Exchanging left over holiday money
Planning a holiday abroad includes planning how much travel money one would need for the trip. This can often result in piles of useless travel money resting at the bottom of a drawer waiting to be used in the future, if ever, unless of course you have travelled to one of the Eurozone countries.
So what do you do with the excess travel money? You can keep it hoping to return to the same travel destination, try and exchange the foreign currency, give it to charity or else give the money as a gift to someone going abroad.
Late last year Frederick Kokot and Kurt Schugerl started up the euromoney24.com where one can send in their left over holiday money to be exchanged. The company also accepts coins.
Euromoney24.com also offers the possibility to send part of the money exchanged to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Frederick Kokot told di-ve.com that around 25% of the money exchanged so far has been given as donations. He said the tendency is that if one has small amounts to exchange then such sums are donated whereas if the money to be exchanged adds up to a substantial amount then such money is exchanged to the currency required by the owner.
Since 17 European countries adopted the euro as the common currency, their old currencies are now on the way out. For example the French Franc and the Greek Drachma were only exchangeable until February this year.
In terms of the Central Bank of Malta Act, the Maltese lira, cent and mil coins, which ceased to be legal tender after January 31, 2008, were not exchangeable after February 1, 2010. The Maltese lira banknotes however will remain exchangeable until January 31, 2018.
Mr Kokot said that coins that can still be exchanged include the Deutschmark, the Austrian schilling, the Estonian krone, the Irish pound, the Spanish peseta, the Slovenian tolar and the Slovak krone.
Notes that are still valid include the Deutschmark, the Austrian schilling, the Estonian krone, the Irish pound, the Spanish peseta, the Slovenian tolar, the Slovak krone, the Portuguese escudo, the Dutch guilder, the Cyprus pound, the Luxembourg franc and the Belgian franc.
Euromoney24.com puts a limit of €25 on the money that can be exchanged. Any lesser sums go as donations. Frederick Kokot said that this is due to the cost and effort that goes behind each single shipment and the whole process itself. Besides, he adds, UNICEF and PETA get the money against no cost.
When people send in their money to euromoney24.com it has to be sorted, counted and checked for counterfeit money. The company charges €5 for its labour, including the cost of postage for the reply envelope), so people can comfortably send all different currencies in only one shippment.
Because euromoney24.com also accepts coins, such coins have to be physically delivered to the respective national banks, thus incurring the company travel costs.
Frederick Kokot suggests that if one has to exchange some money he or she should check with his family members and friends to see if they have money they need to exchange as well, because with a growing total sum one can save charges. Euromoney24.com boasts that it offers the cheapest service worldwide for sums that exceed €500.
A recent survey carried out in the UK by Skyscanner revealed that a staggering €2 billion of leftover holiday money is sitting in British homes. More than 1,100 British travellers responded to the poll, with the average cash stash of foreign coins and notes amounting to €69 per person, varying from Cypriot pounds to Thai baht.