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 larger 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 30th July 2019. All the exchange companies we used in the comparison say they do not charge commission.
The Best Deal we found was at the No1 Currency Website where it would have cost you €783.17 for £700 GBP ( Back in May 2019 it would have cost €826.93 ) (They have had the best deal in all the comparisons we have done in the last 3 years.)
You can order and pay for the Sterling online and get the cash delivered to your door for free. The delivery is by An Post registered post and is fully insured. (Orders under €750 cost €6 for delivery) . Minimum order is €400. Popular currencies such as Sterling and US Dollars should usually be delivered next day if ordered before noon. Other currencies will take 2 to 3 days. They deal in several currencies – and you can check current exchange rates on the No1 Currency Website
2: An Post currency exchange were quoting a price of €788.02 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.
3: Bank of Ireland quoted a price of €787.14 for £700 – and they also charge a fee of €2.50 – so that would be a total of €789.64
4: At CurrencyExchange.ie they were quoting a price of €799.63 for £700 Sterling. Customers can reserve your 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.
5: The worst deal we found was from ICE ( International Currency Exchange) http://www.ice-ireland.ie – it would have cost you €813.57 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
Another option to consider for paying in Sterling when you are in the UK or doing online shopping is 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) which 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.
N26 can be great for people who travel a good bit or who make a lot of online non-Euro purchases. You can transfer Euros from your “main” bank account into N26 and then use the N26 card to spend in any currency. An N26 account is free to set up and free to run – unlike most of the mainstream Irish Banks.
Some people use N26 as their main account – since it is possible to have salaries paid in and set up direct debits just like any high street bank. (Just no cash or cheques).
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 but it has some limits and usage charges on it.
- First €/£200 ATM withdrawals a month are free. Anything over that is charged at 2%
- The first €/£ 2000 a month spending on foreign currency transactions is free – after that, there is a 2% fee.
- 2% fee to transfer currencies outside Monese .
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 want cash – there is also the option of using an ATM abroad to withdraw Sterling etc – see more here for details of ATM Charges Abroad.