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V1P3R
27th March 2008, 00:38
300 worldpoints for exchanging 300 at american express bureau de change heathrow T1, 3 or 4

the 300 worldpoints will take me to 500 to exchange for 750 bmi miles

does anyone know what the exchange rate is like for american dollars at the airport??

i am guessing it is cheaper to exchange outside of heathrow and probably closer to home

any advice much appreciated

Wishes
27th March 2008, 06:19
The airport exchange rates are invariably NOT good.
We're off to US on Monday & they are reckoning over $2 to 1 next week.
I always use Nationwide debit - best exchange rate possible & NO charges whatsoever. Nationwide credit card for shop purchases - again no fees/charges.

Don't know enough about worldpoints or Bmi miles to comment

I'd advise anyone that travels abroad to get a Nationwide account - it'll save you a packet & you need never worry about where to get best exchange rate again, wherever in the world you go. Never been let down yet by not finding a hole in the wall at the airport wherever we've flown. Just remember DON'T let the bank abroad do the currency conversion for you - they charge & Nationwide doesn't! Spanish banks are notorious for trying this one on but decline their conversion.

gobbyash
27th March 2008, 06:36
Hi Wishes

I'm looking to buy US$ in the next 6 weeks.

Who's they??

I use this link http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=GBP&to=USD&submit=Convert but know that it's not the tourist rates and that rates change from place to place

Cheers

gobby

chirpy007
27th March 2008, 07:06
Travelex are normally pretty good at the airport. I usually use HSBC or Marks and Spencer. If you live in London there is the Thomas exchange which has a really good rate which you only really benefit from by picking up in person.

Gizmos
27th March 2008, 08:54
get a better rate by "booking" it online and collecting from the airport - Travelex in Tesco v Travelex online and collect at airport was a marked difference

also a differnce if you go through the travelex-BA site rather than just Travelex - your BA miles cost you something .....

Raffles
27th March 2008, 10:47
Travelex are normally pretty good at the airport. I usually use HSBC or Marks and Spencer. If you live in London there is the Thomas exchange which has a really good rate which you only really benefit from by picking up in person.

No, Travelex is generally rubbish at the airport.

However, if you pre-book on the Travelex website for collection at the airport, you get a better rate.

Raffles
27th March 2008, 10:49
300 worldpoints for exchanging 300 at american express bureau de change heathrow T1, 3 or 4

the 300 worldpoints will take me to 500 to exchange for 750 bmi miles

does anyone know what the exchange rate is like for american dollars at the airport??

i am guessing it is cheaper to exchange outside of heathrow and probably closer to home

any advice much appreciated

If it gets you to 500 WorldPoints / 750 BMI then I'd change the minimum 300 at the Amex bureau and get the rest somewhere else.

However, you really don't need much cash in the US as everyone takes plastic. It is even usual to pay in Starbucks for a $3 coffee with plastic, something which still gets you funny looks in the UK.

V1P3R
29th March 2008, 13:55
thanks for the replies

however, i am taking my ba amex with me but was only going to use it in an emergency

can someone explain the benefits of the nationwide card
i have a nationwide savings account but no current account / debit card / or credit card. we are flying end of may so maybe i need a new card

Raffles
29th March 2008, 15:12
All credit cards secretly add a 2.75% charge to anything you buy outside the UK. You don't notice this because it is hidden in the exchange rate used for the conversion.

A 1,000 purchase therefore is 27.50 more expensive than it should be.

The Nationwide card, along with the Post Office one (quidco cashback on that!) and a couple of others do not charge this 2.75% so you can save quite a lot abroad. The only reason I don't have one is that I generally need my holiday spend to hit my BA Amex spending target.

There is a good article on MSE discussing the best card for overseas use.

chirpy007
29th March 2008, 15:32
No, Travelex is generally rubbish at the airport.

However, if you pre-book on the Travelex website for collection at the airport, you get a better rate.


Im so very sorry, thats what i meant to say

V1P3R
2nd April 2008, 13:34
All credit cards secretly add a 2.75% charge to anything you buy outside the UK. You don't notice this because it is hidden in the exchange rate used for the conversion.

A 1,000 purchase therefore is 27.50 more expensive than it should be.

The Nationwide card, along with the Post Office one (quidco cashback on that!) and a couple of others do not charge this 2.75% so you can save quite a lot abroad. The only reason I don't have one is that I generally need my holiday spend to hit my BA Amex spending target.

There is a good article on MSE discussing the best card for overseas use.

is it worth using credit cards abroad - what kind of exchange rates do the cards provide compared with exhanging your pounds before you go and using cash? i am tempted with the post office one because it gives 3 months interest free credit so can delay payment by three months aswell as saving on the 2.75% charge but usually use cash or travellers cheques

Raffles
2nd April 2008, 14:06
You will ALWAYS get a better deal over a bureau de change with a Nationwide or PO credit card.

You will USUALLY get a better deal with any other credit card. The credit card companies take the spot rate (ie the official exchange rate) and add 2.75%. If you look at most FX places, the difference between their 'buy' and 'sell' rates is usually 10% - so they are adding 5% either side, plus often charging a flat 3 fee or so on top.

For the same reason, getting cash from a cashpoint is usually cheaper than using an FX bureau, unless your bank adds a 'handling fee' on top of the 2.75%.

It is a long, long time since I got any money from a bureau de change. It is only worth it for me when travelling to places where you cannot be certain to find a cashpoint on every corner. If you use foreign cashpoints, you also take out money in smaller chunks so will lose less if robbed.

V1P3R
2nd April 2008, 14:16
thanks for the reply raffles.

looks like you've convinced me

one final question - are you charged for withdrawing cash from the cash machine abroad using the credit card? if so then i would be happy to take out the card pay the hotel bills and shopping bills with it and take some cash with us

OH withdrew 100 with his tesco credit card and he was charged for doing so and was non plussed. it was his fault he accidently used the wrong card and knew he would be charged.

chirpy007
2nd April 2008, 14:17
If the rate is very good before you go and then drops while your away (ie the dollar is very good at the moment so i have bought my dollars now) then a credit card isnt going to give you a better rate than if you bought before you left.
If you see what i mean :confused:;)

Basically l would rather get my dollars now at $1.96 than wait till go and it could have dropped to $1.70

Raffles
2nd April 2008, 14:19
one final question - are you charged for withdrawing cash from the cash machine abroad using the credit card? if so then i would be happy to take out the card pay the hotel bills and shopping bills with it and take some cash with us


Yes - on a credit card. You will pay interest on each withdrawal EVEN IF YOU SETTLE YOU BILL AT THE END OF THE MONTH plus any additional charges your card company adds.

No - on a cashcard, unless your bank is one of the few that rips you off with a handling charge.

moneysavingexpert has good articles on this topic.

V1P3R
2nd April 2008, 14:24
thanks ;)

far canel
3rd April 2008, 01:22
In Early Feb I Withdrew $200 dollars from a vegas casino cashpoint using my Nationwide debit card and the total on my statement after conversion was 102