Best Currency Exchange Rates & Services to Purchase Foreign Currency

Discover the best currency exchange rates and services to exchange British pounds for foreign currencies.

Updated: December 30, 2023
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Ian Lewis

Edited By

Ian Lewis

 

Are you travelling abroad? Do you need to exchange your British pounds for another currency? Before converting money, knowing the best currency exchange rates is key. These rates can help you maximise the travel money you receive for your pounds.

It's well worth looking into the best currency exchange rates. However, knowing the ideal options can take time. Today's article will focus on these rates. Keep reading this article to learn about currency exchange rates and some information on the latest currency news.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Tesco Bank★★★★★Click Here
2. Post Office★★★★★Click Here
3. Travelex★★★★★Click Here
4. Sainsbury's Bank★★★★Click Here
5. Holiday Money Exchange★★★★Click Here
6. ACE-FX★★★★★Click Here
7. Thomas Exchange Global★★★★★Click Here

What Are Currency Exchange Rates?

The currency exchange rate describes the cost of one currency in relation to the currency of another country.

It can be thought of as the amount of currency you can buy using another currency. For instance, if the exchange rate is 1.2, and you exchange pounds for United States dollars, you will receive $1.20 for each pound. 

Regarding the latest currency news, the rate at which you can convert Pounds to United States Dollars is 1.26, and the rate for Euros is 1.15.

Currency Exchange Rates and Services Pros and Cons

A couple of advantageous factors and drawbacks apply to currency exchange rate services.

Here are the main factors to bear in mind.

Pros

✔️ Cheaper than making card payments — You'll find that using currency exchange services and exchanging pounds is cheaper than making card payments abroad. It helps you make savings.

✔️ Lock-in rates — You can lock in the exchange rates with some services. This means you'll receive the rate you viewed online after selecting a currency pair when you collect and buy foreign currency.

Cons

❌️ Exchange rate movements — Movements in exchange rates mean the value at which you swap pounds for foreign currency can increase or decrease in line with financial markets. It's therefore essential to look carefully at the service's rates and use a currency converter. If you don't lock in the rate or the service doesn't offer this option, you may miss out on more favourable rates.

❌️ Transaction fees — You'll need to pay transaction fees in many cases. Foreign currency services impose these fees and can be a percentage of the transaction amount. In other cases, this fee can be a flat fee.

Best Currency Exchange Rates — Reviews

Now that we've considered these rates' pros and cons, let's focus on your best options.

Here are the best currency exchange rates and service reviews from our first-hand experience with these providers.

1. Tesco Bank Travel Money

When we used Tesco Bank Travel Money, we found that this provider offers two main services. We could click and collect our foreign currency and use the home delivery feature.

When we used the click-and-collect feature, we had the choice of 500 stores and did not need to pay to collect the foreign currency.

When we selected home delivery, we received free delivery after placing an order worth £500. Many foreign currencies are available, including the New Zealand dollar, the United States dollar and the Canadian dollar.

We could exchange £500 for 621.15 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2423. We also found that we could exchange £500 for 995.45 New Zealand dollars at the rate of 1.9909 and £500 for 831.75 Canadian dollars at the rate of 1.6635.

We found that it's also possible to complete the transaction in stores across the United Kingdom, and part of the service is the buyback option. You can enter the travel money bureaus' store and sell back your banknotes to receive the equivalent in British pounds. 

2. Post Office

We used the Post Office foreign currency exchange and found that they do not charge a commission when you exchange British pounds for foreign currency. Sixty currencies are available in cash, but the Post Office offers a travel money card, which you can top up with 22 currencies.

We exchanged £500 for 620 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2353. We discovered that it was possible to exchange £500 for 1,000 New Zealand dollars at the rate of 1.9847 and £500 for 840 Canadian dollars.

We encountered no problems when searching for a local Post Office branch. We could find a branch close to our location by entering our postcode.

We also found that buying more foreign currency gave us better rates when using this service. For example, we could exchange £1,000 for 1,250 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2466 with the Post Office before travelling abroad.

3. Travelex

We explored and used Travelex's services, including the option to buy currency. We found that we could exchange £1,000 for 1243.6 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2436 and learned that it's possible to exchange £1,000 for 1,991 New Zealand dollars at the rate of 1.991.

Travelex provides a currency exchange rate table displaying various currencies' sell rates. For instance, the exchange rate for Australian dollars was 1.8606.

We noticed that Travelex Provides free delivery for orders worth more than £600 if you choose to receive your foreign currency at home. 

The process was fast and efficient. We selected our currency, chose to receive the currency at home and used a credit card to pay for the transaction. When we looked into Travelex's services, we found that there are 50 stores in which we could collect our money if we chose to order online and collect in store.

4. Sainsbury's Bank Travel Money

When we used Sainsbury's Bank Travel Money, we found two options for receiving foreign currency. We chose to receive our currency in cash, but using a travel money card is also possible.

After completing the transaction online, we could exchange £1,000 for 1,240.40 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2404 after completing the transaction online.

We received our travel money the next working day after ordering before 2 pm, but we found that if you order after 2 pm between Monday and Wednesday, you will receive it the second working day.

We found that many other currencies were available. When we checked the rates for New Zealand dollars and Canadian dollars, we discovered that we could exchange £1,000 for 1,975.50 NZD and £1,000 for 1,644.30 CAD at the rates of 1.9755 and 1.6443, respectively.

We found that a maximum exchange value of £4,500 applies if you collect your money in the bureau. Alternatively, if you order online for home delivery, the maximum value is £2,500.

5. Holiday Money Exchange

We discovered that you can buy and sell back currency with the Holiday Money Exchange. There are three options to receive your travel money. You can click and collect, opt for home delivery or have the money delivered to your workplace.

When we used the home delivery service and ordered before 11 am, we were able to receive the money the next working day.

We placed an order of more than £500 and received our money without paying delivery costs. We also looked into the click-and-collect service and found that it's possible to reserve the rate and collect the travel money from their London branch.

Holiday Money Exchange displays their rates on a currency exchange rates table. We were able to place an order to exchange £1,000 for 1,240 United States dollars at the rate of 1.2400.

When we looked at the rates for Canadian dollars, we found that we could exchange £1,000 for 1,663.50 at the rate of 1.6635. We also found that we could exchange £1,000 for 1,950.90 New Zealand dollars at the rate of 1.9509.

We learned that it's possible to sell back foreign currency with this service, and we sold back 50 United States dollars for £38 at the rate of 1.3158.

6. ACE-FX

We used ACE-FX and found that this service did not charge a commission when exchanging pounds for other currencies. There were also no hidden fees.

ACE-FX allows you to click and collect or place home delivery orders to locations across the United Kingdom. When we placed an order of more than £750, we received our travel money without home delivery costs.

We could exchange £1,000 for 1,243.00 United States dollars at an exchange rate of 1.243. We looked at this service's other rates and found that it would be possible to exchange £1,000 for 1,674 Canadian dollars and £1,000 for 1,999 New Zealand dollars at rates of 1.674 and 1.999, respectively.

We found that ACE-FX also allows you to sell currency back to them. They accept 48 currencies and offer competitive rates. You can sell back your foreign currency by Royal Mail special delivery and receive payment the next day in your bank account.

7. Thomas Exchange Global

When we used Thomas Exchange Global, we found that we could receive our travel money in two ways. Although we selected the home delivery option, we could click and collect by using the store locator and visiting our closest bureau.

Our order of more than £800 was delivered for free and arrived the following day when we ordered United States dollars.

We exchanged £1,000 for 1,247.30 United States dollars at a rate of 1.2473. We looked at a couple of other rates and found that we could exchange £1,000 for 1,982 New Zealand dollars at a rate of 1.982.

When we looked at Thomas Exchange Global's maximum and minimum amounts, we found that the maximum order is £3,000 for click-and-collect exchanges. The minimum amount is £100.

When we made our order for home delivery, we found that the maximum exchange possible was £2,500.

Best Currency Exchange Rates: The Verdict

Converting Pounds to other currencies can be easier than you think.

You'll need to consider the best rates to make the most of your money. With our list of rates, you'll easily be able to make your money stretch further.

A few of the best exchange rates are offered by Thomas Exchange Global and Travelex, but ensure you look at the live rates to stay up to date. Don't forget to compare several providers before you settle on a provider. Swap pounds for other currencies using the best rate.

Related Guides:

Best Currency Exchange Rates and Services to Purchase Foreign Currency: FAQs

Does the Post Office Have Good Exchange Rates?

How Is the Exchange Rate for Pounds Determined?

Which Factors Affect the Exchange Rate?

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