[Retrospective again. I might be up to date, soon. ;-)]
The next step in our attempt at a Spanish house purchase.
I’m quite used to buying currency to travel in Europe. My currency requirements are normally either for our regular 6-week or so trip around France in Billy [our caravan] or a couple of weeks house-and-dog-sitting in Spain. A long trip round France soaks up, say 2500 euros. Saving a centimes/centimos on that saves about £16, worthwhile but hardly a big deal. I now normally use a prepaid euro card issued by CaxtonFX for such transactions because they give a consistently reasonable rate, not necessarily the highest but OK, and do not charge for hole-in-wall cash withdrawals abroad.
Where a house purchase is concerned, the multipliers are much bigger, though. For the sake of argument, let’s say the Spanish hacienda costs 100,000€. At my first Barclays High Street bank rate [1.2330 on 9/12/2015] used to pay my 3000€ holding deposit, 100,000€ would cost me £81,103. However, using a currency exchange specialist, for example Smart Currency Exchange, which we found from the Spain Buying Guide, today I would get a rate of 1.2580 which would make my 100,000€ cost £79,491. That would save me £1,612. That’s enough for some decent furniture. 😉
Smart Currency Exchange is just one example of such a company. Already having a CaxtonFX currency card account and now a CaxtonFX international payments account, I went ahead and set up a Smart Currency Exchange account. I told them I wanted 100,000€, they quoted the rate as of today – if the rate goes down in the meantime, I still get that rate but, of course, if the rate goes up, I also still get that rate; didn’t matter, I was happy with the rate. I now have theoretically five days to send them the Sterling equivalent to fund the purchase.
Now the fun starts. I log on to my online bank account and try to transfer £79,491. Bleep! “You have a daily limit of £10,000”. B****r!
I call Smart Currency Exchange and explain my predicament. “Oh, we’re used to bank limitations, you can drip feed it if you want.” Well, that’s counts as flexibility. Nonetheless, I decided to call in to my High Street bank and get them to transfer the amount. Bleep! They can’t do that much in one transaction either; they can do more but not enough. The only way to do that amount in one go is to cough up £25 or a CHAPS transfer. B******s! OK, I’ll drip feed it, I explain to the helpful cashier – the restriction isn’t his fault, after all.
So, I spend eight working days transferring £10,000 a day to fund my euro account.
Bloody bankers! At least I’ve saved the price of some decent furniture, and we aren’t quite done yet. 😉