Where should you buy – Part III

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This is the third and final part on my series about where to findthe best deals for you on your travel money. Part I was all about the best deals online, Part II was about supermarket and shop deals.

Part III Name and shame the worst of the worst!

You and a friend go out to buy your Euros for your holiday. You both spend £750. You come back with €897 and your friend gets €928. You have to admit that that hardly seems fair. Where did the other €30 go?

The answer is into Natwest’s pockets. National Westminster bank lost £153Million in the first half of last year and they need to get that money back from somewhere and the easiest option is their customers.

The high street banks are not interested in handling small (to them) amount of cash, they are all about multi-million pound deals on the stock markets rather than a few hundred Euros over the counter. Nat West are not alone, RBS and Barclays are really nt much better when it comes to offering decent Euro exchange rates (or any currency for that matter).

John Jukes from Cheltenham, Glo's. (file photo). A heartless mugger who brutally attacked an elderly leukaemia patient and robbed him of thousands of pounds of holiday cash has been jailed for almost a decade. See swns story SWHOLS. Cruel Jessie Evans battered his 70-year-old victim the day before he was due to fly to Greece with his wife for a holiday, and stole Ã3,000 of his spending money. The 30-year-old deliberately targeted frail John Jukes, who had just finished five weeks of gruelling chemo, after watching him withdraw cash from his bank account.He stalked Mr Jukes as he completed errands - even sitting down for a cup of tea at M&S when the pensioner did - before luring him into a dark alleyway and attacking him.Evans knocked Mr Jukes to the ground, knelt on him and punched him in the face, snapping his glasses in two and leaving him with five skull fractures.It was the first time the cancer-stricken dad-of-two had ventured into his local town centre in Cheltenham, Glos., by himself since he was taken ill, the court heard. In a victim impact statement, the retired engineer, who has suffered from leukaemia for four years, said: ÃI feel very nervous about walking in town.

There is another issue to bear in mind. If you walk in off the street whether it is a bank or the Post Office and pick up £750 worth of cash then you are a prime target for oppunist thieves. If we use the shocking example of John Jukes as an example (but his case was in no way unusual). Mr Jukes attacker followed him from the Post Office where he had just collected £3000 worth of Euros and then attacked him and stole the money.  Most people do not walk aroudn with thousands of pounds in cash on them but when you are collecting your travel money from a post office that is exactly what you do.  In a large busy post office it is probably fairly easy to hang about and wait until they see someone checking they have recieved the right amount of cash and the either mugging or bag snatching their victim.

I don’t see the supermarkets or shops as such a risk. Most peoople expect you to be giving the shop money, not the other way around. A supermarket would be a strenge place for an opportunist mugger to hang out.

The FCO on their travel advice site always suggests you avoid using cash point machines on the street to withdraw cash. You are better off going into a bank to use a cash machine so you can safely stow it away before going back on to the street. That is good advice but it can never stop you being the victim of a mugging.

I don’t want you to get ripped off by the banks but I don’t want to see you get beaten over the head by a mugger either! Whereever you decide to buy your travel money you must take sensible precautions and make the best decision for you.


Posted by Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter Rudin-Burgess

Peter is one of the founding partners for both Compare Holiday Money and Currency Buy Back. He regularly blogs on financial matters and writes content for a number of blogs in the travel industry.

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