Where not to buy your travel money

As summer holidays approach, Facebook (which is expected to be valued at $100bn following an initial IPO) is being used by travellers to warn each other about where not to get travel money.

A recent campaign started on a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/fairfx) has resulted in many cost-conscious holidaymakers posting photos of poor exchange rates at various locations. The biggest culprits to-date include bureaux de change at Gatwick and Heathrow airports as well as overseas locations like France.

Stephen Heath, CEO at FairFX.com said: “It’s interesting to see this development in the use of social media effectively providing more transparency for consumers in a marketplace which is sometimes confusing.”

“Recently, we’ve seen many travellers voice their dissatisfaction and uploading photos of the rates onto our Facebook page. So far, the worst rate we’ve seen was offered by a travel money booth at Gatwick Airport – $1.48 for £1 when the mid-market rate was over $1.63 – that’s £50 profit for every £500 exchanged.

“Perhaps the use of social media sites like Facebook will finally shame airports into doing something about this raw deal. In the meantime, many savvy travellers are pre-purchasing their travel money using prepaid currency cards which provide much better value and convenience.”