If you are travelling to the UK you might want to bring some cash with you. But you might want to compare the various Euro Sterling exchange rates on offer first to find the best place to buy Sterling in Ireland.
Don’t assume that somewhere offering “commission-free” currency will give you the best deal. An Post currency exchange seems to be a popular choice – but as you will see below – you can usually get better exchange rates elsewhere.
Exchange rates will change every day – and there has been a lot of volatility recently with Sterling exchange rates as Brexit gets closer.
(See the Latest Exchange Rates here).
We carried out a quick comparison of the main currency exchange companies on the same day to find out the Best Place to Buy Sterling in Ireland.
Tip: If you are looking for information about transferring large amounts of money to a bank in the UK – you should read our article on the Best Way To Transfer Money to a UK Bank
Buying Sterling Cash in Ireland :
We checked how much it would cost in Euros to buy £700 GBP Sterling cash. We compared the figures from the currency companies websites at roughly the same time on 17th February 2020. All the exchange companies we used in the comparison say they do not charge commission.
- At CurrencyExchange.ie they were quoting a price of €865 for £700 Sterling. Customers can reserve currency online for collection and pay for it when they pick it up. But- CurrencyExchange.ie only have 2 pick up locations in central Dublin, they do not deliver.
- The next best deal we found was at the No1 Currency Website where it would cost you €868 for £700 GBP.
You can order and pay for the Sterling online and have the convenience of getting the cash delivered to your door for free. The delivery is by An Post registered post and is fully insured. (Orders under €750 cost €9.95 for delivery) . They deal in several currencies – and you can check current exchange rates on the No1 Currency Website
- 3: An Post currency exchange were quoting a price of €869 for buying £700 Pounds. An Post currency don’t allow online ordering, you have to go to a Post Office branch that does currency exchange. This service is only available in larger towns and cities. An Post only sells Sterling and US Dollars.
- 4: Bank of Ireland quoted a price of €868 for £700 – and they also charge a fee of €6.35 – so that would be a total of €874.35
- 5: The worst deal we found was from ICE ( International Currency Exchange) http://www.ice-ireland.ie – it would have cost you €896 for £700 GB Pounds. You can reserve your currency online and then collect it and pay for it at their Dublin Airport kiosks.
Tip# If you are thinking of buying a car in the UK – you should not be planning on getting Sterling and paying in cash. See our information on the Best Way to Pay for a Used car in the UK.
Alternatives to Cash When Visiting the UK
Paying by card is another option to consider when paying in Sterling when you are in the UK or doing online shopping
Our favourite is from the N26 Bank Account. This is an “online-only” bank account based in Germany – but it has a European banking licence and can operate in Ireland. They already have several thousand Irish customers.
The N26 account comes with a Mastercard (Debit Card) , free to join and it has no fees when making purchases in non-Euro currencies. The exchange rate will be the same as any other Mastercard). See other banks fees here.
Another option is to get a Bunq Travel Card . This prepaid card uses the Mastercard Exchange Rate with no foreign exchange fees. It costs €9.99. The Bunq Travel card is a prepaid Mastercard credit card but you can only spend the balance you have on it . The card is treated like a credit card by payment terminals and can be used for car hire and hotel reservations unlike debit cards. (as long as you have enough money loaded on it) . No credit checks are required. All funds are covered by the Dutch banking guarantee.
Revolut is a digital payment provider (not a bank) that has a fee-free debit card for spending in foreign currencies. It also allows you to have a UK Sterling account and a Euro account. Revolut is also available in Ireland. See a Comparison of Revolut and N26 here
Monese is another UK based app-based payment service available in Ireland that comes with a prepaid Mastercard. Monese have a “Simple” account that has no monthly fees . The first €2000 a month spending on foreign currency transactions is free – after that, there is a 2% fee
If you are using an Apple device – you can get the Monese App here
You can sign up for a Monese account on a non Apple device Here
When outside the Eurozone if you still need to use cash because some retailers don’t take cards – there is also the option of using an ATM abroad to withdraw Sterling etc – see more here for details of ATM Charges Abroad.
See out page on some Money saving Tips when Visiting London