Holidaymakers Could Be Missing Out On Best Currency Rates

26 July 2016

  • Brits can expect to be around 7% better off if they purchase their money in advance of going to the airport(1)

Holidaymakers planning to go to Europe in the summer months – June, July, and August – could be collectively missing out on €265 million(2) by not buying their money in advance, according to new analysis by Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money.

The supermarket bank found that Euros are on average 7.3%(1) cheaper bought from a local bureau than from an airport kiosk, highlighting the importance of purchasing holiday money in advance and not leaving it until the very last minute.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money estimates that in 2015, €8.4bn was purchased by people in the UK with 43% of these sales taking place in June, July and August(2).

Simon Taylor, Head of Travel Money at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “As peak holiday season is here we’d encourage anyone travelling to Europe this summer to plan ahead so they don’t miss out on the best rates. Our analysis shows on average holidaymakers could save €42(1) per transaction by getting their money in advance – enough for a lunch for two in Spain or perhaps a few drinks in France.”

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money offers 0% commission on foreign currency and consistently competitive exchange rates(3). Customers with a Nectar card get an even better rate. There are over 50 currencies available to order. Open seven days a week and with convenient parking, customers can also purchase a Sainsbury’s Bank Multi-currency Cash PassportTM and collect their travel money whilst shopping. Customers can also order currency online or by telephone on 0845 301 2724 and collect from a travel money bureau, or receive free delivery for orders of £500 or more.


For further information, please contact:

Lorna Gilmour or Jennifer Johnston-Watt, Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0010 /

Notes to editor:

  1. Someone exchanging £500 before they got to the airport it would be 7.34% better off:
Average amount (£) taken abroad £500.00
Average equivalent (€) taken out at airport € 575.05
Average equivalent (€) collected € 617.25
Difference (€) € 42.20
Difference (%) 7.34%

Average prices for airport currency collections calculated using rates provided by for the UK’s 10 biggest airports, as defined by the Civil Aviation Authority. Average prices for in-branch currency collections calculated using rates taken from five major high street foreign exchange providers in seven major cities across the UK.

  1. Sainsbury’s Bank analysis of foreign exchange withdrawal data in 2015. Sainsbury’s Bank calculates that a total of €8.4 billion is taken out in Euros every year, with 43% of this amount is taken out between June and August, amounting to €3.612 billion. Applying the 7.34% difference between airports and collection to the amount withdrawn between June and August gives us a total potential saving of €265 million – or £205 million using foreign exchange rates of 0.77454 as of 23rd May 2016.
  1. Rates may vary depending on whether you order over the phone, instore or online. A £1.99 administration fee applies to all online orders under £100 collected instore. Delivery charge of £5 applies on minimum orders of £100 – £499.99 and free delivery on orders of £500 or more. By phone – call 0845 301 2724 for home delivery on orders over £100. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). Better rates for Nectar card holders are calculated by reducing our retail margins on single purchase transactions of Euros & US Dollars bought instore and on all foreign currencies available online or by phone. A Nectar card must be presented at the time of purchase.

    The Nectar loyalty programme is operated independently of Sainsbury’s Bank by Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd; and the collection and use of points is governed by the Nectar Collector Rules, set out in the registration pack and available at

    Sainsbury’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw this offer without prior notice.