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Card exchange rates

When you spend money abroad or online in a foreign currency, banks sometimes add a mark-up to the exchange rate they give you, so even though they might not charge a ‘fee’, you may not be getting the best possible rate.

A quick look at how exchange rates work

The European Central Bank (ECB) publishes reference exchange rates between currencies based on a daily average of European central banks, but individuals do not get those rates directly.

When you spend abroad, your bank/ATM will be using a card scheme (the two biggest are Mastercard and Visa), and that scheme can set an exchange rate which could be above the ECB rate.

All banks are now required to show you the ECB rate and any fees or charges they add on top. So you can fairly compare rates between all providers, and see how good the deal you’re getting is.

Exchange rates can fluctuate and they may change between the time a transaction is made and the time it is deducted from your available balance. You agree that any change to the exchange rate may be applied immediately and without notice to you

Below are an example of the Mastercard rates you get when you spend in a foreign currency (Visa rates my vary)

Bueno Europe Ltd

Blackthorn House, Suite 2A
St Pauls Square
Birmingham B3 1RL
United Kingdom