Foreign Currency Exchange – Should you look at Buy or Sell rates?


One of the things that has always troubled me is not knowing whether to look at the buy or sell rates when I wan’t to change money. Undoubtedly, they are many other like me whose brains seemed to get scrambled at the sight of a foreign exchange money shop. So for all those people who get confused on whether to look at the buy rate or sell rate when visiting a foreign exchange dealer, this article is for you.

If you want to change your home currency to a foreign currency before you go on holiday, look at the ‘we sell’ column.
So if you live in the UK and you are about to go to the US, you need to get dollars. So in order to find out at what exchange rate you will change your Pounds (£) into US Dollar ($), look at the sell.

(Sometimes, sell rate is also called Holiday money rate or Tourist rate)

If you want to change foreign currency back into your home currency, loo at the ‘we buy’ column.
So when you return from your holiday in the United States and still have some US dollars ($) left and want to change this back into Pounds(£), look at the buy column.





In plain english:

  • Sell Rate – Changing home currency into foreign currency before going on holiday.
  • Buy Rate – Changing foreign currency back into home currency when you come back from holiday.

I hope the above has helped you learn the difference between the buy rate and sell rate when dealing with foreign exchange.

One thing I have found whenever I have wanted to do any foreign exchange dealings before I go on holiday is to have a browse and see the prices online. A website I have used in the past is mytravelmoney.co.uk as it compares the prices at different foreign exchange dealers to see where you can get the best price!

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