Compare Exchange Rates, Travel Insurance and Currency Cards

Compare Currency Exchange Rates vs Exchange Rate Comparison 0

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I was asked today by some students what the difference was between Comparing Exchange Rates and Exchange Rate comparison. These guys are studying marketing and we advertise on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines using both these headlines.

The difference in my mind is that the first [comparing exchange rates] refers to comparing many different currencies. Any adverts we run relating to this emphasis breadth of the service we offer fro the most common currencies such as Euro and US Dollar to the more obscure African, South American and Asian currencies that less suppliers stock.

The latter phrase [exchange rate comparison] we use to emphasis the depth of our comparisons and the number of suppliers we attempt to feature for any specific currency. Right now for the Euro and US Dollar we have 30 providers from online specialists to Supermarkets, travel agents and high street banks.

The perfect solution that we are looking for is to have every supplier available for every currency but that simply isn’t going to happen because a great many suppliers only stock the most common currencies and not every currency is allowed to be traded in this way. There is another problem we have to deal with as well. We can only compare the rates from companies that want to be shown on our tables. There are a lot of big names in the high street that do want to have a direct and simple one to one comparison done as they will not come out looking so good when you show them directly against their competitors.

So what we are left with is the best possible solution given the number of suppliers we are allowed to compare and the connencies you are allowed to buy. Our job then is to present that information in the easiest form that we can for you to make your choices.

You may well have noticed our new look. Our previous site was four years old and it was time for a bit of a revamp. We would love to hear what you think of it and if there is anything else we can do to help you get the best deal on your travel money.

 

Russian Roubles Rates and News 0

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The Russian Rouble has been falling madly for the past month. This is even with the Russian government trying to shore up the rate on the currency markets and this week increasing interest rates dramatically. Last week (9th Dec 2014) the BBC reported how the Kremlin was buying up Roubles to try and stablise the price and you can see te plateau on the chart below where they were doign this. (see the BBC for more on this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30391881)

Chart showing the Russian Rouble exchange rate over the past 90 days.

The past 90 days Russina Rouble history

Since the beginning of this week the Kremlin has increased interest rates to a staggering 17% (source. The BBC) and whether this will have any effect is debatable and in my opinion won’t. As soon as the markets take fright then there is little that will stop them jumping ship and heading to safer currencies.

It is predicted that the Russian economy is going to shrink by about 0.7% next year so they are not just looking at immediate and short term issues but longer term ones as well.

The causes of the problems are largely the sanctions in place over the Ukraine and anexation of Crimea and the falling oil price. The oil price may well bounce back but there is no way that Putin is going to lose face and back down over the Ukraine.

The most common question we ever get asked is ‘is now a good time to buy..?’ and just add your favourite currency. So is now a good time to buy the Rouble? In my honest opinion no. I really think it is going to fall further and if you bought now you could see hundreds of pounds wiped off your spending money in just a few days if things continue as they have.

Last week the Russian central bank increased interest rates by 1.5%, this week is was by 6.5% if that doesn’t look like panic then what does?

What is the currency in Dubai 0

What is the currency in Dubai

Question: What is the currency in Dubai

Answer: The local currency used in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham.

If you are travelling to the popular city of Dubai in the United Arab of Emirates you will need the United Arab Emirates Dirham which is the local currency used in the country. The Dubai currency is also referred to as the AED which is the currency code for the Dirham.

Dubai is known as a major financial banking city of the world and many people use Dubai as a convenient stop over when on long haul holidays from the west to the east and vice versa which has means the city has become a major tourist spot and central trading location in the Middle East. This all means that there are plenty of banks, ATM’s and currency exchange points throughout the city and in shopping malls. The prices for most things in Dubai are very similar to the UK although some things are slightly cheaper like Taxi’s for example.

If you decide to travel to Dubai without exchanging your currency in advance then you will find that airport exchange bureaus are very similar to the UK in that they generally offer poor AED exchange rates and you will also find that hotel currency exchanges are an expensive solution to buying the Dirham. When travelling to any location around the world we always advise that using the local currency is the best solution as you will find that you will get the best exchange rates on local currency and it makes every day life easier when tipping or buying from local shops in the area for example.

The United Arab Emirates Dirham currency comes in bank note dominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Dirhams with Arabic written on the front side and English written on the reverse.  The currency also comes in coins of 1, 25 and 50.

If you are planning your holiday or business trip to Dubai and you are looking for things to do in the city then we can recommend one of our latest blog posts which is 10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai. If you are looking to find a good deal and compare the AED Exchange Rate then please use our currency comparison table to compare all the top UK currency suppliers for your Dubai Currency. If don’t spend all your currency in Dubai whilst on holiday you can always use our Currency Buy Back service which allows you to find the best deal on exchanging your currency back on your return to the UK.

Tourist Exchange Rates 0

Lithuanian Flag

Now is the time that the tourism industry starts to gear up for the Skiing season. If you were goig away for Christmas you would have booked it by now and the same is true for the New Year celebrations. The next thing on the travel calendar is the skiing season. Skiing is never a cheap holiday but you can get the price down significantly by skiing in Eastern Europe rather than the alps. When you look east the country that stands our from our point of view is Lithuania. One of the problems with the Former eastern bloc countries is their independance and the resulting currencies and exchange rates, Bulgarian Lev, Croatian Kunas, Latvian Lats and until Lithuanian Litas. That is about to change and from two weeks time the change over starts and the most important tourist exchange rate in Lithuania will be the Euro.

As of the 1st of January 2015 the Lita will be no more. If you have any left over then you had best get rid of them sooner rather than later (see currencybuyback.com for more details and rates). As for buying your travel money, despite the wobble yesterday and today on the stock markets the Euro still looks like good value for money.

Live webcam from Snow Arena LithuaniaThis image is taken from a live webcam at Snow Arena Lithuania and I hope that it will give you an idea of the quality of the snow and facilities.

Hopefully being part of the Eurozone will help to open up Lithuania as a tourist destination and with the Euro rate being good for us at the moment they are looking like a good value skiing destination.

I know that most people have heard of Vilnius and more travel companies and airlines are targetting the destination (we recieved regular offers from the likes of Opodo with cheap flights to Vilnius as an example).

If you have been I would love to hear your experiences either by commenting below or by posting to our Facebook page..

The Autumn Statement and the Euro Rate 0

Can I Spend Euros in Switzerland

Last week saw George Osborne’s final (for this parliament) autumn statement. Although there will be one more budget before the election this is the last time he can really make economic changes that will take effect before the general election and the money markets can show their response through he value of the pound and the Euro rates. As always the money and stock markets watch and analyse these speeches and this was no exception. It is important to note that just because the money markets make see something as ‘good’ does not mean necessarily that each of us as individuals will feel any real benefit from it!

Chart showing Euro exchange rates over the past 90 days.

Euro exchange rates over the past 90 days.

Anyway, following the much anticipated speech the Euro Rate spiked on the Wednesday which was not unexpected but since Thursday has been steadily improving. This has been a trend over the past year of more of the economic news coming from the city of London helping to create a strong Pound.

We have now embedded this exchange rate history information on to every currency comparison page directly below the currency exchange rate table. This gives you instant access to the 7-day, 30-day and 90-day historical data and we hope makes your buying decision a little easier.

No once can predict the future exchange rate for the Euro or any other currency for that matter, if they could then there would be no currency markets. We do not make predictions and can only show you what has gone before but at least you can see what the trend has been recently.

The next big event on the financial calendar is likely to be the Christmas trading figures from the high street and online traders so between now and the new year I would personally expect the Euro to sit at around this same sort of level unless, of course, there is more bad news coming out of the Eurozone that will hit the value of the Euro which is entirely possible.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai 0

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai

Dubai is the celebrated gateway to the Middle East and is an excellent destination for those seeking business or pleasure. However, if you find yourself in this inspiring part of the world, knowing where to spend your money to get the most out of your Dubai currency can be daunting.

This new guest blog post by Simplexity Travel in London will put to bed those worries. The currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham, with one AED being worth 17p, so with that in mind enjoy the options below!

Beyond the Dunes

Rated as the number one attraction in Dubai on Tripadvisor, Beyond the Dunes is an authentic dessert experience that offers fun for all the family. The attraction is based in the sand dunes and offers a variety of activities from 4×4 rides, belly dancing experiences, stargazing, camel rides, camping and Harley Davidson rides amongst much, much more. Prices begin at 3000 AED Dubai currency per 4×4, and there is a wealth of upgrades available to tailor the experience to your exact tastes.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai - Beyond the Dunes

Sea Ride Dubai

In Dubai, jet skiing and fly board experiences are a popular way to spend your Dubai currency, and one company offering these activities is Sea Ride Dubai. The establishment is open from Tuesday to Saturday and was founded by Jet Ski champion Steven Dauliach, so you’re guaranteed to get a safe and professional experience if you choose to give it a go.

Sea Ride offer a variety of experiences including a one hour ‘fun tour’ and two hour ‘discovery tour’, both of which take place on their jet skis that can hold a maximum of two people. The one hour experience is priced at 620 AED Dubai Currency and the two hour at 990 AED Dubai Currency. The company also offers the chance to experience the futuristic fly board, with prices starting from 300 AED Dubai Currency for a 20 minute flight.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai - Sea Ride Dubai

Hint Hunt Dubai

Another way to get a good return for your currency in Dubai is to experience Hint Hunt. Hint Hunt is a fun, live escape game for groups of 3-5 people. The aim is to escape the room you are in by solving puzzles. Prices vary from between 135 AED to 105 AED Dubai Currency per person depending on the time you choose to visit, but it’s a unifying, fun experience that’s sure to put a smile on you and your travel companion’s faces.

Dolphin Bay

Everyone likes Dolphins, it’s almost a fact, and not one to miss out on the chance to offer an activity on most people’s bucket list, Dubai is also home to the fantastic Dolphin Bay.

There are a variety of experiences on offer including the Dolphin encounter, which is priced at 795 AED Dubai Currency per person; an experience worth investing in as it will undoubtedly leave you with enjoyable memories for years to come.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai - Dolphin Bay

Frying Pan Adventures

For the foodies out there, a fantastic way to splurge your Dubai currency on this interest in the city is the Frying Pan Adventures. The company offer tours around forgotten parts of Dubai where the heritage is rich and the food, sublime.

The company offer seasonal experiences distinguished by months. The first section runs between October and May, with the second taking place from June to September, each providing a variety of 5-6 hour experiences you can choose from. Prices range from around 280 AED through to upwards of 500 AED Dubai Currency, but it’s cited as one of the best experiences in Dubai, so is worth every penny.

Blue Jade Restaurant

Dubai is also full of restaurants that will impress even the most experienced of diners, one of which is the Blue Jade Restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton.  The restaurant specialises in first-class Asian cuisine. As well as a variety of astounding cooked dishes, the restaurant offers a raw food and sushi bar in the centre of the establishment. This restaurant is a fantastic place for people looking to spend their Dubai currency on good food.

Armani Amal Restaurant

If Indian food is more up your street then the Armani Amal Restaurant might be the ideal place for you. Specialising in authentic dishes, this establishment offers some of the best Indian cuisine that you will ever taste, cooked right at the side of your table.

Alongside the beautiful presentation, the decor of this restaurant is awe-inspiring and welcoming in equal measures, making this eatery one of the best places in the city to invest your Dubai currency and indulge your hunger pangs.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai - Armani Amal Restaurant

Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah

When it comes to places to stay in Dubai it can be rather overwhelming, but one of the most luxurious places to set up for the night is at the Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah.

The Dar AL Masyaf is home to a range of luxury summer homes as well as a hotel, all of which are surrounded by a blue lagoon of stunning water. Based on an original Arabian decor theme, the accommodation is some of the finest Dubai has to offer and is worth every penny.

10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai - Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah

Grosvenor House

Grosvenor House Dubai is also a popular choice for luxury seekers, especially couples, as the hotel is renowned for its romantic aura. Home to two 45 floor towers and 749 grand rooms, the Grosvenor House revels in luxury and fine decor and is an excellent choice if you want to splash your cash and treat someone special.

Taxi system

One of the great things about Dubai is the price of transport. To really save your Dubai travel money for the important things, we recommend you use a taxi to navigate around the city due to the prices being incredibly fair.

With metre charges starting as low as 3 AED Dubai Currency in some cases, you can be sure that you will be getting a great value of money if you choose to partake in this style of travel.

Dubai is a place rich in fun, luxury, fine dining and sublime hotels. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the city with Dubai currency to spare, we really hope you enjoy the experiences and amenities we have picked out for you. But rest assured, whatever you spend your money in Dubai, you’re sure to have a fantastic time in this exotic stretch of the world.

If you are looking to travel to Dubai for some Winter sun this year then we hope the 10 top tips on where to spend your currency in Dubai from Simplexity Travel in London has been of help to you and if you are looking to compare the AED Dirham Exchange rates to find the best deal on your Dubai currency please use our comparison table of all the top UK currency suppliers.

Why the Euro Rate is so Good 0

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Last week we saw all the fuss over Black Friday sales here in the UK. We don’t even celebrate Thanks Giving so why we should have the follow on sales is beyond me. I cannot imagine for a second they are going to call them Boxing Day Sales in New York. Before long I bet moon pig or hallmark will be encouraging us to send thank you cards for any reason under the sun on the fourth weekend of November just as a card selling opportunity but what you may ask has this got to do with the Euro rate here in the UK?

I saw on the BBC website two apparently contradictory news stories on the same day. Amazon having a record Black Friday and US retailers having a quieter Black Friday. At first glance you have to wonder how it can be quieter and record breaking at the same time. Amazon of course is a global trader and we have been railroaded into the Black Friday phenomenom. There is no one who is going to refuse to buy something at a sale price if they actually want it. Being pretty much on the penultimate payday before Christmas it is a way of getting a few presents at a discount if nothing else.

So Amazon did well in part from UK sales. Many of the goods on Amazon are imported, either from China or America and we have a really strong Pound at the moment and this makes imported goods cheaper for us. It isn’t so good if you are trying to export things but we (you and I) are mostly consumers.

As the UK economy continues to put out good news, good growth signals, good employment staticistics and so on, whether that money is real or imagined and regardless of how much cash we really have in our household budgets makes no difference. From a currency market point of view good news equates to ‘safe’ investment. As markets buy Pounds the value goes up.

This chart shows how the Euro value has varied compare to the Pound. As the line goes up the Pound is worth more and the Euro less by comparison.

chart to show the Euro exchange rate over the past 365 days

Euro rate over the last 265 days

From the lowest to the highest points you are looking at nearly 10% loss in value for the Euro over the past year even if the net change is just a shade over 3%. Even 3% is more than most people got in pay rises last year.

Going back to our Black Friday reports the strong Pound has made Amazon prices look even more attractive and that is why the UK has contributed so much to Amazons record breaking sales figures.

Looking forward to this years skiing season the Eurozone skiing resorts such as those in the French Alps will certainly look like better value than those outside the Eurozone where you will not benefit form some of the best Euro exchange rates.

Skiing Season equals Currency Sales Season 0

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We have already seen currency sales by Travelex and the Post Office on their top selling currencies such as the Euro and US Dollar and we are due to see more in the coming month. As you can imagine the winter is a lean time for holiday money providers and especially this side of Christmas when household budgets are squeezed more than usual.

Most providers make their money during the school holidays and but this school term is a long one and not many people feel the need for a foreign holiday in the October half term so soon after the summer and the UK weather can be very kind to us in the autumn. The only light on the travel money specialists horizon is the skiing season.

I am not going to discount skiing in Scotland but the travel money industry is looking to visitors to Achensee, Chamonix, Courchevel, Fuschlsee, Les Arcs, Seefeld, Tignes and Val d Isere to boost their sales of Euros just as Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Killington, Lake Tahoe and Stowe drive the American Dollar market. You will also see promotions of Swiss Francs (CHF) featuring frequent references to Lago do Lugano and Lake Geneva and Mont-Tremblant in Canada (CAD).

This is a marketing machine that is gearing up for a four month long skiing season and want to capture your pound now before you check out the competition. When you do see sales promoted, and we will let you know as soon as we know of any, you should still make sure to check if that rate is as good a deal as it appears. Some companies sales rates are worst than the every day rates of other providers. It always pays to compare holiday money deals right across the board (no pun intended)

Lithuanian Currency Changing to Euro Currency from the 1st January 2015 0

Lithuanian Currency Changing to Euro Currency from the 1st January 2015

On the 1st January 2015 Lithuania will become the 19th European country to adopt the euro currency as its main and single currency of the European Union. For those looking to change GBP to Litas we would recommend now changing your currency to the euro currency for use as travel money when visiting Lithuania on holiday or for business travel in the New Year.

If for any reason you already have Lithuanian money then it might be possible to change the Lithuanian currency at the post offices and banks in Lithuanian for the first few months of 2015 without incurring any charges whilst the transition of the currency is completed which might also mean that vendors and retailers would also be willing to accept the old Lithuanian currency for a short period of time.

The Lithuanian Litas currency has been pegged to the euro currency exchange rate since 2002 at the rate of 1 Euro = 3.45820 Lithuanian Litas and full adoption of the euro currency will commerce from the 1st January 2015 according to the Bank of Lithuania where you can find more information on their website about how they are integrating the new euro currency in the coming months into the local banking system.

To date there are 18 other countries in Europe who have already adopted the euro currency which includes Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lativa, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. The following infographic which we found on the Debating Europe website shows how people from Estonia felt when they adopted the euro currency back in 2011:

Euro Currency Infographic

 

If you are looking to buy the euro currency then please come and compare the best UK currency suppliers and exchange rates to change your pounds to Euros before travelling as exchange rates on the high street and airport exchange bureau’s can often be 10% more expensive than online currency exchange rates. Alternatively, if you have just come back from Europe or Lithuania you can use our currency buy back service which allows you to find the best online exchange rates and UK currency suppliers for selling back your euro currency money or old Lithuanian Litas.

 

Goodbye Cornwall, Hello Bulgaria 0

Post Office Bureau de Change

A friend of mine should be waking up in Bulgaria today on the first day of a new career. She has given up being a bookkeeper down here in deepest darkest Cornwall to study teaching English to foreign learners. One of the best places to study is in Sophia, Bulgaria so that is where she is of to. I have written about travel money and TEfL before and this post is not going to be about that it is a little more basic than that.

As a leaving present I thought it would be nice to just put a few Bulgarian Lev in an envelope witht he intention that she could have something to eat and maybe a drink on us or a trip to to the cinema as we are both movie buffs and I doubt she got to see Fury before she left. Now given my line of work you would not have thought that would be too difficult would you? How wrong you can be!

Firstly it is very difficult to buy small amounts of currency onlline which is our speciality. All the online deals kick in about about £350 to £450 with the best deals at over £700. I am generous but not that generous so online shopping was a non starter.

Bulgaria is prime skiing territory and the local travel agent has all the skiing holiday displays in the window so I thought that would be my first port of call. If they sell holidays to Bulgaria then they are bound to sell the currency to go with it. Wrong! I could order it but it would take a week to arrive. The did kindly try and phone their other branch but no luck their either.

Still clutching to my thought that Bulgaria was one of the most popular places to ski I found myself in Falmouth at the weekend and Falmouth ASDA has a bureau de change. Ah ha(!) I thought. I dutifully asked if they had any Bulgarian Lev but no ASDA do not stock them, they kindly offered me Euros but that wasn’t really going to cut it.

One of the old mainstays is always the post office. Here is Hayle Post Office with its wonderfully limp Foreign Currency banner that inspires such images of sun kissed shores.

Hayle Post OfficeNow I must say that the post office came through and it only took them 3 days to get hold of some Lev. By this time I was picking up the Lev on Thursday afternoon and the last time I was going to see Suzanne was on the Friday morning, there is nothing like cutting it fine!

In the end I got my currency and everything worked out fine. If you are interested the rate I was offered was 2.2BGN to the pound and on the day the best rate on the site was 2.4BGN so that is nearly 10% below market value but 2.2BGN to the pound was better than no Lev at all. What I was surprised at was how long providers needed to order currency in. I am used to currency arrivin within 36hrs by special delivery but most places I tried only placed one order for currency a week and if you missed it then you would have to wait another week to place your order and then wait for it to arrive in the store after that.

So the moral of the story is, if you are going to buy on the high street then seriously thing 2 weeks in advance to make sure you get your currency.

Finally, Good Luck Suzanne and rememer you are their to study, you are not on holiday!