How Do We Buy Currency When Travelling? 4 Comments

How do we buy currency when travelling?

Some like to exchange sterling cash at the kiosk or bank. Some like to use their sterling debit card but we prepare to use the currency card and here’s why…

Before we set off, we researched a number of foreign exchange card options and decided the Caxton FX card fitted our travelling lifestyle. However, currency product options and offers constantly change, so pays to check on a regular basis.

Free Caxton Card

In 2014, I set up the free Caxton account and then applied for a second card holder. My account was created immediately and it took a couple of days for the currency card to arrive at our home. It was quick and easy.

Having just one account with two card (1 for Craig and 1 for me) makes life easier and less administration. Some cards charge for this option and some don’t permit.

Once the cards arrived, I logged on line to my account to check it was set up and working. I then transferred the minimum amount of money (to understand the procedure and timeframes) from our UK current account to the Caxton account. In essence, I purchased or exchanged GBP for Euro’s at a set rate.

I did a number of small transactions until I was comfortable…in essence, I pre loaded my card with Euro’s

Exchange Rates

Over the following week, I watched the exchange rate, read market news and when I felt the time was right, I topped our account up to €500.

The good thing with Caxton is the ability to log in and check exchange rates 24 hours a day.

Currency Options

Originally, offering only Euro and USD but in the last 3 years Caxton have grown considerably. As a result, they can now offer their customers the major currencies and some odd ones too! We find this particular helpful (for example) when travelling in Eastern Europe the Polish Zloty – we can purchase Polish Zloty and then when we leave Poland, we can transfer any unspent Zloty in to Euro’s.

Having one card that covers a multitude of currencies makes life so much easier.

Top Up

To keep the Caxton account topped up you have two options. Transfer funds when you want to or select the auto top up facility.  I use the manual top up facility as I like to be in control of when I purchase the Euro’s this also means I can take advantage of currency movements.

The Caxton card is a prepaid currency card, so it is important you keep it topped up to support your spending activity. As well as cash, you can also use your Caxton card to pay for goods and services but we generally only use it for cash.

Withdrawing Cash

When travelling, we withdraw cash using both cards. This way, we make sure both cards are always working OK then no dependancy on just one card. Each time we withdraw cash it is the same value, so it makes it easy for us to spot any unusual or fraudulent activity on our account. Using the card in Europe is just like using the card in the UK…walk up the hole in the wall, insert card, enter detail & withdraw cash.  The good news, Caxton do not charge any fees for withdrawing cash.


How Do I Check My Balance?

Checking your balance is easy. By either the App, Desktop site or cash machine.

Is it Easy To Use When Travelling?

As long as you have internet access, yes. I log on to our account on a regular basis to make sure the account transactions are expected. Everything is always in line and very easy to navigate. Since we joined in 2014 Caxton have undergone a number of enhancements to their accounts, so as well as check balance, top up your card, you can now also swap currencies and do international fund transfers.

We have used the Caxton card for over 3 years and our thoughts

  • You load it with Euro’s and then use like a debit.
  • We’ve never had an issue withdrawing cash.
  • There are no hidden fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No unexpected costs associated with the card.
  • The only thing to bear in mind is this is an ‘international’ card, so DO NOT use in the UK otherwise you will incur fees.
  • You load it with currency and then use like a debit.
  • Staff are always very helpful and friendly
  • UK based customer service
  • Now the option to complete international money transfers.

We would never travel without our caxton – its not just a currency card, its peace of mind knowing that you can travel country to country and know you can have their currency at your finger tips.

After 3 years using the card we contacted Caxton and asked how we could direct people to their website. Caxton were delighted we’d made contact and said send over a photo, so we can link up, so if you want to check out Caxton and even more great ways to save your money just click the image below to find out more.

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4 thoughts on “How Do We Buy Currency When Travelling?

  • Big Momma

    We have been using the Caxton fx currency card for 4 years, like yourselves, and fully concur with everything that you have said. The only negative aspect is that you cannot use it to pay in some automated machines (Toll Booths & some Fuel Stations that provide for card payments). However, these are not major negatives if you ensure that you have some cash Euro as well. Even though we are not going back across the water until November we keep an eye on the currency rates, we topped up a couple of months ago and got €1.1670 to the £, a good move when today it is down to around the €1.11 mark !!

      • Bigmomma

        Perhaps I should clarify what I meant ? We use Caxton at Fuel Stations, fill with fuel and/or GPL, go into kiosk and pay with card as normal. It is the fuel stations that have the ‘manned’ kiosks closed out of hours, the ‘Pay at Pump’ card machines. The machines will accept a Credit Card but not the Debit Type Card 😉

  • Paul

    We also use Caxton. Many are raving about Revolut at the moment but it’s quite new so I prefer to watch and wait before trying it