Read my tips on finding the best currency exchange rates for your holiday in Cyprus.
If you're planning a holiday to Cyprus, you need to find the best euro rates to make your money go further. The problem is that most currency brokers, whether it's your bank, the post office or even your local supermarket, charge a high commission.
Even if commission is free, your exchange rate is usually very low, so you pay more somewhere along the line.
Tip: I recommend using Wise, formerly Transferwise, for low-cost international money transfers on another page. NOW I'm recommending that you use them for your holiday money too! Find out how below.
What if you could use a debit card that allows you to pay in ANY currency wherever you go on holiday? Well, Wise have created a borderless multicurrency account for travellers and expats like me. It's effectively a foreign currency account that allows you to spend in any currency of your choice and it is quick and EASY to set up.
Having used Transferwise, now just called Wise, for several years for transferring money to Cyprus, saving a huge amount versus a currency broker AND getting a great exchange rate, I decided to take up their offer to open a new multi-currency account.
Unable to work during lockdown due to Covid-19, I started to offer live online yoga classes through ZOOM and students paid me a small donation in the currency of their choice via Transferwise (Wise).
Once I opened my multi-currency account with Wise, I set up two different currency accounts - Euros and GBP - and received an IBAN number for each currency. Anyone wanting to pay me then transferred money via their Wise account if they had one, or simply via their normal bank account.
The Wise multi-currency account is like a normal bank account; it just doesn't have a bricks and mortar store or head office with high overheads behind it. So that means any transfers/payments to and from the account are FREE for both me the account holder AND anyone paying me.
You don't have to set up multiple currencies on your Wise borderless account to get the best currency exchange rates. You can simply load the card with your "home" currency, for example, GBP, and then every time you pay in Euros here in Cyprus, Wise automatically gives the best exchange rate on the day.
Saving you pounds in hidden commission rates or, more importantly, that hidden currency transaction "fee" charged by all credit card companies.
It's always a good idea to have a small amount of cash, although many people worry about taking their holiday money in cash when they travel.
While it's easy to lose money if you're not being careful or you are absent-minded, as long as you store cash safely, Cyprus is a very safe place.
Now, when I'm planning a holiday, I look to take some money in cash (around 20% of what I plan to spend) and then I use my Wise multi-currency debit card to pay for meals, excursions or petrol if hiring a car. It's quick and easy using the Wise App too :)
Tip: Cards are widely accepted in Cyprus in most establishments in the main towns like Paphos and Limassol, but if heading into the hills, small village tavernas prefer cash. So you may not be able to use a multi-currency card everywhere here in Cyprus, but you will in the vast majority of places, especially after Covid-19 when more places have introduced card payments to avoid the use of cash.
So if you are looking for a low-cost way to find the best currency exchange rates with the convenience of using a debit card to pay for everything when you travel, take my advice and look at the multi-currency debit card from Wise, previously called Transferwise.
Tip: Another reason to consider opening a Wise account is that they now pay monthly interest on your balance too. That's a lot better than any Cyprus bank where there is zero interest on balances and you also get charged just for holding an account!
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