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Why you should think about buying your holiday euros today - This is Money

British holidaymakers heading to Europe this summer should consider snapping up their currency now after the pound rocketed to a 19-month long high against the euro.

Each £1 was worth €1.21 yesterday — that’s 7 per cent more than the same point in April 2011. It means that in theory £500 could buy you €605 — compared to €560 last year.
However, you are likely to receive less than this if you buy your currency in bureau de changes and online currency exchange websites.

For example, if you exchanged £500 at currency exchange firm Travelex this week, you would have received €595 at a rate of €1.19 for £1. That is still £50 more than you would have got at the same time last year, when the rate was €1.09 for £1. 

The single currency has weakened as a result of financial problems in the eurozone while the pound strengthening has been aided by better sales on the UK High Street.

Currency exchange firms say they are already experiencing a rush of customers seeking to lock in the bargain rates before their summer breaks. 

‘This is great news for Brits heading to the eurozone as they’ll get an extra 7 per cent compared to the same time last year,’ says Travelex spokesman David Swann. ‘With the Easter peak over, now is a great time for Brits to grab a bargain in Europe.’

If you’re heading overseas in the next few weeks you can also consider buying a euro prepaid currency card, which will allow you to lock in a currency rate when you load it.

However, check the small print for hidden charges before you buy — some cards will hit you with fees of up to £10 to cash them in on your return. And avoid cards that charge you for setting them up, making purchases, loading and withdrawing cash. 

And remember to load the card with the correct currency, as you can also end up with extra charges for using it outside of the currency it was designed for.

Thursday, 19th April 2012

Tags:   euros  /  holiday  /  cash  /  money exchange  /  travel
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