Leftover foreign currency? Here’s what to do with it

Summer holiday season is fast approaching means many of us will be jetting off to far flung locations for some well earned r&r. This also means we’ll be wondering how much money we need to change for the trip, which can be tricky as you don’t want to end up with lots of foreign currency when you get back.

Visa Europe has estimated that we end up with around £30 in unused cash after our holidays, which can quickly add up over the years. The Daily Telegraph cites research from Zopa that the Brits have around £110.45 in leftover holiday currency just lying around in their home.

The obvious use for this money is to re-use it on your next holiday, but what is you have no plans to go away soon? Here’s our suggestions on how to get use of foreign currency:

  • Convert large sums back. If you have a large amount left over it makes sense to convert it back into sterling. When converting it back you should shop around for the best rate, this can vary and some places will take commission. Also note that most travel exchanges will only buy back notes and not coins.
  • Sell foreign coins online. Leftovercurrency.com will buy your unused coins and even defunct currencies. Rates do vary so it’s worth keeping an eye on them so you can bag the best exchange.
  • Trade into a different currency. It might be worth converting your currency directly into the next currency you will need. You don’t always need to convert back into sterling first (which may cost you to do). This will usually only work with frequently traded currencies such as  euros and dollars.
  • Donate to charity. Leftover foreign currency can be donated to charity. Some major airlines will collect your donations during flights and in some airports there are collection boxes for charities. You can also drop off your unwanted currency into high street charity shop branches.

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