I do not know what it will be like this year ( MenorcaIslandboy you have already been out to the island this year can you help out with saying how you found it?) but generally you get slightly better rates on the island than at home. As with anything, it is good to shop around but be careful to watch any charges in places apparently offering substancially different rates from everywhere else as these can convert a decent deal into a very mediocre one - for example a year or so ago I remember one person posting up a warning not to use a certain bureaux de change in Mahon as they did not get what was expected from the rates advertised outside due to lots of extra fees and deductions hidden away the small print ( which I think might have been only shown in spanish although I may be wrong on that bit).
I would always say that you should take enough euros with you to tide you over the first day or two and after that is really what you feel comfortable with. If you are staying in an hotel or apartment complex they will probably offer currency exchanges which, if the rate and any fees are about equal to places nearby, might be just as easy as going elswhere ( no need to take your passport as it is already registered with them etc.) but there should be a cashpoint machine in the resort and there will be plenty in Cuitadella itself.
ALWAYS use any safety deposit facility available - hiding passports, cameras and cash etc. in suitcases or whatever to save a few euros is false economy because if things go missing your insurance company will probably say you did not exercise due care and refuse to pay up!Edited: 23 April 2011, 13:27
As MenorcaRegular has said, best always to shop arround. A lot of the time, your complex might not be the best place, as they have a captive audiance. Sometimes if your getting a car from an independant place a commision free money exchange can be part of the deal.
Also, check with your bank on charges to use any credit or debit cards you have in Spain, as its free on some, and they milk you on others. The only downside is often a banks computer system will stop your card, if you use it to often (or they consider it to be abnormal activity on your account).
The cash passport is often the best way to do it, as you can load it in the UK but have the card in Euros, and so you can pay in Euro in supermarkets/restraunts etc, and get Euros from any ATM without any exchange costs. They have the same level of protection as traverlers cheques used to have, including local money advance if lost/stolen. You can also top them up via the internet using your debit card, and have the funds loaded in under 24 hours.
In Cala Bosh, you have at least 2 ATMS, as well as 1 in Cala Blanca and loads in Ciutedella. Resort ATMS do not show on offical Visa maps, as they are not in service all year round.
We usually take enough Euros with us to see us through a couple of days and then we change our money at one of the no commission places. In Ciutadella, there is a newsagent adjacent to the cathedral and last September this had the same rate at the bank a few yards away, but the bank charged commission and would not exchange money without your passport, so the newsagent worked for us and the rate was slightly better than at home. I know we dont know what it will be when we travel, but in my experience it has always been a better rate in Menorca that Manchester, every cent counts!
Thanks for the sound advice Midge, Menorca and Magic.
I normally exchange in the UK and carry Travelers Cheques.
I think I may wait now until reaching Cuitadella; I'll ask my daughter to pop into Cuitadella to check the rates for me a couple of weeks before we are due to fly out to make sure.
As Midge said; every cent counts and I personally do not want any bank, or other corporate to unduly benefit from my normal laziness this year :)
My philospohy Don't sweat the little stuff in life :-)
it only makes sense to work hard with exchanges if your total budget is big enough otherwise the few points difference don't even add up to a couple of drinks.
Only thing is that photo ID is required when paying with cards
I rarely exchange as I have euro accounts / cards.
In my exeperience I would be expect to be 'ripped off' more in the UK these daysEdited: 28 April 2011, 11:05
I certainly agree with that MenorcaIslandboy ( and I like the philosophy by the way although I don't always follow it) - the different rates in the UK on "the Highstreet" vary so much and the "buy back rates" they offer..... just do not go there. Personally I never change money back anyway as I just put it away and forget about it until my next trip but for anyone who really needs to use it the cash in value is invariably awful.
As we are on the subject, perhaps this thread is a good place to issue a timely reminder to anyone considering using the UK airport bureaux de change - DON'T DO IT - these places play on the fact that that you are a captive audience and ( IMO) they are all a total rip off !Edited: 28 April 2011, 11:18
Good thread guys.
Has anyone used any of the on-line exchanges? I've looked at www.moneysavingexpert.com (no I'm not affiliate dwith them in any way!) and they have a facility to see who's got the best rates for ordering on-line and having money delivered. How do those rates compare with what's on offer on the island?
The only problem with sites like that, is they can only look up online options.
Your independant car hire places are not linked in with them, so would never come up.
Also, I have only been asked for photo ID when using a card on the island, if it was not on Chip and Pin.
I can't help settle the differing opinion about the need for ID when using cards as I do not use debit or credit cards in restaurants etc. abroad - only for large stuff like car hire.
As post 7 was about (and only about) using online options for getting the best rates on pre-holiday euro purchases rather than on the UK highstreet options, if anyone with past experience of using them can answer MadMikes question about how well (or not) they have found online rates in the UK compare with rates after arriving on the island it would help him - the only problem of course is that the exchange rate fluctuates daily so even a couple of days could make a difference.
On the need for photo ID to use a card, all I am going to say on the subject is Cash Passport, and several other pre paid debit cards you can buy over the counter of travel agents, money shops and even local newsagents do not bear the name of the person on them, so nothing to check it againsed.