The Post Office Instore or Online?

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For many people the Post Office will be the right choice of currency provider. If you are new to buying currency online they are a nice safe choice. If you don’t want to wait in for a special delivery then you have a good range of branches all over the country to choose from.

The downside is the rates. Not that the rates are bad but it is the question of what rate are you going to get.

The Post Office offer a different rate in store than online. Take a look at the two images below.

Noticeboard show the exchange rates in the Post Office Branch.

These were the rates at midday on the 24th of Jan 2017 in St. Ives

an image of the online exchange rate for the Post Office

Post Office Online rate at midday on 24th Jan 2017

You can see the difference is 0.0068 or just over 2/3rds of a percent on a typical £1,000 order. Today that isn’t a massive amount, just €7 or €8 in your pocket. The main reason for the low ‘star rating’ you can see in the online rates image is when people check the online rate at home then walk down to their local branch and get a different rate and worse rate when they actually have to pay. No one likes to feel ripped off.

This is made worse again when you compare it to the best rates available.

an image of the best exchange rates for Euros

This image was captured at exactly the same time as the photograph of the in store rates.

You can see that the top rates are a good 3.5% higher than the Post Office. That is more than €40 more cash in your pocket that you would get over the counter in your local branch. That is not an insignificant amount of money. I personally think people should be rewarded in some way for using their local shops, not penalised. OK, fair enough Travel FX and Griffin Financial are specialists but the Post Office should not, in my opinion, be effectively charging customers for collecting their own money from the branch rather than having it delivered. That just seems unfair to me.

If you want to use the Post Office then the thing to do is go to the Post Office website, book and pay for your money online but choose in branch pickup as a delivery option. That way you get the improved online only rate but you can still walk in and pick it up yourself which means you do not have to wait in for a delivery.

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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