The Money Cloud has partnered with ICE Plc, one of the largest companies offering fantastic rates and a number of services including cash and pre-paid cards.
ICE offer the following useful advice when planning your travel money:
Top Travel Money Tips from ICE
Plan ahead and shop around
Order cash in advance online or on the high street to avoid the less competitive rates offered at airports. Look out for free postage deals or vouchers that offer preferential rates for collection at the branch such as ICE’s Click & Collect service. You don’t even need to worry about a printed voucher – you can just show the voucher on your mobile. ICE will even match a competitor’s rate for orders of £1000 or more.
Withdrawing cash from ATMs
Even if you have a card that doesn’t charge fees for ATM use, some ATM operators themselves make charges for their use. If you have to use a fee-charging ATM, plan to withdraw enough currency to last for a good few days so that you’re not racking up fees.
Say ‘No’ to Dynamic Currency Conversion
If you pay by card, ensure the transaction is conducted in the local currency rather than sterling. The practice known as dynamic currency conversion allows customers to pay for goods and services in their own home currency. The exchange rate, however, is often less favourable than that offered through a credit or debit card.
Consider locking in the exchange rate
If you are worried about the value of the Pound, a prepaid currency card will allow you to lock in the rate of exchange at the time you load the card. If travellers load small, regular amounts to a prepaid travel card they can effectively even out fluctuating exchange rates whilst budgeting their travel spending money.
Check the Ts and Cs on Prepaid Currency Cards
When you apply for a prepaid currency card, be careful to check the Ts and Cs. Unlike the ICE Travellers Cashcard, many prepaid cards have charges that apply for their use and savings made on the rate of exchange could be lost through unexpected fees.
Getting the most from your money
Avoid using credit and debit cards – some charge 2.5% or more for an ATM transaction and the exchange rates may not be favourable. Consider a prepaid currency card instead – but make sure you’re not charged multiple fees and look for those that offer additional perks. ICE Travellers Cashcard holders now enjoy 1.5% cashback on purchases over $50 or €50. With the average spend on the ICE Travellers Cashcard amounting to £584 – customers can expect on average £8.76 in cash back*** – just for enjoying themselves abroad!
Budget for Tips
Tipping etiquette seems to take many of us outside our comfort zone yet in some parts of the USA and Canada tips can be in the region of 20%. That’s £200 out of a budget of £1,000, making it a serious expense. Rather than having to stretch your travel budget, it makes sense to factor in tips when working out costs, particularly if you are travelling to North America. Ensure you have enough small change to tip when you first arrive by requesting some low value denominations when you order your travel money and shop around for competitive rates online rather than leave it to the last minute. A bit of planning can help make the travel spending budget that bit further.
Live or work in London and need Euros?
Responding to the uplift in demand, ICE is now offering Londoners a choice of 6 different ways to access Euros – whether it’s for a last minute trip across the channel by Eurostar to Paris or a meticulously planned family travel to Spain.
Online at www.iceplc.com – Highly competitive rates for next day home delivery plus buyback quotation service by text.
London Underground ATM – Euros are now available from over 190 dual currency ATMs located in London underground stations – ideal for last minute trips abroad.
Click & Collect – Available from London Waterloo, Westfield and Chelsea along with Gatwick, Luton and Heathrow airports, Click and Collect promises customers the best rate on the day for pick up at Click &Collect locations. There is no advance payment, customers simply show the Click & Collect voucher on their smartphone or on a print out.
The ICE Travellers Cashcard in Euros – Free Prepaid Currency Card available in Euros and USD. Customers can load their card with Euros when rates look favourable.
Branch Collection – ICE has 32 branches across the UK, covering all key travel hubs.
Airport - ICE has branches at some the UK’s busiest airport locations offering currency services to travellers before they fly.
Look for reputable providers with competitive rates and free delivery on currency – try not to leave it to the last minute as it narrows your options. Consider a prepaid card to lock in the rate but choose carefully as each has different charges for their use. Also, if you’re travelling to more exotic climes you’ll find exchange rates vary more widely from provider to provider, so a little extra time scouring the internet for competitive deals could go a long way to putting more spending money in your pocket.
Don't Leave it Until the Airport to Change your Money
You can make considerable savings on your travel money by planning in advance. Whether you prefer cash or a pre-paid card, major savings can be made, giving you more to spend on your travel.
10 Facts about ICE
- ICE offers currency for 60 destinations worldwide
- The ICE Travellers Cashcard won Best Free Prepaid Card at the 2014 Prepaid365 Awards
- Last summer the average transaction value for travel money orders on was £761.80. The average transaction for Euros was £801.73
- ICE offers travelmakers flexibility and convenience with a choice of options to access their currency – online, in-branch, at the airport, trains station or from a growing number of ATMs
- The fee free prepaid ICE Travellers Cashcard is available in Euros and US Dollars
- The ICE Click and Collect service gives travelmakers highly competitive, discounted rates and convenient access to currency at key UK travel hubs
- ICE’s most popular currencies in 2013, excluding the - Euro and US Dollar, were Turkish Lira, Canadian Dollar and South African Rand
- The average Euro ICE Travellers Cashcard top-up in 2013 was £373.19*
- The average US Dollar ICE Travellers Cashcard top-up in 2013 was £500.50*
- There are 50 ICE branches located in the UK, making - it easier for consumers to find competitive rates for foreign exchange