Plan ahead for better foreign exchange

Foreign exchange rates at airports have been hitting the headlines in the last few days with sky high rates being revealed around the country. The forex markets have been having a difficult time of late and this has been reflected in some of the rates making the news with the pound completing a difficult week, falling to its lowest level for eight months – to €1.11. With just €0.88 to £1.00 being offered in Cardiff airport, the story has focused attention on the importance of forward planning to maximise your holiday money.

We’re big advocates of tracking exchange rates and exchanging your currency ahead of holidays and international travels so you have a choice of where you use and when, but not everyone has the time or patience to keep an eye on rates. We try to make it simple with an online calculator to offer a guide to our own rates before you visit a Fourex kiosk, but those who have visited it online might have noticed that we often have two different exchange rates, one for notes and one for coins.

As one of the few companies in the UK that allows you to exchange both coins and notes in the same transaction, we wanted to explain why we have these different exchange rates and delve into a bit more the process of coin exchange.

If you take $50 in notes and place that pile next to $50 in $1 coins, the first thing you may notice is the space the coins take up, the $50 notes can easily be folded up in your pocket, whereas the coins would probably not only not fit, but also weigh you down severely. No running for a bus with that in your pocket! The comparative space and weight to value ratio are one of the main reasons many companies won’t exchange coinage. The volume and weight of coins need to be taken into consideration and impact the costs when processing, storing and transporting, as will the fact they can only be exchanged by the Central Bank in their country of origin. So, as you can see, exchanging coins commercially isn’t for the faint-hearted!

But the major factor in setting Fourex rates for coins reflects the fact that we have to take a view on what we think the exchange rate will be in the future when we have a suitable quantity to export back to their country of origin. Despite all this, we don’t charge commission, so what you see is what you get. Our rates for notes are comparable with other bureaus de change but with the added convenience that you don’t have to order in advance for Pounds, Euros or Dollars and your coins can go into the same transaction to really make the most of your money. So dig out that leftover money from last year’s sun or snow and make sure you’re planning ahead to make the most of your money.