My Inside Secret to Cheap Travel Money
Listen up travel addicts!
I need to tell you about a simple way to save money on your travel currency.
This is not a sponsored post
Now, before I start I would like to mention that I have not been contacted or approached in any way to write this post. I have not been paid or sponsored to publish this.
I am doing this because I genuinely recommend it and I believe that it will benefit a lot of travelers (you included).
After a couple of months of using this, I told my housemate about it. He signed up for it and used it on a short trip to Dublin where he saved about £20 ($27) in currency exchange fees.
To ensure that this stays an honest post, I am going to let you know that if you like what you read, there is a link at the bottom of this page that will get you £10 free credit (or equivalent in your local currency).
If you click and sign up through this link, then not only do you get £10 credit, I also get up to £10 credit.
This is a refer-a-friend programme that is open to everyone (similar to the Airbnb referral programme). As mentioned, this post is not a collaboration or paid promotion. If you do join, you’ll also get your own link where you can refer your own friends and both enjoy up to £10 free credit.
If you would prefer to join up directly without the free credit, then that’s cool also. I just included it as an additional freebie for my readers.
Right, now the housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get into the actual post!
Travel money problems
On my first solo trip, I had to handle three different types of currency in the space of one week – Great British Pounds, Hungarian Forints and Euros.
When I am at home, I hardly ever deal in cash. Every purchase that I make is either completed online, via card or via PayPal.
The thought of having to exchange my money into multiple currencies before I went away, and then have to carry all my cash around, was not something that I felt comfortable doing.
Also, I had no real idea of how much money I would need in each currency, and I didn’t have the luxury of being able to exchange extra just in case.
After a bit of Googling, I found WeSwap.
Introducing WeSwap Travel Money
WeSwap is simply a pre-paid debit card that you top-up using your home currency and then exchange it for another currency – all whilst staying on the same card.
It’s one simple card can hold up to 18 different currencies.
It sounded far too good to be true that, at first, I thought it was a scam. But, after a bit more research I discovered that it was legitimate and the ideal solution to my problem.
I quickly joined up and traveled around Europe using nothing but my WeSwap card.
By cutting out the middleman (the banks and currency exchanges) I saved money on exchange fees and I had the convenience of a debit card that dealt with the local currency.
I would highly recommend any traveler or holiday maker to seriously look into getting a WeSwap card. Not only for your own convenience but also for savings of up to 90%* when it comes to spending your money abroad. (*vs bank cards and bureaux de change)
Worry-free travel money
Throughout the whole of 2017, I traveled to 11 different cities in 8 different countries and used nothing but my WeSwap card.
I never had to worry about money or currency because I could easily top up my card and exchange it into the local currency – and I could do it almost instantaneously.
My money felt a lot more secure because I wasn’t carrying around loads of cash. Everything was on one handy bank card.
And if I ever lost my WeSwap card whilst I was out traveling, I would only ever run the risk of losing the money that was on that card. (Although I am sure that I could contact WeSwap for them to block any transactions and to cancel the card).
I could leave my main bank account card safe at home. I didn’t need to carry it around with me as I easily transfer money from my main account to my WeSwap card with a few taps on my phone.
Here’s how a WeSwap card works
Think of your WeSwap card like a swiss army knife. Rather than it just being able to hold one currency, a WeSwap card can hold up to 18 different currencies.
It allows travelers to swap currencies with no hidden charges ensuring that everyone gets the fairest rate.
By swapping currencies with people who are traveling in opposite directions, you can save money by cutting out the use of banks or expensive retail outlets.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the process
Simply load your new pre-paid MasterCard securely using your debit card online, or via the app, in your local currency.
Tell WeSwap which currency you would like your funds swapping into, how much and when you need it by. WeSwap will take care of swapping your money with other travelers – you do not need to do anything here.
When you swap is complete your card will hold a new currency. You can use your card anywhere where MasterCard is accepted, just like a local. It is free to use online and in shops and restaurants. When spending, your WeSwap card will automatically use the right currency.
Currencies available with WeSwap
Currently, they are 18 different currencies available, however, WeSwap are working towards making more currencies available.
- GBP – Pound Sterling
- EUR – Euro
- DKK – Danish Krone
- NOK – Norwegian Krona
- SEK – Swedish Krona
- USD – United States Dollar
- CHF – Swiss Franc
- AUD – Australian Dollar
- CAD – Canadian Dollar
- HUF – Hungarian Forint
- HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
- JPY – Japanese Yen
- NZD – New Zealand Dollar
- PLN – Polish Zloty
- SGD – Singapore Dollar
- ZAR – South African Rand
- TRY – Turkish Lira
- ILS – Israeli Shekel
Charges and limits
Here are some of the main charges and limits that you should be aware of, but for a full and updated list of fees and limits, please click here.
- Swap Fees
Each time you make a swap, you are charged a small fee. The longer you are happy to wait for a swap to be completed, the cheaper it is.
- Immediate Swap – 2.0%
- 3 Day Swap – 1.3%
- 7 Day Swap – 1.0%
- ATM Withdrawal Fees
If you withdraw over a certain amount of money via an ATM there is no charge. A charge will only be applied if you withdraw an amount of money under their specified limit.
For example, for GBP, if I withdraw over £200 there is no fee, but if I withdraw under £200 then there is a fee of £1.50. (This does not include any additional charges that the ATM may apply)
Please note that these fees were correct when this post was published on 23rd January 2018 but may be subject to change and it is not a completed list of their fees and limits. To get a full and updated list of fees and limits, please click here.
There’s an app for that
WeSwap comes complete with a handy (and very easy to use) app.
From your phone or tablet you can easily keep track of all your currencies whilst you are on the go.
If you find that you need more money whilst you are away, just simply tap the app. You can top up and exchange currencies easily.
How to get started with WeSwap
Because it is classed as a pre-paid card, there are no credit checks or applications. Just simply visit their website and complete a quick sign-up form. Shortly after, your clever little card will be on its way to you.
Whilst you wait for it to arrive, you can load your money and start swapping via your online dashboard or via the app. So, when your card arrives, you can start using it instantaneously.
As mentioned, once you’ve signed up for the card you’ll also get your own referral link where you can recommend your friends and both enjoy up to £10 extra free credit.
If you would like to take advantage of my referral link, I’ll pop it below for you.
I hope this post helps to save you a few pennies on your travel money. If you know of any other travel money secret, tips and hacks, please let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I have put this post together using my knowledge as a WeSwap user and by additional research that I have conducted via the WeSwap website. I believe the contents of this post are true as of 23rd January 2018, however, they may be subject to change without notice. I therefore strongly advise that you conduct your own research and due diligence before signing up to a WeSwap card.