6 Best places to exchange currency in Birmingham - 2023
Looking for a guide to the top currency exchange options in Birmingham? You’re in the right place. Whether you’ve just arrived in the UK, or you’re a Brit planning a trip abroad, shopping around for your travel cash is essential to make sure you get the best available exchange rate for your specific currency, and don’t pay too much in fees.
Join us as we introduce some of the top rated Birmingham currency exchange services, so you can see if any suit you. We’ll also look at some valuable tips to make your money go further when you’re away from home.
Beat the money changer rates with a prepaid travel card
Going to a currency exchange before a holiday can be exciting, but you will often be paying hidden fees that are baked into the exchange rate.
Things to consider before exchanging money
Here are a few things to think about before you buy foreign currency for your trip.
Avoid airport currency exchanges
Airport and hotel currency exchange services are convenient, but you’ll usually pay a premium for the privilege of using them, through higher fees or a poorer exchange rate compared to what you’d get elsewhere. Choosing a currency exchange in the city center where competition keeps fees down can be a better choice - or why not use a travel money card at an ATM on arrival, to get convenient cash as and when you need it.
Check the mid-market rate
Check the live mid-market rate for your currency pairing online or with a currency converter app before you buy foreign currency. You’ll often find the exchange rates offered by currency exchange services are calculated by adding a markup (an extra fee) onto the mid-market rate. Simply knowing the mid-market rate for your currency can help you spot if an extra is hidden here, so you’ll know if you’re getting a fair deal.
Beware of ATM rates
ATMs may offer you the option to pay in your home currency instead of the local currency wherever you are. However this is usually a costly mistake. When you pay in your home currency, the ATM operator controls the exchange rate and fees that apply, rather than your bank or card network. Always pay in local currency to get the lowest overall costs.
Get a travel money card to cut costs
A smart and flexible solution is to open a digital account, and order a travel money card from a provider like Wise or Revolut before you go abroad. Use your card to make easy payments and cash withdrawals globally, and hold and exchange dozens of currencies right from your phone. Both Wise and Revolut have accounts with no monthly fees, good exchange rates and low, transparent fees, so you can just add money in pounds and spend overseas without unnecessary costs or hassle.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the pros and cons of Wise vs Revolut, to give you an idea of which may work for you.
✅ Free to open an account
✅ Hold 40+ currencies
✅ Use your Wise card in 140+ countries
✅ No fee to spend currencies you hold
✅ Mid-market rate currency conversion with low fees from 0.43%
❌ Card delivery fees apply
❌ Some ATM fees apply once your monthly free withdrawal allowance is exhausted
❌ No branch network
✅ Open an account with no monthly fees, or upgrade for more features
✅ Use your Revolut card globally
✅ Some cards offer cash back opportunities
✅ Hold and exchange multiple currencies, with no fees up to your plan limit
✅ Some fee free ATM withdrawals based on plan type
❌ You’ll pay a monthly fee to access all features available
❌ Out of hours and exotic currency conversion fees apply
❌ No branch network
Best place to exchange currency in Birmingham?
Which exchange service is best for you will depend on personal preference and the currencies you need. Bear in mind that not all stores will keep all currencies on hand, so you may need to order ahead. To start your search, let’s take a look at some of the top rated exchange services in Birmingham, according to Google.
Where available, as well as the contact information and Google rating, we’ve also included the GBP - AUD exchange rate at the time of research, as an example for comparison. Before you head out, call the exchange service you pick to get the live details for the currency you need.
|Name||Address||Phone number||GBP - AUD rate||Google Rating|
|Money Ocean Currency Exchange||7 Whitmore are, Birmingham B10 0NR||+44 333 0113325||Not available online||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Nathan & Co||7 Lower Temple St, Birmingham, B2 4JD||+44 121 6931499||EUR and USD only||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|Travelex Foreign Currency Exchange and Travel Money||Birmingham Airport||+44 345 8727627||1 GBP = 1.8947 AUD||4.5 out of 5 stars|
|Eurochange Northfield||Bristol Rd S, Birmingham, B31 2JU||+44 122 7949517||1 GBP = 1.8948 AUD||4.3 out of 5 stars|
|Eurochange King's Heath||169A High St, King’s Heath, Birmingham, B14 7DJ||+44 121 7949514||1 GBP = 1.8948 AUD||4.1 out of 5 stars|
|UAE Exchange UK||276 Soho Rd, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 9KZ||+44 20 30922596||Not available online||3.7 out of 5 stars|
- Correct at time of writing, 8th August 2023
How we rated the best places to exchange money
Our table is based on the live Google ratings for exchange services in central Birmingham, at the time of research. However, ratings are dynamic and do change frequently - so you’ll want to do your own research as well, before you head out to exchange your money.
Factors to consider when choosing an exchange provider in Birmingham
There are plenty of exchange services in Birmingham - but what’s crucial is to find one which is properly licensed and regulated. That should mean you’re using a legitimate provider which will treat you fairly. It’s also generally smart to check out Google reviews and see what other users are saying about different providers, to help you pick one.
Of course, the costs also matter, so don’t forget to compare the fees and exchange rates on offer from different services. Fee free, or zero commission currency exchange doesn’t really exist, so if you come across a provider which claims to offer this, check the exchange rate used to convert your funds. Often the fees are simply tucked away here, which isn’t transparent, and can mean you’re paying more than you think for currency exchange.
Find a service which offers the mid-market exchange rate or as close to it as possible for the best available deal. Or, try an alternative like a travel money card from a provider like Wise or Revolut, for mid-market rate currency conversion with low, transparent fees.
Tips for finding the best currency exchange rates in Birmingham
Exchanging currency in Birmingham isn’t hard to do, but spending a little time doing some research in advance can mean you get a better deal and lower fees in the end. Here are a few pointers:
Check the live mid-market rate for your currency and look for a provider offering this rate or close to it
See if you can get a better rate if you order your currency online for collection
Remember, there may be a fee to pay if you buy foreign currency with a credit card, either from the provider or from your card issuer
Compare as many options as possible across both fees and rates to make sure you get a fair deal
Check out online currency converters or mobile apps to stay updated on current exchange rates - or use the Exiap currency conversion tools to keep on top of the rates available conveniently
Consider online alternatives such as Wise and Revolut, for travel money cards you can use for free or low cost ATM withdrawals in the UK and abroad
Where to get foreign currency outside the UK
If you’re about to head overseas, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not usually necessary to change money in advance of travel if you don’t want to. With a multi-currency card from a service like Revolut or Wise you can just add money in pounds and spend overseas - with no foreign transaction fees, and often with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees. That can be more convenient than carrying cash, and can mean your money goes further, too.
If you plan on carrying pounds and exchanging them on arrival, remember that while airports, hotels or banks often offer currency exchange services, they may not have the best rates or fees. Picking a currency exchange provider in the city center can mean you get a better deal - shop around if you can, so you know you’re not getting ripped off.
How do I exchange currency after a trip?
Returned home with excess foreign currency cash? You may be able to sell your higher value foreign currency notes (if they’re undamaged and clean) back to the exchange service where you originally bought them. Buy back rates may be used, which may not be as good as the rate you bought at, plus extra fees may apply.
Avoid the issue entirely with a digital multi-currency account from a service like Wise or Revolut. Just add money in pounds, and then withdraw local currency cash at your destination as and when you need to. If you have pounds left in your account at the end of your trip you can withdraw your money back to your bank, make payments to others, or withdraw at a UK ATM instead.
FAQs - best places to exchange currency in Birmingham
What is the cheapest way to get foreign currency in Birmingham ?
There’s no single cheapest way to get foreign currency in Birmingham. Different services set their own fees and rates, which can vary widely. Use the tools and reviews on Exiap, to help you find a good provider for your specific needs.
Should I exchange money before I travel?
You can - but it’s not usually necessary. A better option may be to get a multi-currency account and card from a service like Wise or Revolut, and just make cash withdrawals in your destination when you need to. That’s convenient and safe, and can mean you pay less overall, too.
Does it matter where you exchange currency?
Yes. Use a currency exchange service with good rates and low fees to have more to spend in foreign currency when you’re away. Do some research into the best options for your needs, including exchanging cash and using a specialist travel money card instead.
What is the best reloadable prepaid card?
There’s no single best reloadable prepaid debit card. Use this guide to compare a few options to pick the one that’s right for you, thinking about features, fees and the range of supported currencies you’ll need.