What Is Currency Buy Back & How to Get the Best Rates

Learn what to do with your leftover currency and how selling travel money online or at a currency service works.

Updated: June 5, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

CompareBanks is reader-supported. When you click through some links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Generally speaking, it's never exactly common to use every last penny of your foreign currency when you've been out of the country on a trip abroad — whether it's for a holiday or a short business trip — and as soon as you get back home, most foreign currency notes will just get dumped in a drawer or maybe even tucked away and forgotten about in a travel wallet rather than being in your bank account.

In reality, though, this is obviously not the most efficient way to handle the situation, so a far more valuable option worth exploring is currency buy back.

So, throughout this article, we'll be taking a closer look at what exactly currency buy back is — covering things like how it works and finishing off with a few tips on how you can search for the best rates in the UK.

Understanding Currency Buy Back

Let's kick things off by providing a bit of background information into what currency buy back actually is.

What Is Currency Buy Back?

Put simply, currency buy back is basically when you sell any of your unused foreign currency from a holiday back to a provider — usually somewhere like a travel money bureau or even an online platform that specialises in travel money services.

Naturally, this service can be particularly useful for anyone who needs to convert their leftover holiday money back into their home currency so it's not being wasted.

The Problem of Leftover Currency

As mentioned, it's not uncommon to return home with spare cash in the form of foreign currency banknotes — usually in denominations like euros, US dollars, or Australian dollars.

It might seem pretty insignificant, but they can add up to a considerable amount over time, so currency buy back services essentially try to solve the problem and help you liquidate these unused funds.

How Does Currency Buy Back Work?

Moving forward, here's the fairly streamlined process for how you can sell currency that you've got left over.

Choosing a Currency Buyback Provider

There are actually a few different options when it comes to currency buy back, but in general, most travellers opt for a specialised travel money bureaux.

Still, some banks or online travel money providers will also allow currency banks, so you've got a choice here. Each of the choices comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, though, so it's worth looking into if you're on a budget.

Tips for Getting the Best Rates

To round the article off, let's explore some of the best ways to get the most out of your leftover travel money.

Monitor the Exchange Rate

Naturally, exchange rates tend to fluctuate pretty frequently, so you'll definitely want to keep an eye on them if you're planning on selling any currency in the near future.

Fortunately, though, some online travel money providers might offer alerts for specific rates, so if you've got a certain level in mind where you'd be comfortable exchanging the money, you can receive a notification telling you that the price has been reached.

Check for Additional Fees

Before you finalise any kind of currency buyback transaction — whether it's from a bank or travel bureau — you definitely need to check if there are any additional fees or commissions that the provider may sneakily charge.

Some providers you go to will offer fee-free services, but a lot of them have hidden costs that can have a pretty big impact on the overall value of your transaction.

Research Multiple Providers

Don't settle for the first currency buyback provider you come across. Take the time to research and compare rates from different sources. Online travel money platforms often provide a transparent overview of their rates, making it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Related Guides:


Is It Possible to Negotiate Exchange Rates With Currency Buyback Providers?

What Should I Do If I Have a Mix of Different Foreign Currencies to Sell?

Are There Any Tax Implications or Reporting Requirements for Currency Buy Back?

Can I Use Currency Buy Back Services for Business-Related Foreign Currency?

What Happens If I Change My Mind After Initiating a Currency Buy Back Transaction?

Related Articles

Best Currency Exchange Rates & Services to Purchase Foreign Currency
Are you travelling abroad? Do you need to exchange your British pounds for another...
How to Transfer Money from India to UK
Get verified in as little as two or three minutes… Sending money from India...