The web has had a dramatic impact on the travel market, with the majority of travellers now going online to both research and book the perfect trip at prices to suit them with the help of comparison sites like expedia.co.uk and travelsupermarket.com. According to an ICD Research report commissioned by affliliatefuture, 78% of travellers listed the Internet as their preferred method of researching and booking trips abroad, with the majority citing greater choice and lower prices as the reasons for their preference for booking online.
Now travellers who are used to finding lower-priced flights and hotels online are using the web to get better deals on their travel money as well. In the past, the majority of foreign currency purchases were made at the airport or on the high street, either from banks or from familiar names like the Post Office or M & S, but travellers are increasingly finding that the best exchange rates are to be found online rather than at the airport and or on the high street. Perhaps influenced by current economic circumstances and the weakness of Sterling, the number of consumers turning to online foreign currency providers to buy their travel money is growing fast. According to Mintel, in 2008, 15% of consumers had used the web to compare foreign exchange rates online, and this number has increased dramatically since then.
Travellers who shop around online for their foreign currency are finding that the Internet offers a number of benefits compared to high street and airport bureaux de change. Chief among these are the better foreign exchange rates to be found, as shopping around online for the best exchange rate can get you significantly more travel money than you might at the airport or on the high street. Buying foreign currency online also has the added advantage of greater convenience, as everything is taken care of before you head to the airport, meaning there is one less thing to worry about when travelling.
Those customers who do shop around online for their travel money are increasingly finding that prepaid travel money cards are one of a great ways to get great value foreign currency. Travel money cards are prepaid MasterCards® that are loaded with funds before you travel, and can then be used abroad to withdraw cash or make purchases in restaurants, shops or any other location where MasterCard® is accepted – currently over 28 million worldwide. Prepaid travel money cards offer some of the best value foreign exchange rates, and as the card is loaded with foreign currency, they allow you to lock in a great exchange rate before you travel. For more information on prepaid travel money cards visit mytravelcash.com