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Blog Tips Cheaper holiday money + £10 FREE

Cheaper holiday money + £10 FREE

by Chris | Money Saving, Tips

I hate admin, and sorting out holiday money is ADMIN. Until now I’ve been a total numpty, using my debit card as normal when I go abroad. The team are laughing at me and telling me to get a card for my holiday this summer. Why? I ask.

Every time I used my debit card when I was last abroad I was charged 2.75% as a “conversion fee”. When I used it to withdraw cash I was charged 2%. That adds up, especially if you’re as bad at holiday budgeting as I am.

One alternative is to get a wad of cash out from a bureau de change, bank, or the post office. Problem here is that the fees range between 2.14% and 14.3% depending on where you go (have a guess where you get charged 14.3%…) and, whilst it’s delightfully gangsta walking around with a pile of paper in your pocket, a tearful phone call to Mum when it gets pinched or lost in an unplanned swim, is much less so. Also, you have to be good at budgeting or guessing what you might spend, which I am not.

is great because it has the lowest conversion fees: 2% if you want the money now, 1.3% in three days, and only 1% if you can wait a week. It’s also great because you can pay for stuff with a card as you would at home, without squirrelling cash around. If you do want cash, you can use it to withdraw it from an ATM, but they do charge £1.50 if it’s less than £200/$200/€200. That’s fair enough because they get charged for each withdrawal, and if everyone used it to take out tiny amounts it would soon bankrupt them.

The card is free, and comes within a few days of signing up, which only takes a few minutes. Loading cash requires your existing debit card (Visa/Mastercard), or a bank transfer, or Apple/Android Pay and Android Pay, and it takes even less time than setting a reminder to get some holiday cash. And then you just keep it in your wallet. If you forget to load it up or wake up in a strange country, just find some internet and do it then.

How does it work? Technically, when you’re exchanging currency on WeSwap, you are swapping your GBP with someone who has the currency you want, and wants GBP. There’s enough people across the world swapping to make this work at scale. Swaps don’t attract the fees that “exchanging” does so they can afford to charge the lower fees. Make sense?

Finally, as you might expect from stuff you find here, there’s also freebies to be had. When you load your first £50 you’ll get £10 added for FREE. Plus, and admittedly less exciting, you’ll get £10 PMP Bonus added.

Well… I’m convinced at least. Let us know if you’re going away this summer and end up getting a WeSwap card.