rate, so I looked around for another solution. Also, at the same time, Nationwide started charging for debit card transactions overseas (or more accurately, it started to pass on the Visa charge, which it had previously eaten). Until last autumn I had used a combination of foreign currency cash bought from Tesco and my Nationwide debit card for point-of-sale purchases in the US.

At that point I got a FairFX pre-pay debit card. They do them in EUR and USD, The deal is that you transfer money from your current account (via a Visa debit transaction) to your FairFX card, which is then translated into the foreign currency at the then prevailing rate. At that point, the amount in the foreign currency is credited to your card and the rate is locked in. The card works just like a normal Mastercard and you can use it anywhere that will accept Mastercard. The rates they offer are very competitive, I think - not quite as good as if you really shopped around, but absolutely not a ripoff. For example, at the moment they're giving you $1.58 for a pound, compared to around $1.54 at a typical supermarket. So far I've been very happy with it.

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I am also a FairFX customer, very useful for spending $ and Euros if you don't want to carry thousands around with you on holiday. I bought quite a load at 1.8 USD to Gbp and was spending like a nutter in Vegas :lol:

Only thing though is it pays no interest so only good for preloading prior to holidays. And the charge per withdrawal is decent too.

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I use the FairFX card for Ryanair flights (I know I know but) and saves £5 per passenger each way. Booked a flight for 4 of us and save £40. Also good exchange rate when used abroad and low charges.

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Recently returned from holiday in Spain, I was in my local shop yesterday, and for convenience decided to convert my surplus £180 euros into pounds. The smirking woman behind the counter offered me just £130. With the going rate, it should have been £150. Do the Post office think the public's collective head buttons up the back?mad.gif

I politely declined her kind but offer and went elsewhere, to get £150. BE WARNED.

You usually get a better rate by changing back where you bought them - if you're organised enough to keep the receipt.

Barclays recently turned down some Barbados dollars of ours because they had small biro marks on them. :(

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Forgot to add, last month Italian ATMs only allowed me to withdraw 200 Euros at a time, rather annoying considering I've taken out more in Spain. I don't know if this is a particularly Italian problem or a new FairFX withdrawal limit.

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I usually just take out money in the country I arrive at on my debit card.

The rates don't seem terrible and if you take out large enough quantities the ATM charge usually isn't that significant.....

Any other ideas..? (Going abroad in 3 weeks :D)

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I usually just take out money in the country I arrive at on my debit card.

The rates don't seem terrible and if you take out large enough quantities the ATM charge usually isn't that significant.....

If you don't mind carrying large amounts of cash around and your current account provider offers OK rates, agreed that a small number of large cash withdrawals on arrival will mitigate a lot of the hassle factor.

However, I don't really want the stress of carrying a lot of cash around, and furthermore you tend to get treated with suspicion if you attempt to pay large bills with cash in the US. Once I found what I thought was a killer rate buying $$s. The catch was that my purchase arrived in the form of crisp, new $100 notes, which no retailer would accept without a fight and most would not accept at all. On one occasion a restaurant even called the police when I tried to pay a bill with two of them. The policeman was very nice about it and advised me to go to a bank the following morning and get my remaining $100s changed for smaller ones. As a general rule in California, he explained, if you try to pay for anything with a $50 or a $100 note, it will be assumed that you either have connections to the Mexican narcotics industry, that the note is forged or both.

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Recently returned from holiday in Spain, I was in my local shop yesterday, and for convenience decided to convert my surplus £180 euros into pounds. The smirking woman behind the counter offered me just £130. With the going rate, it should have been £150. Do the Post office think the public's collective head buttons up the back?mad.gif

I politely declined her kind but offer and went elsewhere, to get £150. BE WARNED.

I used the Post Office for Euros until about 12 months ago when their rates became so poor. There's a small money changing / cheque cashing shop near me that is very competetive. When the spot rate was just over €1.20 last month, they gave €1.17. Very good when you only want £200 worth.

Why change them back? Do you honestly think you'll never need Euros again?

I've never understood why people change money back, unless it's a lot, the rate is always awful. You can get a change-back service at the same rate you bought at with some travel agents, etc but they charge you for it. If people really need it converting back, they must have changed too much to start with. :ph34r:

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I used the Post Office for Euros until about 12 months ago when their rates became so poor. There's a small money changing / cheque cashing shop near me that is very competetive. When the spot rate was just over €1.20 last month, they gave €1.17. Very good when you only want £200 worth.

Why change them back? Do you honestly think you'll never need Euros again?

I've never understood why people change money back, unless it's a lot, the rate is always awful. You can get a change-back service at the same rate you bought at with some travel agents, etc but they charge you for it. If people really need it converting back, they must have changed too much to start with. :ph34r:

I haven't changed them back, but am keeping them for my next trip in 3 - 4 months.cool.gif

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Why not stand in the foreign exchange queue with your euros, then wait until someone wants to buy euros...do your own deal between you....win win. ;)

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I've never understood why people change money back, unless it's a lot, the rate is always awful. You can get a change-back service at the same rate you bought at with some travel agents, etc but they charge you for it. If people really need it converting back, they must have changed too much to start with. :ph34r:

I've never understood why people live beyond their means, go into massive debts, splurge on credit cards, buy overpriced houses on liar loans, drink and smoke themselves to death, breed like rabbits, pay 3000Euros for a handbag, ... er... :lol:

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I've never understood why people live beyond their means, go into massive debts, splurge on credit cards, buy overpriced houses on liar loans, drink and smoke themselves to death, breed like rabbits, pay 3000Euros for a handbag, ... er... :lol:

:D

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Guest eight

Why not stand in the foreign exchange queue with your euros, then wait until someone wants to buy euros...do your own deal between you....win win. ;)

Some people actually sell odd € amounts on Ebay.

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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