Back in 2012, I made an exchange rate comparison between the “cards in my wallet” and cash. The actual findings from the exchange rate comparison is available to read here. During the most recent trip to Italy, I undertook the same investigation. The transactions are now showing on their relevant bank statements. As a result, I am able to advise who was the leader of the pack in terms of exchange rates.
In fourth place, and after a good search of the internet for the best exchange rate, we have CASH! The best cash rate I could find on-line for Euro on Friday 09th May 2014 was 1.192. This was a pre-order rate at Travelex. On this basis, 250 Euro would cost you £209.73
In third place, I have the Caxton Prepaid Mastercard. The Caxton website was offering an exchange rate of 1.195, so on this basis, 250 euro would cost £209.20.
In second place, I have the Norwich and Peterborough fee free debit card. My transaction of 50 euro was debited to my sterling account with a cost of £41.05, giving an exchange rate of 1.2179. On this basis, 250 euro would cost you £205.27
Exchange rate comparison – the winner
Top performer was the Halifax Clarity. My transaction of 57.50 euro came through at a sterling value of £46.71 with an exchange rate of 1.2309. I thought this was a mistake, but the figures are correct. 250 euro at this exchange rate would cost you £203.10
The potential gain on a hypothetical purchase of 1000 euro would be in the range of £25 sterling. Both the card transactions were made within moments of each other on Friday 9th May 2014. The Caxton and Travelex rates were checked at the same time. The BBC business section was showing a mid rate of 1.2237. You can check the exchange rates at Visa and Mastercard. Click here for Visa rates. Click here for the Mastercard rates.
Most banks and building societies offer a debit or credit card which will attract the rates offered by Visa and Mastercard. However, unless your card is fee free, such as Clarity, N&P and a few others, a foreign transaction fee will be applied to your account. This is not the best practice!