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Why buying foreign currency online could save you money

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
If you're heading on your summer holiday, you may be better off ordering your foreign currency online as you could be short-changed if you exchange in-store.

Holidaymakers are being urged to order and buy their foreign currency online as new research shows advertised internet rates are not always offered in-store.

Savvy holidaymakers who check currency exchange rates online before hitting the high street may be left confused after research carried out by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of M&S Bank revealed that of the 12 foreign currency providers, only two offered customers the exact same rate in-store as advertised on the internet.

It also found that Debenhams appeared to advertise a different rate online to in-store, even though it doesn’t offer the ability to buy currency online.

The following providers do not offer the same exchange rate in-store as online: Asda, Cheque Centre, Debenhams, Eurochange, Post Office, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Travelex.

Only customers of John Lewis and M&S receive the same exchange rate no matter what channel they choose to purchase their holiday money.

Andrew Hagger of independent research site MoneyComms, said it would be a positive move for the consumer if more providers were to adopt this level of transparency.

“The summer holiday season is now in full swing and people will be busy sorting their holiday finances, including their foreign currency needs.

“Holidaymakers will be dismayed when they arrive in-store to find out the rate isn’t what they expected and this dismay will soon turn to anger when they realise that they will have to shell out more than they thought for their currency.”

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