I was so focused on talking about foreign exchange services which are applicable to very particular parts of the population, that I almost forgot to speak about its ugly cousin, the travel money thing. Credit card to cold hard spending cash for holiday. Do you think you get a good deal there? Do you know what you usually pay? What is the typical amount your trade? Please do let me know and I'll continue this on my next post.
Archive for July, 2015
So, on my previous post, I told you about my meeting at the bank, with exact terms/ costs on Foreign Exchange transfers offered to me at the bank.
Now, I want to compare it to one company I work with (also affiliated with, but the stats are completely true).
That company is Currencies Direct. It's a UK-based company and one of the largest currency brokers in existence. Like the majority of Foreign Exchange companies, their focus is on high volume transfers, usually conduct by telephone, but on the other hand offer a platform for any transfer above 100 Pounds.
It's FCA-regulated, with 18 offices worldwide, been in the business for almost 20 years now, won several awards etc. - very trustworthy and I feel very keen on recommending them (note: I have commercial interest; What I do for business is delivering clients to these sort of companies).
Note: They accept international clients; Mostly focused on UK, US, EU, Scandinavia and Australia. It's easier to sign up a UK-based individual or business than with other locations due to anti money-laundering which requires such companies to receive much documentation about their clients.
With Currencies Direct, you will get a better exchange rate than the bank. The exact margins that will be taken will depend on the volume of your trade, the currency pair and its liquidity (exotic currencies will induce high spreads), and the type of services you will need. If you need a straight-up FX transfer on the spot, and willing to haggle, you could probably get to very low exchange rates; if you need services from them (like following the rates and notifying you on the right moment to make the transfer - which is very much recommended in these times of volatility) - you might settle for the initial exchange rate offered to you.
If you compare it to the terms I have previous mentioned and taken from my bank (the actual number don't apply anymore since with the recent Greek crisis, the EURUSD has dropped significantly), you see the following:
Fees: My bank - $25, CD - $0
Commission: My bank - 0.2% (after the initial number was twice that much and I haggled for a while)
Spreads: My bank - 1.58%, CD - ~1%, but could be much lower depending on volumes.
Service: Bank - nothing, CD - dedicated dealer following your requirements and finding the right time to transfer, plus hedging tools (they can secure current rate to make sure you will not be harmed by exchange rate fluctations.
Translation in hard cash:
- Save >25$ on your small $100 transfer (as no fees are incurred).
- Save about half on the costs of a medium $x,xxx transfer (about 1% of that amount).
- Save potentially as much as 1.5% on large $xx,xxx+ transfers. That can translate to thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars (if your a business transferring a lot of currency regularly).
You can find our complete list of recommended currency brokers on the homepage of
You can view the guide here:International Currency Transfers Guide