A guide to buying foreign currency

Category: Midi-Pyrenees - Money and Finance

Key points about this information item A guide to buying foreign currency



A guide to foreign currency exchange


Buying foreign currency is something that most if not all foreigners living in France have to do at least once and many are making regular transfers.  Getting your transfer wrong can prove very expensive.  This guide aims to help you avoid wasting money.  It won’t find you the best deal on the day, just give you help in finding a good deal.


First of all, lets look at the various methods of transferring money :


Credit Card to withdraw money

This is probably the most expensive method.  Not only will you possibly get a poor rate of exchange, in most cases there will be a charge for the transfer and also a percentage charge based on the amount withdrawn.  Something else to consider is that you will be charged interest on the credit card from the day you withdraw the money.  On the plus side, it is quick and convenient.


Debit card to withdraw money

As with the credit card, you will most likely be charged a commission for using your debit card abroad, plus the rate may not be great.  There will be no interest charged on the money unless you go overdrawn in your bank, so it will be cheaper than using a credit card.


Using your bank to transfer money

This is better than using your cards, but not by a huge margin.  Your bank does not offer a great exchange rate and there will be a charge for the transfer.  For many people, this is the safe option, because they are used to dealing with their bank and see it as the safe option.


Foreign exchange specialist

There are a large number of foreign exchange companies, who specialise in transferring money between currencies in a cost effective, quick and safe way.  They will give a better rate than your bank and many will make no charge for the transfer. 


Choosing an FX company should be based on a number of factors, not just the rate you receive, although that is clearly very important.  Check the facilities they offer; is there an online facility and do they allocate a personal currency trader to you.  There have been some FX company failures in recent years, so being able to trust you’re the company you choose is of the utmost importance.


Guide2 Midi-Pyrenees has used a number of different currency specialists over the past few years and we are happy to recommend the following FX companies. 


The companies are listed in alphabetical order, not any preference of use.


Currencies Direct – One of the largest foreign exchange companies, with a number of agents across France.  Fiona warren is the companies agent covering the Midi-Pyrenees.  Contact her here


First Rate FX – Judy Mansfield is the company’s agent in France and will be more than happy to help and advise on your next currency transaction.  More details here


Halo Financial – Offering a personal service with your own currency trader, who will help you get the best rate for your exchange.  Contact Halo Financial here


World First – The UK’s fastest growing foreign exchange company, offering great customer service to private individuals and companies.  Speak to World First







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