Coronavirus: Post Office issues travel money warning – exchange rate advice

Holidays are not set to take place again for many weeks, upsetting the travel plans of countless Britons, due to to coronavirus. British holidaymakers are likely to be out of pocket when it comes to postponed or cancelled flights and trips. What’s more, any holiday money that had been purchased is now of little use.

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The Post Office today issued an important notice to its customers on the topic of pound sterling and exchanging money and shared its travel advice.

They warned that the ability to purchase Travel Money online from the Post Office website and the use of its branch pre-order service are now suspended.

“Both services will remain suspended whilst strict self-isolation measures remain in place,” said the Post Office in a statement.

However, for the who feel lumbered with useless foreign currency there is good news.

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Coronavirus: The Post Office today issued an important notice to its customers today (Image: Getty Images)Coronavirus: The ability to purchase Travel Money online from the Post Office website is suspended (Image: Getty Images)

Those travellers who have a Post Office Travel Money Card with foreign currency on it, can transfer the money back to Pound Sterling to use during the coronavirus epidemic.

The multi-currency card holds 23 currencies in total.

Customers who want to swap funds back into GBP can do so without incurring a fee. It is moved at the advertised rate of the day.

“Customers can use the card in shops or online to make essential purchases, withdraw the money from an ATM (£1.50 fee) or take the money out at a Post Office counter,” explained the UK post company.

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“Travel Money Card customers who remain abroad or unable to get back to the UK during the pandemic can continue to load their Post Office Travel Money Card with the foreign currency and then withdraw cash from ATMs where the Mastercard Acceptance Mark is displayed in that country to help with day to day expenses.”

A Post Office spokesperson added: “Whilst travelling abroad is not at the forefront of people’s minds right now, we want to remind Travel Money Card holders who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic that they may have foreign currency sitting on their card right now that can be transferred to Pounds to help with day to day expenses.

“For Britons who are stuck abroad at the moment and who already have our Travel Money Card it can still be loaded with foreign currency to help navigate expenses incurred trying to get home.

“Any currency that is not used can be held over on the card for a number of years.”

Coronavirus: The Post Office Travel Money Card holds 23 currencies in total (Image: Getty Images)

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However, for those Britons who hold foreign currency in cash, experts have said it’s best to simply hold on to the money at this time.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals (formerly known as FairFX), said: “We’ve found that on average people return from holiday with around £177 worth of leftover currency.”

However, he added: “If they can, holidaymakers might want to keep hold of their currency until their next trip and use it then.”

“For those using prepaid currency cards, they can spend their money back in the UK online or in stores, keep it for their next trip, or change it to a different currency altogether.”

Trending Coronavirus: “Holidaymakers might want to keep hold of their currency until their next trip” (Image: Getty Images)

Sacha Zackariya, CEO, Change Group International Plc, also agreed exchanging money may not be wise right now.

“Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to change your foreign currency at this point.

“I would, therefore, recommend holding on to this leftover currency until your next holiday or if it is somewhere you are unlikely to travel again then exchange it at a later date.

“As international travel restrictions are updated and government policies change we recommend checking our website for updates on this situation.”