Tesco travel money rates compared

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Tesco travel money rates like most of the traditional grocery stores, are fairly competitive and as much as anything designed to get you in the building and become a loyal shopper. The charge in the grocery market from the discount brands such as Lidl and Aldi has not yet extended to travel money to our knowledge so the mainstream supermarkets have an edge if they offer good rates on your holiday cash.

Of all the big high street brands featured on Compare Holiday Money, Tesco are one of the top performers and this could be for a number of reasons so how do their currency rates actually stack up against the opposition?

We take a look at £500 worth of 5 different  currencies to see where they sit*


By far the leading currency changing hands in the UK and not surprising as it is used in 18 countries, many of them popular holiday destinations.

Top rate: Debenhams 1.0884 gets €544.20

Worst rate: Barclays 1.0440 – €522.00

Tesco rate: 1.0833 – €541.65

Tesco were 4th in the listings at this time not because of their rates necessarily but because they offered free delivery for this amount. For £750 and above they dropped to 12th position because on this amount more suppliers offer free delivery.

US dollars

The second most popular currency brought in the UK.

Top rate: Debenhams 1.2468 gets $623.40

Worst rate: Barclays 1.2049 – $602.45

Tesco rate: 1.2412 – $620.60

There is a staggering 20 bucks difference between the best and worst rate so you would have to really love Barclays to get your holiday money there. Again Tesco sit 4th but drop down over higher amounts.

Aussie dollars

The third most popular currency on Compare Holiday Money in December.

Best rate: Debenhams 1.7541 gets AU$877.05

Worst rate: Barclays 1.6909 – AU$845.45

Tesco rate: 1.7420 – AU$871.00

Ok Tesco not quite so good on this one AU$6.00 less than Debenhams and coming in at 8th on the list and dropping to 15th if you are looking for a grands worth with a difference of AU$27.00 from the best rate available with Travel FX.

Thai Baht

Another popular December currency, probably because it’s much nicer weather!

Best rate: Travel FX 40.5099 gets ฿20,052

Worst rate: Barclays 37.5731 – ฿18,786

Tesco rate: 39.2786 – ฿19.401

Tesco 11th in the list so not brilliant again. The difference between Tesco and the top rate is ฿651 and that works out at about 15 quid which would buy a nice dinner in Thailand.

Malaysian Ringgits

OK so MYR was the 25th clicked on currency on Compare Holiday Money in December so not as popular but still enjoying several hundred referrals.

Best rate: Sterling 5.1223 gets RM2530.42

Worst rate: Travelex 4.8785 – RM2402.71

Tesco rate: 5.9944 – RM2497.20

OK middle ground for the grocery store bank and better than Travelex by RM95.00  again around £15.00. But here’s the irony, Travelex provide the travel money services for Tesco bank! We gave up trying to work it all out years ago……………………..!

What we see is that Tesco currency exchange rates can be quite good for lower amounts on popular currencies but their popularity as a supplier is almost certainly down in large part to their brand image and one of the UK’s best loved companies rather than competitive exchange rates.

*All samples taken from the online rates for £500.00 worth of currency, advertised at the time of writing on the same day at the same time. The rates will fluctuate all the time and the live up to date rates can be found on the website.

Feature image Photo © P L Chadwick

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.


  • Avatar Kevin Wright says:

    Any chance you could compare buy back rates as well? I need to decide whether to use my Nationwide debit card in Singapore, Dubai and Australia and a lot will depend on how much I lose if I take cash and change any remainder for stirling when I get back.

  • Graham Morley Graham Morley says:

    Thanks for your comment and suggestion Kevin, this is certainly a topic we will look to write on in the future. In the meantime, you can find all live up to the minute buyback rates on our sell currency section: https://www.compareholidaymoney.com/sell-currency/

  • Avatar Christopher says:

    What a helpful site. Off to Morocco in a couple of weeks and looking whether to take currancy or use ATM. It was useful to see the comparisons. I will visit again. Thank you and a happy new year.

  • Graham Morley Graham Morley says:

    Thanks for your comment Christopher, its good to know you found the website useful. Have a great holiday!

  • Avatar peter says:

    do you think that buying euros nearer to 28/march i would get a better rate on my pound

  • Graham Morley Graham Morley says:

    Thanks for your comment Peter. It is impossible to predict future exchange rates as there are many factors that will influence them. One school of thought if you need a lot of currency is to buy half now and half before you go, sort of ‘hedging your bets’. Other than that it is i’m afraid, a case of wait and see.

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