Today’s guest blog is courtesy of David Abrahams, founder of Mytravelmoney.co.uk. His tips might be useful for you:
I’m very grateful to the Five Star Greece team for inviting me to post on a topic that has become somewhat of an obsession. Around four years ago, I was holidaying around Europe & got totally ripped off on my travel money. We’re talking horrific exchange rate galore & overcomplicated card charges. So, armed with an international management degree and vision to clean up foreign currency, I launched MyTravelMoney.co.uk.
In today’s post, I’ll aim to provide 4 key ways to maximize the value of your holiday cash. With a few simple steps, you’ll get the best euro exchange rates on your next trip to Greece.
0% commission is a marketing gimmick
First and foremost, we should all ignore those signs that proudly proclaim ‘‘we offer 0% commission.’’ Treat this as a marketing gimmick and study closely the exchange rate alone. What distinguishes between a good or bad holiday money deal is how much of a markup is added to the ‘‘real exchange rate.’’
Buying currency online works out overall cheapest
Each week, our roving web editor Sofia does a mystery shop. We compare the travel money exchange rates offered by the banks, high street & online suppliers. Our findings have been truly startling. On average, it’s nearly 10% more expensive to buy foreign currency at the airport versus online. In real money terms, this means you could be losing £250 on every £2500 exchanged. Poor.
On a brighter note, buying currency online can be extremely convenient. The process is simple – book online and foreign currency is delivered to your front door the next morning.
Beware of dynamic currency conversion
Dynamic currency conversion is a sneaky ploy that is adopted by many retailers & restaurant owners on the continent. If you are asked to ‘pay in euros’ or your ‘home currency, e.g. pounds’ always opt to pay in euros. Otherwise, the retailer will apply his own markup, leaving you out of pocket by up to 4%.
Haggle at the currency counter
As we’ve covered, the world’s worst place to exchange foreign currency is airport bureaus. Airport rent is extortionate, and unfortunately, these costs are passed on to the captive customer via poor rates of exchange. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you do leave it to the last minute, don’t be afraid to do a bit of good old-fashioned haggling. As a test, we tried this a fortnight ago and were shocked to find out the lengths currency cashiers would go to win your business. Don’t settle for the first deal you stumble across.
Have a fantastic holiday & thank you to the Five Star Greece team. Keep delighting your customers with the best in class Greek villas!