Pawnbrokers and travel money don’t necessarily fit together on first thoughts, but certainly Ramsdens, H & T Pawnbrokers, Albermarle Bond and The Money Shop are big, well established companies that will lend you money in exchange for your goods and chattels and have become synonymous with travel money.
How do the exchange rates stack up for the pawnbroking lenders against the rest of the high street? We had a little look at a few currencies to see how they did*.
The biggest selling currency in the UK and not surprising as it is the official currency of 22 countries. There is always very strong competition on euro rates and some forex companies will change their rates several times a day to stay near the top of the listings. At the time of writing we saw the following rates and the amount of euros that would have brought you for £750:
Best high street rate in this case NM Money, was 1.265 = €844
Worst rate, Barclays Bank at 1.0746 = €805
The Money Shop were at 1.1145 = €835
H & T Pawnbrokers 1.1191 = €820 = 835
Not bad from the high street lenders but still a few glasses of Sangria short of the best rate. Would you exchange currency at Barclays?
Second biggest seller in the UK as many of us like to travel over the ‘pond’ for our holidays – sorry, vacations.
Best rate from Covent GardenFX 1.2953 £750 = $971
Worst rate, Barclays Bank 1.2454 = $934
The Money Shop 1.2822 = $961
H & T Pawnbrokers 1.2868 = $966
OK so the pawnbrokers are playing piggy in the middle again but we still had 10 listing suppliers with rates better than 1.2868.
We had to mention TRY because it has seen a phenomenal increase in value over the last few months due to economic conditions in Turkey among other things.
Best rate, WeSwap 7.7621 = ₺5,821
Worst rate, Post Office 7.4290 = ₺5571
The Money Shop 7.7492 = ₺5,811
H & T Pawnbrokers 7.5735 = ₺5,680
OK so the money shop do well with TRY and are in the top 5. There is a difference between the best and the worst rates of ₺250 . I don’t know how many kebabs that would buy you in downtown Ankara but it might be a few so choose carefully.
OK so we went next door to Bulgaria and had a look at the rates for the LEV.
Best rate, Travel FX 2.1715 = лв 1,628
Worst rate, RBS 2.0100 = лв 1,507
H & T Pawnbrokers =2.1572 = лв 1,617
The Money Shop 2.1461 = лв 1,609
Middle for diddle again for the pawn stars but the Money Shop and H & T rates put them in the top ten.
Last but not least, and for no apparent reason:
Best rate, Travel FX 143.801 = kr 107,850
Worst rate, Post Office 134.159 = kr 100,619
The Money Shop 143.289 = 107,467
H & T Pawnbrokers 142.308 = kr 106,731
As you can see this is a very mixed bag of results and one supplier may offer fantastic rates for one currency and terrible rates or none at all for others.
The moral of the story of course is to shop around and Compare Holiday Money makes it easy for you find the best deals on over 60 currencies so wherever you are travelling you will get the best return for your GBP.
*All rates are at the time of writing and were taken from the respective companies online rates. Rates will change all the time and current rates can be found on the website.