From big business transfers to a leisurely weekend away, we all know that currency conversion can come at a cost – but when are we spending too much on foreign exchange? Depending on whether you are operating a small business, taking a family trip or working as a freelancer, there are a variety of ways you can save money on foreign exchange.

Currency conversion for small businesses

Business owners who work in more than one currency, whether it is for paying employees or making deals, know that the average bank will charge a big overhead for currency conversion. Because of this, and the general frustration that usually occurs between businesses and big banks, smaller businesses have started to fill a gap in the market for reasonable currency conversion and transfers.

Businesses like Regent FE and HIFX have created accounts that combat excessive bank charges and save businesses money. Regent FE in particular has a relationship with Saxo Payments which allows them to save businesses up to 80% on conversions.

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Currency for holidaymakers

One of the best ways to save money is to buy your foreign currency in bulk before you go. Try not to leave it til the last minute and always avoid converting at the airport. It may take a little time to get a great deal on buying foreign currency but it will be worth it.

Using an online converter and having the money sent to you can often be the best option. There are plenty of comparison sites out there such as moneysupermarket or moneysavingexpert that can help you compare and contrast rates so that you get the best deal.

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Currency conversion for freelancers

If you’re being paid by a foreign company on a regular freelance basis it is best to be paid in bulk, rather than lots of smaller invoices at a time. However if you are doing odd jobs this may not be an option.

PayPal can be a great way to get paid because it is a very honest and secure platform, however it can cost you. Transferwise argues that it can give some of the best rates going for freelancers and illustrates that transfers from regular banks are by far the costliest.