If you need to exchange currency in your hand for an upcoming holiday or trip abroad, it pays to shop around and have your currency exchange calculator to hand.

The worst place to buy currency is at the airport because you are a captive audience so firms get away with charging sky-high rates, with last-minute currency exchanges making you vulnerable to getting less for your money.

The best deals are often found online or on the high street, while banks often score poorly in this respect because of their high charges. Keeping your currency calculator close by is likely to help you find the best deals and not worry about the exchange rate you’re receiving when you head abroad!

Speaking of fees, don’t be fooled by firms that boast about 0% fees or commission because the exchange rate is as important, if not more important, especially on larger purchases. Always ask how much currency will you get with your pounds after all charges to find out the best deal.

Exchange Rate Calculator

In order to find the best deal on your conversion, use an exchange rate calculator that can tally-up how much of your new currency you’ll receive in return to your Pounds.

With rates varying and fluctuating in like with the foreign exchange market, you may find that the exchange rate that you’re getting changes by the hour. Political and economical events have an influence on the rate you’re offered, although there are a handful of different factors that will impact the rate you receive.

Whilst there’s no concrete way to find out when the best time is to convert your money, keeping an eye on a exchange calculator can help you to spot trends and patterns to predict the future of the conversion rates.

Buying vs. Selling Exchange Rates

The exchange rate on offer at a currency conversion office is often displayed in two formats – buying and selling.

The ‘buy rate’ is the rate in which a bank or provider will purchase your old currency back at, and convert it into your native currency. For example, people in Britain may want to convert their USD into GBP once they return from their holiday in America.

The ‘sell rate’ is the rate in which you purchase foreign currency in exchange for your native. For example, if you’re going on holiday to Australia, you’d use the sell rate to convert your Pounds into AUD.

Risks of Currency Exchange

Before moving money overseas or buying foreign currency, do a check on the company you plan to use because the industry is not always properly regulated and there is no statutory compensation scheme in place that guarantees your cash if something goes wrong. An exchange rate calculator is an important tool that could save you money and a lot of hassle.

This message is particularly pertinent following the collapse of Crown Currency Exchange in late 2010, which left 13,000 customers with combined losses of £20 million. A currency calculator will save you going through a similar ordeal.

So, if the company is holding any of your cash (not a concern if you instantly receive overseas currency on payment of your pounds) some of the issues to check are:

  • Is it regulated by the Financial Services Authority? Some firms are only registered, not regulated, which offers little protection. Firms regulated for currency purposes must keep clients’ cash in a separate account to its business funds to protect the money were the company to go bust.
  • How long has it been in business?
  • Does it have audited accounts at Companies House?


Make sure you bookmark our currency calculator to protect yourself and get the best exchange rates for your GBP.

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