Martin Lewis advises British holidaymakers on the best travel currency card

Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving returned to Emma Barnett’s show on BBC Radio 5 Live today. As usual, the personal finance expert was inundated with calls and questions about everything from travel to mortgages. Now that international travel is back on the cards for many Britons, keen holidaymakers are eager to get their hands on travel currency.


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The UK government released a list on July 4 identifying countries that are exempt from England’s quarantine rules.

This means that Britons who travel to certain countries will not face 14 days in isolation when they return.

However, this does not mean that Britons won’t face quarantine when they arrive in said countries.

Currently, the pound is struggling against the euro at a rate of 1.1052, according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.

With this in mind, currency cards have become popular among travellers.

One Briton asked Lewis what the best prepayment cards are for euros.

The caller asked: “I’m going to Finland on the 14th [July] and because the exchange rate is pretty rubbish, I was wondering what the best prepayment card for euros might be?”

Lewis explained that rather than a prepayment card, he may want to look at something else.

He asked: “Do you specifically need a pre-payment card?

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“You might want to look at something else.

“If you want a card that you don’t need to be credit-scored on, you’d probably be better off with the Starling Debit Card which is fee-free and if you don’t get the overdraft it does a light credit search on you rather than the full credit check and is easier to get.

“It pretty much gives you just a little bit over the spot rate when you spend abroad.”

Lewis then explained what the “spot rate” is.

He said: “The spot rate is the rate if you do a search online of what the currency rate is.

“That’s the spot-rate.

“And then the holiday money rates tend to be worse.

“I would probably be going for something like the Starling card, if you wanted a non-credit-score card rather than a prepayment card.

“There are prepayment cards out there but the rates tend not to be quite as good.”

He added: “The rates really aren’t as good on most of the store pre-payment cards.”

Lewis also appeared on ITV’s This Morning and advised Britons on holiday refunds.

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