One of the issues with holiday spending money, if you are from outside the Eurozone, is that you can end up getting a terrible exchange rate through your own bank, and in many cases pay “foreign currency transaction” fees every time you use a card.
We travel a lot to the UK and USA, and we used to face the same problem. But for the last year or so, we have been using a Borderless account with Transferwise, and it’s saved us a packet, so we thought we’d share how it works with you.
Basically, it’s a multi currency bank account with a Mastercard debit card. The card is funky too . bright green! When you first set yourself up, you can add accounts in as many currencies as you want.
As you can see, we have three accounts – one for Sterling, one for Euros and one for US Dollars.
Each account has normal bank details – so the Sterling account has a sort code and account number, the dollar account has a routing number and the Euro account has an IBAN.
You can convert money as often as you want between the accounts. The key is that you will get the mid bank exchange rate on the given day, and the fee is very small.
In this example, I’m converting £100 to €100 – the rate is €1.13, better than I can get today from the tobacco shops here at this moment, which is €1.10. The fee is only 35p.
How to use the account
1/ You start by sending money in your home currency to the relevant account.
2/ Once that arrives, you can choose to convert it to your holiday currency straight away, or you can wait until there’s a rate you’re happy with and move it.
3/ When you’re abroad, you either use the debit card with the account to pay for purchases, or use it to draw cash as and when you need it.
4/ The account is intelligent – if you pay for something in Euros, and don’t have enough Euros in your account, it will choose the most favourable currency you do have and convert enough of it to make your payment.
It’s that simple!
If you want to open a Transferwise Borderless account, use this special link and you’ll get your first transfer of up to €500 without any fee.