Brits return home with £57 in unspent currency

29 Aug, 2018

28 Aug 2018 As many UK holidaymakers gear up for late summer holidays in September, new figures reveal they are returning home with an average £57 each of foreign currency jingling in their pockets according to Sainsbury’s Bank.

Across the UK, those from Belfast return with the most foreign currency (£74), followed by Edinburgh (£67) and Nottingham (£66). Cardiff residents are the biggest spenders, coming home with just £43.

Top three cities with travellers returning with the most and least amounts of unspent holiday money:

Top three cities with most unspent holiday money(1)

Average (£)

Top three cities with least unspent holiday money(1)

Average (£)













When it comes to purchasing their foreign currency over a quarter (27%) of holidaymakers think ahead and purchase their travel money a week in advance. This is followed by a fifth who sort their money out two weeks before and 19% tick currency exchange off the to do list a month before. 

Simon Taylor from Sainsbury’s Bank said:  “September is one of the busiest months for travel money with many customers buying currency. Leaving it until the last minute, especially at the airport can be costly, so it’s wise to make the most of your money and get the best deal by organising it in advance.

“And for those who like to stick to a tight budget, a pre-loaded holiday money card is a good idea. It can be used worldwide and can be loaded with additional money while you’re away.  It comes with an app so that you can keep track of transactions.”

A pre-paid holiday card like Sainsbury’s Bank’s Multi-currency Cash Passport can be loaded with holiday cash weeks in advance, on the day of travel or even once the holiday has commenced enabling better holiday budgeting.  The cardis chip + PIN protected and there is no direct link to your bank account, giving peace of mind when you’re on your holiday.

For travellers  exchanging money, cash remains king with over half (54%) of travellers taking their currency in notes, while carrying a debit card or credit card that can be used abroad come second and third (15% and 12% respectively).

Sainsbury’s Bank continually looks at ways to strengthen the rewards for its customers and now Nectar customers will receive more value for their money, through receiving 10 Nectar Points per £100 spent in bureaux and five Nectar Points per £100 spent online  This is available across all currencies.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money offers 0% commission on foreign currency, consistently competitive exchange rates and has over 50 currencies available to order. Open seven days a week and with convenient parking, customers can also purchase a Sainsbury’s Bank Multi-currency Cash PassportTM and collect travel money while shopping.