We are off to Disneyland Paris this weekend, and navigating currency can be a minefield. I am always looking to get great rates on foreign currency, but this was my first time having to buy Euros instead of Dollars.
There are a number of ways that you can arrange your spending money when you go abroad. You can take it all in cash, which carries the risk of being lost or stolen; you can use traveller's cheques which are getting more and more difficult to cash; you could use your own debit card which usually comes with a foreign currency transaction fee for every purchase, and a worse exchange rate (the fee is close to 3%, so for every £100 you spend, you're paying an extra £3) or you can use a prepaid travel card.
My personal preference is to take a small amount in cash, alongside a prepaid travel card.
There are lots of prepaid currency cards on the market, and it can be hard to decide which one to pick.
I have recently been taking a look at WeSwap to see how their foreign currency card stacks up. The thing that makes them different is that WeSwap is a peer-to-peer travel money platform. Using WeSwap means that I can skip the banks and bureau de change and swap currency direct with other travellers.
Think about it – you have just come back from holiday and you have left over currency. You will lose out quite a bit by changing it back at a bureau de change or your bank, so this offers a way for you to get a bit more money back on your left over currency. WeSwap encourages travellers to offer great rates to their peers in exchange for getting a bit more money back. It is a win win situation.
If you are planning on travelling soon there here's how WeSwap works in 3 simple steps
- Sign up for your WeSwap card and load it up with GBP using your debit card or online account.
- Choose which currency you need and they'll take care of swapping your money with fellow travellers.
- Enjoy spending your money! You can spend it everywhere that Mastercard is accepted…which is a lot of places! You can also use it to withdraw cash.
What's more, there is an app you can use, so if I need to check my balance or top up on the go because I've spent a bit too much on Disney merchandise, then I can. The app is available on iOS and Android (Google Play).
At the moment you can swap between 18 currencies:
- GBP – Pound Sterling
- EUR – Euro
- DKK – Danish Krone
- NOK – Norwegian Krona
- SEK – Swedish Krona
- USD – United States Dollar
- CHF – Swiss Franc
- AUD – Australian Dollar
- CAD – Canadian Dollar
- HUF – Hungarian Forint
- HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
- JPY – Japanese Yen
- NZD – New Zealand Dollar
- PLN – Polish Zloty
- SGD – Singapore Dollar
- ZAR – South African Rand
- TRY – Turkish Lira
- ILS – Israeli Shekel
If you are left with money on your prepaid card when you get home then you will be pleased to know that there are no extra charges to swap it to another currency including back to your original currency. Other prepaid cards don't have this feature and charge you a fee for this! Of course, you could always use it as an excuse to have another holiday 😉
The WeSwap fees
It is worth mentioning some of the fees with WeSwap.
You can withdraw money from an ATM for free as long as it is over £200 (or the rough equivalent in another currency – please check their fees to double check).
Regular transactions, such as shops and restaurants, have no transaction fees.
With WeSwap, it pays to think ahead! If you can wait 7 days to swap your currency then you will just pay a 1% fee instead of 2% for an immediate swap. Those savings really do app up!
The minimum load amount is £50 and the maximum total balance you can have is £6,000. That would be one mighty shopping trip!