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Travel Money & Foreign Exchange - Heathrow Airport Guide

Changing your travel money and obtaining the cheapest foreign currency exchange rates can be a bit of a hassle before you go on holiday but many people just don't realise how much difference there can be between the price you pay for the different methods of getting the best foreign exchange.

  • Ease of Use
  • Great exchange rates
  • Next Day Delivery
  • Safer than carrying cash
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Prepaid Currency Cards

  • Order online for best rates
  • Save time at the airport
  • Avoid inflated airport rates
  • Convenience of Cash
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Order Foreign Cash

  • Find the best cards
  • Credit purchase protection
  • Ease of use
  • Order in advance
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Credit & Debit Cards

  • Hidden FX Charges
  • Top Ten Tips
  • Travel Money Secrets
  • Get the Best Deal
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Money Saving Tips


The method you use will depend a lot on when you are going on holiday. Exchange rates also change daily so a deal you will get one day from one provider may change the next day and mean another provider is cheaper at the time you need to change your holiday money.

We have researched the different ways you can purchase your travel money and found the best solutions for everyone to help make sure you get the best rates and save money, time and hassle!

Currency Exchange at Heathrow Airport

Purchasing currency at the airport can often be the most expensive way to get your foreign exchange, but not if you are on the ball and order it online with one of the providers offering a bureau de change outlet at the airport beforehand.

You can take advantage of the providers online rate (which is usually much better) and then just pick up your currency at the airport, saving you money and time which is often in short supply when you are trying to make sure you don't miss your flight!

Prepaid Currency Cards

Relatively new to the travel money market are pre loaded currency cards. The cards are essentially like a debit card which load with currency which can be which can be either in the one currency you are going to be needing, or can be in pounds which will then be converted to the relevant currency when used abroad.

If you have time to order one of these cards online for delivery before you travel, it can be one of the cheapest ways to buy options your holiday money available. You will usually need to leave around 7 days for delivery of your card to your home to get the best rates, but you can sometimes purchase the cards from providers operating a bureau de change at your airport.

They are not offered by all FX providers, but we have picked the best and cheapest currency cards for you.

Credit and Debit Cards

If you are lucky enough to own one of the special "good cards" you may find that the best option is to spend using this card abroad. However, be very careful that you have the exact card that is listed as "good" as ones outside of this can be very bad and using one will mean that you end up paying well over the odds for your foreign currency and purchases.

Banks will change the terms and conditions of the cards they offer from time to time so it is important to check that your credit or debit card still offers the same thing shown on this list before using it abroad. If you have more than a month before travelling then you might like to think about applying for one of the "good cards" but be sure to check with the provider that your card will be delivered before you fly!

Take a look at our guide to spending on your credit or debit card abroad to make sure it will be worthwhile for you before you go away!

Home Delivery

If you want to make sure that you don't have to worry about rushing around picking your foreign currency up at the airport you may find that having your travel money delivered to your home before you set off is a good option.

There are a few currency exchange providers who will do this, and many offer free next day delivery for orders above a certain amount (usually £500). This means that you can take advantage of the providers online rates, which are often a lot cheaper than they are at the airport or at high street branches, so is a great option all around!