Currency Exchange

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  DavidGordon10 2 Mar 2016
at 20:04

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  • Anonymous


    I have written on this subject before, on this forum, but I think it deserves to be opened again. Three subjects:

    1 High street currency exchange. My irritation today is because of a wasted trip to the Post Office, using their currency exchange service. I ordered €1500, it would be ready today – and then the PO branch only had €10 and €5 notes. Useless for the total I need, so back I have to go tomorrow. On the whole, I have found the PO service quite good with reasonable rates, but failure to stock notes of a suitable denomination is just stupid. It would be fine if our organisation’s debit card had not already been debited, so I am stuck.

    It would have been easier in the old days when larger high street banks kept reasonable stocks of the more common currencies, at reasonable exchange rates, but that has gone.

    2 Airport currency exchange. My own bank has outsourced its foreign currency operations to one of the firms that ply their trade at airports – and I refuse to use them off-airport, because of the nonsensical buy-to-sell spreads that they dare to use at airports.

    I think we deserve a better service. Maybe the Office of Fair Trading should look at airport currency exchanges, and airport owners should look at their consciences before allowing traders who use rip-off rates.

    Users of this forum will probably not be so foolish as to use an airport currency exchange, but it is the less sophisticated travellers who need protection.

    3 A general moan. Other recent irritations include the difficulty of changing a currency that is not fully convertible, but is widely traded (Serbian Dinars), the ongoing problem if you are given one of the likely-to-be-withdrawn €500 notes, and an exchange that thinks it is sensible to provide DKK 6000 in 50 DK notes.


    Why not use cash withdrawals abroad from banks such as Nationwide or N&P?

    Total rip of rates with BUY/SELL differences of 20% or sometimes more are a disgrace and when it concerns currencies within the EU then that makes it clear our membership confers very little benefit

    Currency transactions are one of the many Bank scams and it is worth noticing which Banks practice these as an indication of which Banks to avoid for all transactions


    Peter, I feel your point needs some clarification:

    Why do you have any issue with a smaller bank charging a larger spread for EUR? How do you think they should operate?

    As for your scam remark, I appreciate the kindness towards my dept. I have heard much much worse!


    Yes, but €1500 is a little much for most holes in the wall. If the Post Office had sensible denominations of notes it would have been fine, but as I said, I am trapped because the debit card has already been debited.


    Have you checked MSE?
    They will give you the best rates in your area or airport.


    I find a pre-order gets much better rates at the airport rather than just turning up.

    I wonder if the whole fx model is going the way of travellers cheques. Most people just use a debit card at the airport on arrival. Usually much better rates and a lot less hassle.


    Simon. +1
    And a hotel will often advance you a small sum which goes on the bill and is them paid by CC in the usual way.


    I use the Post Office money card (in Euros) for most foreign currency. Load it from a UK bank (of course via an app) and it ensure you take out what you need.

    I also have an ATM card from a bank in Europe which has $ / € / and £ accounts.. so no conversion costs…


    Don’t dissent from any of those comments – but the debit card and the hole in the wall may not be enough for larger amounts.

    To follow up the original post, I went back to the Post Office the next day, and sure enough they did have some higher denomination notes, but no €100 notes, and only 1000-worth of €50 notes, so I still had to accept €500 in €20 notes.

    Poor service.

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