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THE FOREIGN ATM AMNESTY
On 02.03.2010
BEWARE USING YOUR NEW VISA DEBIT CARD ABROAD, GET TRAVEL MONEY ONLINE BEFORE YOU GO

With the UK’s biggest high street banks currently switching customers from Maestro to Visa debit cards, travellers could be in for a big shock when they use their new cards to withdraw cash from foreign ATMs.

Customers using the new Visa debit cards could now be charged a cash withdrawal fee of up to two per cent each time – where previously with Maestro these charges would have been significantly less.

The 11 per cent of travellers* who wait to buy their currency until they arrive at the airport or even until they arrive on foreign soil can avoid these fees by buying their currency online before they go.

Leading foreign exchange provider The Change Group has today launched an online travel money website price commitment which will help travellers avoid costly fees for using their card abroad. People can now buy their currency online at any point before departure, have it delivered next day, free of charge to their home or workplace, or even collect it just before they fly from one of The Change Group’s 21 UK bureaux.

To mark the launch of its website The Change Group is guaranteeing the best Euro or US Dollar exchange rate on the market versus Post Office branches or Marks & Spencer high street bureaux. Customers will be entitled to a refund on the difference if they do not secure the best available rate. Rates are updated daily.

UK banking customers who might also be concerned about being charged a debit card fee when buying online or over-the-counter are also offered the option to purchase their travel money by making a free internet banking transfer to The Change Group.

Sacha Zackariya, CEO at The Change Group said: “Travel money can be a bit of a minefield and many customers will simply wait until they get to a foreign ATM to withdraw their cash. But while Maestro customers didn’t fare too badly in terms of charges, they may find themselves worse off with their new Visa cards – whether buying in the UK or abroad.

“It is therefore vital they seek out the best deal in the market to maximise their holiday pounds, not least because of the continued weakness of Sterling which could make holidays in Europe or America much more costly than expected.”

How does The Change Group compare?*






£1,000 buys
The Change Group€1,110.00
M&S€1,066.00
Post Office€1,043.00
ACE-FX€1,087.00
ICE€1,089.50
*Based on comparisons taken by phone 1 March 2010

The Change Group is one of the world’s leading foreign exchange providers to consumers and corporates alike. It has 21 bureaux in the UK, including a range of high street bureaux in central London, airport bureaux at London Luton, Glasgow Prestwick, Belfast and Cardiff and more than 120 other branches worldwide.

A £200 minimum purchase applies for all purchases, online only. No other charges apply and delivery is free.
The Change Group is also supporting the Haiti Earthquake appeal and for every transaction, £1 will be donated to the Red Cross appeal. The Change Group, through its partnership of The Tree Foundation, donated around £250,000 to the tsunami appeal and gives 1.5 per cent of its profits to the Tree Foundation each year.

*According to Post Office Travel Services

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