6 Best places to exchange currency in Leicester - 2023
You’ll find a good selection of independent and chain currency exchange options in most UK cities - handy if you’re looking to exchange foreign currency cash for pounds, or if you’re a Brit heading overseas and need travel money. If you happen to be looking for the best places to exchange currency in Leicester, this guide is for you.
We’ll cover some of the top rated Leicester currency exchange services, including their locations, ratings and some example exchange rates for comparison, and throw in some extra tips to find the best available deals on currency exchange, at home or abroad, as a bonus.
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 currency exchanges - similar to exchange desks in hotels - rely on passing trade, and have little local competition. That can mean you end up with higher overall costs if you choose to exchange currency there. If you’re determined to pick up currency on the way out of the country, try ordering ahead online or by phone - this may get you a better rate. Otherwise, you can always make an ATM withdrawal on arrival at your destination. This usually gets you a reasonable exchange rate and can be pretty good value if you have a debit card with low or no foreign transaction fees, like the Wise or Revolut cards (more on them later).
Check the mid-market rate
The exchange rate you get makes a big difference to how much travel money you end up with. To get the best available deal it helps to know the mid-market rate for your currency. That’s the rate you see on Google, and the one banks and currency exchange services get when buying currency themselves. However, it’s not usually passed on to customers. Instead the rate you’ll be offered usually includes an extra percentage fee added in, which pushes up costs and isn’t transparent. Look out for services which offer the mid market rate for your currency, or as close as possible to it, for the best deal.
Beware of ATM rates
ATM withdrawals are convenient - and as we’ve already noted, can often get you a good exchange rate. However, there is one important exception. That’s if you get caught out by dynamic currency conversion (DCC). DCC is when you’re offered the option to pay for your withdrawal in your home currency rather than the local currency wherever you are. In this case, the ATM operator chooses the rates and fees that apply, rather than your own bank or card network. That can prove an expensive mistake. Avoid DCC by choosing to pay in the local currency every time.
Get a travel money card to cut costs
Digital multi-currency accounts and debit cards from providers like Wise or Revolut can be a cheap and convenient way to get travel cash and to spend in foreign currencies. You can open your account, and exchange dozens of currencies, right from your phone, with extra perks like some fee free ATM withdrawals and currency conversion which uses the mid-market rate.
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 Leicester?
Leicester has a few currency exchange locations in the city centre, as well as a good selection of options in supermarkets at out of town locations. Do check currency availability as you may need to order ahead online or by phone, to collect your cash later.
To help your research, we’ve picked out a few of the top rated travel money options in Leicester. Below you’ll find their contact information and Google rating, plus the GBP - AUD exchange rate at the time of research, as an example for comparison. Before you pick a provider, call them to get the live rates and fees for the currency you need.
|Name||Address||Phone number||GBP - AUD rate||Google Rating|
|No1 Currency Exchange Leicester||54 Market Pl, Leicester, LE1 5GF||+44 330 1247374||1 GBP = 1.8958 AUD||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Eurochange Leicester||1 Kildare St, Leicester, LE1 3YB||+44 116 2966238||1 GBP = 1.8948 AUD||4.6 out of 5 stars|
|Asda Travel Money||Barkby Thorpe Ln, Leicester, LE4 8GN||+44 116 2604469||1 GBP = 1.8942 AUD||4.6 out of 5 stars|
|Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money||Grove Farm Triangle, Leicester, LE19 1WT||+44 116 2824226||1 GBP = 1.8829 AUD||4.5 out of 5 stars|
|Asda Travel Money||Narborough St, Leicester, LE3 2LL||+44 116 2895933||1 GBP = 1.8942 AUD||4.3 out of 5 stars|
|Post Office Travel money||Various locations in Leicester||Contact your preferred branch - numbers available on Post Office website||1 GBP = 1.886 AUD||Varied star rating depending on branch|
- Correct at time of writing, 9th August 2023
How we rated the best places to exchange money in Leicester
You’ll find a decent enough range of physical currency exchange stores in Leicester, including independent stores in the city centre and at supermarkets in major retail parks, usually in supermarkets. Our list above includes the top rated options from Google, looking at popular and convenient locations. Not all locations stock all currencies, and as ratings and reliability can change over time, you’ll want to double check what’s best for your specific needs before you choose.
Factors to consider when choosing an exchange provider in Leicester
Stay safe when getting your travel money by picking a reputable, well rated and properly licensed service, online or in a physical store in Leicester. It’s easy enough to check out Google reviews before you pick - or you can stick with larger brands which you recognise, and which have a good reputation.
The fees and exchange rates you’ll find vary widely, even among well known currency exchange brands. It’s worth comparing a few for the specific currency you need before you choose - you can usually find rates and an exchange calculator online, which will show you how much you can get for your exchange before you leave home.
Bear in mind that where providers claim to offer fee free, or zero commission currency exchange, their fees may well just be hidden in the exchange rates they use. Double check both fees and rates, to make sure you’re not paying more than you think for currency exchange.
If you don’t have time to scour the market, it helps to know that alternative providers like Wise or Revolut offer accounts and cards which use mid-market rate currency conversion with low, transparent fees.
Tips for finding the best currency exchange rates in Leicester
Don’t spend more than you need to on foreign currency in Leicester. Here are a few tips to get a good deal:
Compare options online, looking at both fees and rates to make sure you get a fair deal
Check the 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 in advance by phone or online for collection
Use the Exiap currency conversion tools to stay updated on current exchange rates
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’ve already left the UK you can get cash by making local ATM withdrawals at your destination, or by visiting a physical currency exchange store. Bear in mind that airport and hotel currency exchange rates may not be the best available - and if you’re using your bank card in an ATM be sure to check if any foreign transaction fees apply, as these can push up costs.
A better way to get your travel money could be to open an account with a service like Revolut or Wise before you head off. Add money to your digital account in pounds and convert within the account to the currency you need to spend overseas. Or you can simply leave your money in GBP and let the card convert for you when you pay. Digital providers typically have lower overall costs compared to banks, and can be super convenient to use when you’re travelling.
How do I exchange currency after a trip?
If you’ve come home with unused foreign currency, you may be able to sell it back to the exchange where you bought it in the first place. Usually only higher value foreign currency notes, which are undamaged and clean, can be accepted. Plus, the exchange rates offered may not be as good as the rate you bought at, meaning you get back less than you originally spent.
Check out digital multi-currency accounts from Wise or Revolut as an alternative. You can add money to your account in pounds, and then withdraw local currency at an ATM overseas when you need to. There’s no need to convert all your funds to foreign currency in advance - and 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 Leicester
What is the cheapest way to get foreign currency in Leicester?
There’s no single cheapest way to get foreign currency in Leicester - different providers have their own rates and fees, and not all offer all currencies for sale. 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?
While you can exchange your money before you travel, you won’t always get the very best rates unless you’re prepared to do some significant research into your options. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to exchange before you leave with a multi-currency account and card from a service like Wise or Revolut. Instead, just add funds in GBP and make cash withdrawals in your destination when you need to, often with the mid-market rate and low or no fees.
Does it matter where you exchange currency?
Yes. Currency exchange services set their own rates and fees - so which one you pick can make a huge difference to how much you have to spend on your trip. It’s worth investing some time in researching 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.