This article was supplied  by our forex guest blogger – James White, an English citizen who moved abroad to France to live the rest of his days out in the sun. James managed to saved £3000 when converting his life savings with the help of, the experts in foreign exchange.


Whether you’re travelling abroad, emigrating, buying property or goods or paying for a service provided by an overseas company it’s always going to be in your best interests to avoid fees and charges. If currency traders can make fortunes investing in the exchange rate differences between different currencies there must be a simple way to get euro, dollars, yuan or any other currencies without it costing you more than it should.


When you’re travelling abroad on vacation the easiest thing to do is change your sterling for your destination currency at the airport. The charges from the bureau de change are only a penny or two on the pound so it doesn’t make much difference, right? But then you have to change your left over foreign currency back again when you get home and you find that you’ve lost anything up to ten per cent of your money without having spent it. Annoying when it’s a couple of hundred pounds, that’s going to really eat into your margins if you’re doing business abroad, so how do you get a fair deal?


The Last Resort When Going To Your Holiday Resort


First of all Bureau de Change should only be your last resort for changing money. They provide a handy service in emergencies but they’re a business after all and they have their shareholders to think of. Rather than giving your money to them plan ahead. Your high street bank is going to offer market rates for currency exchanges and while they still usually have fees they’re going to be lower than the airport so shop around. You should bear in mind that they might have thousands of dollars and euro in branch, but if you’re going somewhere off the beaten track they may only have a limited amount of cash to hand so you might have to wait while they send money from another depository.


If you’re buying a property that you’ll be staying in regularly or leaving these shores for sunnier climes for good and need to transfer pensions, investment dividends and other income picking up cash at the bank isn’t the solution.


Accounting To Taste


If you’re moving abroad you will want to open an account in your new home. You can administer your current and savings accounts online, transferring funds yourself. In fact many banks even have a special expat product designed to take advantage of competitive interest rates and taxes (however, you should be aware of tax liabilities in any country in which you hold an account).


When you’re doing business with overseas entities they will usually like to receive their money in their local currency. If they’ve invoiced you for something they don’t want the trouble and taxes along with fees of changing your payment into their money. When you’re paying for things from abroad, if you don’t make all necessary arrangements before hand, you could end up paying double tax, once in each location. There are often tax treaties in place to help people do business internationally but assume nothing. Check with your bank too. They will be happy to act as a middle man for your international business, however, while you’re avoiding unnecessary taxes they will also charge you a fee for their time and trouble.


If you’re intending to do business with a company or a number of companies in one particular country it may make sense to come to an agreement with your bank. They may charge an upfront fee but from then on trading with your partners will be significantly easier and cheaper.


Do Your Own Dealing


Look for your own deals and services online. Millions of pounds worth of currencies are being traded online all day every day and there are services designed specifically to carry out this trade. Many of them were originally set up for international currency traders dealing in huge volumes of money, however, as dealing with money over the internet increasingly became a household chore they are now equally open to the person on the street who wants to take advantage of international arbitrage or just avoid unnecessary fees and charges on their money. No matter if you’re a trader looking for the best investment strategies, a small business looking to cut overheads or a vacationer looking for the best deal on your  holiday money, exchanging funds online could well your best strategy for saving money.


  • Shop around, airport Bureau de Change offer the worst deals on your money.
  • Banks and the Post Office offer better rates but may still charge a fee and don’t necessarily have the currency you need right away.
  • If you’re moving abroad, open an account in your new home country.
  • Learn about tax treaties and avoid being double taxed.
  • Find a currency exchange service online who will give you the full exchange rate with minimal fees.
Categories: Currencies

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