Here at Currensea, we've secured interbank exchange rates for the 16 major currency pairings. Meaning, you get the best pound to euro, pound to dollar, pound to Australian dollar and generally the best pound to anything rate with no hidden bank fees, even at the weekend.
In simple terms, the interbank rate got its name as it’s the rate used by banks when they trade large amounts of foreign currency. Also known as the ‘real-rate’ and is never normally accessible to the general public.
When you spend internationally with your existing debit or credit card, for example when you spend in US dollar from your UK (GBP) account, your bank will charge you a fee in addition to the exchange rate they previously used to transfer between themselves. The fees that are included in your foreign card spend allow your banks to make a profit from the exchange.
By spending in multiple currencies at the live interbank exchange rate, you avoid any bank fees and charges.
The price at which banks sell foreign currencies is called the ask, and the price at banks buy these currencies is called the bid. The difference between the two is known as the bid/ask spread. There are many factors that can influence the bid/ask spread including; politics, inflation and interest rates, government debt and supply, and demand for the currency.
When the exchange rate isn’t interbank, the bid/ask spread can be set by foreign exchange brokers, who generally set the selling price a fraction higher than the buying price. This fraction allows them to make money off the currency conversion.
Currency exchange rates are fluctuating all the time, here at Currensea we make sure you have access to real-time/ live exchange rates to make sure that you’re paying at the most accurate rate possible.
If you’re using your debit card, credit card, or travel card services like a pre-paid travel card when spending abroad, you’re unlikely to receive the interbank exchange rate. This means that every time you spend in a foreign currency you might be paying a big markup on each transaction. Different service providers can charge different markups, but on average your bank charges a markup of over 3.25%. If you’re buying goods for your business or going on holiday with your family, these costs can add up quickly. If you’re making international payments regularly, these costs can have a huge impact. By ensuring that you are getting a rate as close to the interbank exchange rate as possible, helps you save as much as possible per transaction.
The Currensea travel debit card connects with your existing bank account so you get all the perks of your high-street bank but without the foreign transaction fees. We offer 16 interbank currencies including, pound to US dollar, pound to euro and pound to Australian dollar. All other rates are offered at the Mastercard live exchange rate, which is as close to the interbank exchange rate as possible.
Currensea Limited is registered in England and Wales (No. 11413946), authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference No. 843507) and is a Principal Member of Mastercard. We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (Registration No. ZA524676).
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