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Are Brits falling victim to poor exchange rate deals in UK airports?


The exchange rate is good for British travelers at the moment, but many people are forfeiting the positive benefits of a strong pound by exchanging their holiday cash at UK airports.

Recent  research by Post Office Travel Money has found that almost 1.63 million people waste more than £21 million a year, equating to around £13 per person, just by purchasing foreign money at the last minute. This is despite widespread warnings in the press about poor rates and high commission charges associated with foreign exchange bureau’s at airports.

Around  two thirds of people that exchange money at airports are travelling within the Eurozone, which, according to the research, means that more than one million people (1,073,807) lose an average of £12.56 each, amounting to £13.49 million,  from their holiday budgets.

Holidaymakers travelling to the United States are losing out on the exchange rate by purchasing US Dollars at currency kiosks at the airport. its noted that 6% of those buying holiday money before boarding are those ravelling to the USA, and onaverage are  wasting £11.6 million annually, based on the difference of almost £12 when compared to the exchange rates offered on the high street.The cost to the individual is even higher for travellers who are exchanging money into Australian or Canadian dollars at the airport and wasting on average £18.64 and £18.43 respectively. Recent recearch found that other currencies that were alos looked at as part of the survey revealed the following wastage per transaction: New Zealand dollar £12.06; South African Rand £10.12; Swiss Franc £12.96; Thai Bath £11.87; Turkish Lira £12.21 and UAE Dirham £16.71.

The worst offendering airports when it came to charging high exchange rates identified were, Bristol Airport, offering holidaymakers the worst rates for seven of the ten currencies surveyed, closely followed by Newcastle and Birmingham.

Sharron Torr  Private Client executive at Russell scanlan adviised that rates at airport currency desks are “notoriously  poor” however if you want to still buy currency before boarding your flight and still want a better rate, you can order online in advance and collect at the airport. However the only drawback to ordering online is that the currency is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if a supplier fails”.

So if youre travelling abroad this summer it pays to shop around so avoid leaving your currency exchange until the last minute to get the best possible rates!

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