Author, Andrew Gibson
Below you will find out how to get the best euro exchange rate, the hidden costs to look out for, and the places to avoid.
It’s not easy to find the best euro exchange rate.
There’s so much confusing information out there.
Most people just want to know:
- Who has the best rates?
- Can they be trusted?
- Are there any hidden fees or charges?
Travel money or money transfer?
The first thing to decide is whether you need travel money (cash) or a money transfer (bank-to-bank).
They are separate markets with different providers.
Here’s a quick summary of our findings:
|TRAVEL MONEY||Debenhams, Asda, Sainsbury’s||Airports|
|MONEY TRANSFERS||Currency Brokers||Banks|
Travel Money: best euro exchange rates
The good news is the market for travel money is very competitive these days.
There’s lots of providers, which has driven down prices.
Our research found that Debenhams, Asda and Sainsbury’s consistently offer some of the best euro exchange rates for travel money.
The Post Office tends to charge a bit more than the names above.
You can find some smaller independents that will beat the big names, but the gains were pretty small.
On £300 holiday money, I found the difference between the top 5 providers was only about £3 in cost.
A tiny difference really.
That’s why it might be easier to stick to the big supermarkets.
Most people know to avoid airports for travel money.
Sure – they’re convenient – but the rates are generally terrible.
Ignore the flashing signs saying “pay no commission” or “0% commission”. It’s just a marketing gimmick.
The money is made from the exchange rate.
At airports, the charge built into the exchange rate can be as high as 15%-30%.
That means if you exchange £300 into Euros, you could be losing £45 to £90 in exchange rate costs.
Money Transfers: best euro exchange rates
As money transfers tend to be larger amounts than travel money, the stakes are higher.
But the savings can be higher too.
If you are looking to transfer your Pounds into Euros, you can use either a bank or currency broker.
While your bank might seem like an obvious choice, the costs can be substantially more.
As a general rule, banks can charge up to 4%-5% to send money abroad. Currency brokers can be a cheaper and better alternative to the banks.
It depends on the exact amount of British Pounds you need to exchange.
The more you send, the better the euro rate.
Another thing to note is that the banks also charge transfer fees – adding another layer of cost.
I’m all for keeping things simple.
If you are thinking of using your bank, I would suggest getting a quote elsewhere and find out what you can save.
Request a quote below if you would like to compare our rates to your bank or existing provider.
5 reasons you shouldn’t use your bank…
- It’s not their area of expertise
- Their exchange rates are uncompetitive
- Banks charge transfer fees
- They won’t help you with timing
- You are not their priority
Why you use an FCA Authorised company
When it comes to money, safety and security is a priority for anyone.
It’s important to know that not all companies are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Why’s it even matter?
An FCA Authorised currency broker is required to transfer all customers funds using a separate, safeguarded client account.
It means your money will pass through a bank account used solely to carry out money transfers and not be mixed with any of the company’s money.
You can check if a company is Authorised by typing its name into the Financial Services Register.
Beware of ‘fake’ euro exchange rates
There’s lots of websites that will give you live exchange rates.
Some of the more popular ones are XE, Oanda and DailyFX.
But here’s the thing not many people know…
The exchange rates you see online are not customer rates.
What you are seeing is something called interbank exchange rates.
As the name suggests, interbank rates are used by the banks to trade with other banks.
They are not customer rates.
This key fact is buried in disclaimers saying something like “not available to consumers” or “for informational purposes only.”
Annoying to say the least.
These fake rates are misleading for customers and could mess up your budget or life plans.
It’s always best to get a genuine quote direct from a provider.
Why comparison sites can also be misleading
Comparison websites are everywhere these days.
But when it comes to getting the best euro exchange rates, I think they are fundamentally flawed.
They claim to “compare the market”, but that is simply not the case.
The market they refer to is their own market.
Despite the funny ads, they are money-making machines.
They sell what’s best for them – not you.
In reality, they add another layer of cost – even if it is indirectly passed on to the customer.
An alternative is to go direct to the source – whether that be us, another provider or a bank.
At least that way you are cutting out the middleman.
How to achieve the best euro exchange rate
The euro exchange rates changes every 2-3 seconds.
Just by looking at a GBP/EUR chart, you can see how much the rate can move over days, weeks and months.
Getting the best pound to euro rate can depend on choosing the right time to exchange your money.
For large money transfers, even small fractional moves in the rate can have a big impact on what your pounds are worth.
On a money transfer of say £75,000, a move of just 1% up or down in exchange rate works out at £750 difference.
Over the course of several weeks, the euro exchange rate can move 3%, 4% or even 5%.
You can see how timing can make a world of difference.
While no one has a crystal ball, getting some guidance on current market trends from a currency broker can help you achieve a better euro exchange rate.
Some currency brokers will monitor the rate and let you know when it moves in your favour.
This is not a standard service.
A lot of companies these days are online-only brokers.
Some of the better known “do-it-yourself” operators are Paypal, Transferwise, CurrencyFair and Revolut.
The customer support is through email or webchat, and they offer no guidance on exchange rates.
If you want to go ahead, you have to accept whatever rate they give you on the day.
There is no one to help you decide if it’s a good or bad time to exchange your money.
Yet adverse currency fluctuations can prove extremely costly to someone unfamiliar with current market trends.
It’s why you may prefer a currency broker that can assist you with timing.
- For travel money, the big UK supermarkets tend to have the best euro exchange rates.
- For money transfers, currency brokers provide more competitive euro exchange rates than the banks.
- Only deal with FCA Authorised companies as they safeguard client money.
- The euro exchange rates you see online are often not available to customers.
- To get the best euro exchange rate you also need to consider when to exchange your money.
Who are we?
At Key Currency, we help our customers achieve the best euro exchange rates available.
- The cost of our service is included within the exchange rate we quote.
- No fees or charges are added.
- We offer tight margins on exchange rates.
As an independent currency broker, we have far lower overheads than the banks.
This enables us to pass on the savings to our customers.
As part of our service, you get the added benefit of having a real person to assist you with your transfer.
In my experience, a lot of people don’t want to do everything online or download an app.
That’s not the way we operate.
We will discuss and agree on the right time to exchange your money, rather than using a bank or online system and having to accept whatever rate they give you on the day.
As a company, we are open and transparent.
That’s why we show the names and faces of our people on our website.
Rest assured – we are also Authorised and Regulated by the FCA (No. 753989). As such, you have the peace of mind knowing that all money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts.
We have attained a 5-star “excellent” rating on the review website Trustpilot, based on hundreds of customer reviews.
To find out our latest euro rates, simply request a free quote below.