40% of British fans attending Euro 2012 are in the dark when it comes to the currencies in Poland and Ukraine, a gaffe that could cost England supporters as much as £200 extra in poor exchange rates and high commission charges, a survey has revealed.
Whilst fans might be savvy about soccer, they are less than clued up when it comes to currency, as 30% of those questioned didn't know what the currency was in Ukraine and a further 40% thought that Poland was in the Euro. The currencies are the Hryvnia in Ukraine and the Zloty in Poland.
With Bureau de Changes in holiday hotspots and airports notorious for charging up to 10%(i) more for currency than other methods of exchange, off the mark footy fans may fall foul of hefty fees if they rock up in Eastern Europe with a wallet full of the wrong currency. With research indicating it will cost the average fan over £2000(ii) just to see England through all three group games, exchanging such a stash at the last minute might mean fans are penalised to the sum of £200 based on the 10% charge imposed by some Bureau de Changes. Those who switch to credit and debit cards should also be wary, with some providers charging up to £4.74 for the withdrawal of £100(iii).
The survey was commissioned by my Travel Cash(iv), a prepaid MasterCard® currency card provider, just weeks before thousands of England fans travel to Eastern Europe for the tournament kick off.
But despite the seemingly laid back attitude to holiday spends, some football fans are clearly feeling the pinch. To save money, 38% of cost-conscious football fans will be incorporating the trip to the tournament into their annual break.
In seeking out Eastern Europe as a holiday destination, football fans are part of a growing trend, as Poland and Ukraine become increasingly popular hotspots with British tourists in general. According to the my Travel Cash survey, 59% of Brits have either already visited Poland or Ukraine or are considering taking a trip in the near future. And whilst the weather and culture were cited as plus points, 44% of those asked said that the destinations’ value for money was the biggest attraction.
For those travelling to Eastern Europe, either for the football or a family break, both Poland and Ukraine represent great value holiday options. With the Sterling presently strong against the Polish Zloty, £500 will currently buy you 2,665 Zloty, up 27%(v) on this time last year. What’s more, tourists find that the cost of holiday essentials is considerably cheaper than in ‘traditional’ tourist destinations such as Greece or Spain. For example, a pint might cost up to £5.93 in Marbella whereas the average cost in Ukraine is just 50p(vi).
Myles Stephenson, CEO of my Travel Cash comments: “It’s quite common for people to mistake the currencies of foreign countries so it’s always worth checking before you travel. Planning your travel money well in advance will help you avoid getting stung by poor exchange rates or high commission that can be encountered at Bureau de Changes in popular tourist areas or airports.
“When travelling anywhere where multiple currencies will be required, in this case, the Zloty in Poland and the Hryvnia in Ukraine, it is worth considering using a prepaid multi-currency card which can be used for payments in either currency or to withdraw either type of cash. A prepaid currency card will also help you budget for your break as, unless you top up again, you can only spend what’s on the card.
“Furthermore, with 1.4 million fans descending on Poland and Ukraine this summer, the opportunity for pickpockets will be rife. Chip & PIN protected, prepaid cards offer a safer alternative to fans carrying around large amounts of cash on their person.”
my Travel Cash has a Multi-Currency card as part of its prepaid currency card range (this includes Euro and US Dollar). Visit mytravelcash.com for information about terms, fees or to order a card by completing the short form. An Express Delivery option is available allowing cards to be delivered in just 1-3 working days.
my Travel Cash also provides a Currency Home Delivery Service for 20 different currencies. Customers can order before 2pm for next day delivery or delivery can be scheduled to arrive up to 7 days after the order has been placed including Saturdays (for a £2 additional fee).