Foreign currency & currency exchange explained

What is an exchange rate?

An exchange rate tells you how much one currency is worth in a different currency. The rule is that the higher the exchange rate, the better the returns you receive. The currency exchange rates are changing throughout the day and are always subject to change.

Exchange rates are influenced by:

  • Currency exchange markets

  • Traders who are selling and buying of currencies

  • Interest rates

  • The country’s economic outlook

  • Central bank decisions

Compare travel money

When it comes to travelling overseas there are a lot of things one would need to keep track of. One of the things is keeping enough money to pay for taxis, food, or emergency. How much currency one would need depends on many factors, e.g. the destination, number of days, and number of family or friends travelling with you. It is always best to keep some cash currency in your pocket for unforeseen circumstances.

There are a number of ways you can buy foreign currencies, for example from a local money exchange outlet, from foreign exchange stores at the airports (these tend to be more expensive), or online. In most circumstances, it is always best to check rates with your local foreign exchange companies. You should compare when buying foreign currency.


  • Commission charges – You pay for the service and administration, but this is often included in the currency exchange rate.

  • Conversion charges – When you opt to pay in GBP overseas, you will often be charged a higher exchange rate.

  • Delivery charges – This is when you order travel money online, whether for home delivery or collection at a nearby branch. Always adopt a cautious approach when buying currency online and always buy from a reputable company.

Debit or Credit cards on travel?

You might be able to use your debit or credit card to pay for goods and services while traveling, however, your bank is likely to charge you commissions or fees for withdrawing the money when abroad. Additionally, there might be charges to use an ATM overseas. It is best to chek with your bank and ask whether you would be able to withdraw money overseas, charges, and other related information.