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Sandbanker

Euros from BF?

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Having just received a letter from BF offering me 2 cents extra on euros purchased in connection with a Spanish holiday booking, I wonder if others have found this service to be advantageous. I have just spent the last 5 minutes waiting for their dedicated phone line to be answered in order to obtain a quote, and have given up for the moment. I have a Santander debit card and normally find that using it in a Santander cash machine in Spain secures a reasonable rate without any commission or card charges. On this occasion we will be in a hurry and may not have the luxury of finding a Santander bank.

We are departing from Portsmouth and I wonder if I need to allow time to collect the euros from the terminal building or whether they can be collected on board.

In any event they have to be ordered 72 hours in advance.

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I just ordered some for collection at the port - they are usually at the check-in kiosk waiting, only once have I had to go into the terminal to collect in over twenty years.  The only 'faff' I find is having to count the cash in the car while watched by the check-in staff (Usually delegated to Mrs N as she used to work a bank counter!) 

The rate quoted (Sunday)was 1.090 euros to the pound + an extra cent for Club Voyage membership compared to Sainsbury's  offer at 1.099. plus nectar points.  Went for the convenience option rather than another visit to the supermarket!

How did you wangle +2 cents? 😉😉

Edited by nottingham

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It said: "Thank you for booking with B F Holidays..........We will guarantee you a 2 cents increase on our daily advertised Euro exchange rate...........Call 0330 159 4999...........quoting your booking reference"

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That's quite a good rate, however if you have a commission free debit card you would get the interbank rate (which is 1.124 at the moment).

The prepaid currency card that BF is pushing at the moment is a bit of a rip off, it is simpler getting an account with a commission free card and using that just for foreign ATM's. Metro bank is good for Europe, Starling is currently good worldwide.

If you want bundled mobile phone, travel and European Breakdown insurance as well as global commission free ATM + a good credit card, the Nationwide flex paid for account is excellent.

It also makes sense having a separate wallet for Euros and keeping it topped up, I am still spending Euros that I got at 1.20.

 

 

Edited by David Williams

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3 hours ago, nottingham said:

I just ordered some for collection at the port - they are usually at the check-in kiosk waiting, only once have I had to go into the terminal to collect in over twenty years.  The only 'faff' I find is having to count the cash in the car while watched by the check-in staff (Usually delegated to Mrs N as she used to work a bank counter!) 

The rate quoted (Sunday)was 1.090 euros to the pound + an extra cent for Club Voyage membership compared to Sainsbury's  offer at 1.099. plus nectar points.  Went for the convenience option rather than another visit to the supermarket!

How did you wangle +2 cents? 😉😉

As a Club Voyage member you get 2 cents extra.  I use the service for convenience, as you say it's a pain counting it in the car.  I think if you look around you could get a slightly better rate.  I also use a Santander credit card for most spending abroad as the rate is normally better.

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Perhaps one needs more cash for payments in Spain, but in two visits to France this year I found I scarcely needed cash at all. Card payments seemed to have become universal - automated unmanned fuel pumps everywhere of course, but every store, every restaurant, and even automated ""bean to cup" serve yourself coffee machines at motorway service stations all paid by card. Cash really seemed to be on the way out there. 

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For credit cards without commission, the Halifax Clarity Card is good, on our last visit the only use of cash was the Bakery, however I do like some cash in case the cards don't work.

Edited by David Williams

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

As a Club Voyage member you get 2 cents extra.  I use the service for convenience, as you say it's a pain counting it in the car.  I think if you look around you could get a slightly better rate.  I also use a Santander credit card for most spending abroad as the rate is normally better.

Thanks for pointing that out - I'll check on receipt - I could have sworn the lady said +1 cent when I ordered!

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We used the service this year as club voyage members we got exactly the same rate from Tesco as BF , as they say you decide.

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It would be the last place I would go for euros,there are plenty of places to go and get better rates than bf at Portsmouth.

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8 hours ago, nodwad said:

It would be the last place I would go for euros,there are plenty of places to go and get better rates than bf at Portsmouth.

With the extra 2 cents for being a club member I haven’t found a better rate apart from a negligible amount.

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For regular bvisitors to Europe why not get a Britline Euro bank account and debit card. Using their transfer facility you have very good exchange rate and then no commission or other charges on your European spending?

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15 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

Britline Euro bank account and debit card

I have a Britline account to pay French Direct Debits etc, however the bank account costs 10.80€ a year and the debit card (which I don't have) costs at least 23€ a year - they have a few versions.

The absolute cheapest way for Euros is to get a UK bank account with zero charges for European ATM's and which uses the interbank conversion rate. Free ones include MetroBank (Europe only) or Starling (worldwide). There is no problem in maintaining the extra bank account just for foreign use.

The best credit card is the Halifax Clarity which is commission free worldwide. 

If you have the Nationwide Flexplus account (which costs but is great), you can get a fee free worldwide debit and credit card.

David

Edited by David Williams

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I would second the Nationwide account, lots of stuff included in the monthly fee, worldwide travel insurance (great service during the french air controllers strike) breakdown cover, mobile insurance cover for the whole family and other stuff , the free euro withdrawals in France are handy as well.

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We bring back Euros from Spain, just enough to get started, so we don't need to buy any.  Of course if it's the first ever trip then maybe the BF deal for Club Voyage members is ok.  Like others we use the Halifax Clarity card; for ATM withdrawals we use pre-loaded cards from Caxton (no charges or monthly withdrawal limits) and Revolut, (best rate but free withdrawals limited to €200 per month).  You can also use these pre-paid cards as normal debit cards for any payments.  I load them throughout the year, trying to get good rates, but it's something of a gamble.

Sorry if I'm telling you what you already know, but never accept the option to pay in Sterling at the check out - it's a rip-off.  Always pay in Euros.

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For UK customers:

Rule 1: Never pay in sterling when abroad. Always pay in Euro.

Rule 2: Always pay in sterling when on board the BF ship. Never pay in Euro.

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