Which? issues online currency exchange warning

| August 20, 2009
Which? issues online currency exchange warning

Consumer advice magazine Which? has warned Brits planning a holiday overseas to watch out for hidden charges on online currency exchange services.

Competitive exchange rates offered by online providers may be tempting, Which? said, but additional charges such as credit card transaction fees and delivery fees can make online currency services more expensive than the high street.

Dan Moore, senior researcher at Which?, advised consumers to buy currency with cash to avoid credit card fees.

Visa, Mastercard and American Express payments can incur a fee of up to 2.75%, Moore warned.

“What you need to be doing is avoiding paying charges you don’t need to pay,” he said.

“For example, don’t buy currency online where you have to pay with a card and will be charged.

“Get cash out of a hole in the wall in the UK, walk across the road to any of the exchange bureaus and pay in cash.”

A recent poll by FairFX.com found 62% of consumers would never use a currency exchange service again if they realised they’d been hit by a hidden charge.

FairFX.com also discovered a €138 variation in the amount of euros received by a person exchanging £1,000, depending on the provider they used.

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