Currency Confusion: 10 Million Brits Think The Euro Is Worth More Than The Pound

02 July 2012

New research(1) commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money highlights a surprising lack of awareness in Britain about the currencies beyond our shores, particularly in the Eurozone. The research indicates that large numbers of people are unable to identify which countries use the Euro and 10 million of us severely over-estimate the value of other currencies against the pound. The supermarket bank urges holidaymakers to do their homework before converting their currency and heading overseas.

The survey found that 23% of Brits believe that one Euro is worth more than a pound; worryingly, over a million Brits think the Euro is worth less than £0.40. Not fully grasping the conversion value of the pound could make it more difficult to make purchasing decisions while aboard which could potentially lead to holiday overspend.

Indeed, the survey suggests that over 11 million (23%) Brits think they have been “ripped off” when paying for services or products abroad because they were not aware of the value of the currency.

David Barrett, Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money Manager said: “It is surprising that there appears to be so much confusion about the value of the Euro and also around which currency is used in a number of countries. We would urge anyone planning a holiday to swot up on the local currency before they go – by searching online or going to your local travel money bureau. Knowing how the currency you need stacks up against the pound will help you to avoid confusion and overspending.”

A good way to manage your holiday budget and be confident that you’ve secured the best exchange rate before you go on holiday is to organise a pre-paid travel money card. A pre-paid currency card allows payment in shops, restaurants and hotels or to withdraw cash from an ATM. Many cards, such as the Cash Passport™ pre-paid currency card offered by Sainsbury’s Travel Money, don’t charge withdrawal fees at overseas ATMs, thus avoiding any unwanted surprise additions on your bill when you return home(2).

The research also revealed that a significant number of people are unable to correctly identify which countries use the Euro. Brits are over five times more likely to believe that Croatia uses the Euro, than correctly identify the currency as the Kuna. Holidaymakers to Switzerland and Turkey are also at risk of buying the wrong currency when heading abroad, as 9.8 million (20.7%) of Brits think the Euro is used in Turkey, however its currency is the Turkish Lira, and a fifth (18.1%) think it is the currency of Switzerland, which uses the Swiss Franc.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money has 122 in-store bureaux at Sainsbury’s stores across the UK; customers can also access its products and services online or over the phone. Customers can benefit from services including next-day delivery of their foreign currency to their billing address, if ordered online before 2pm from Monday to Thursday. Plus, free delivery is available for online and phone orders over £500(3).

For more information on Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money log onto, or call 0800 316 1452.

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For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Charlotte Pascal
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7282 1037 / 1021

Notes to editors:
(1) Based on an online survey by ICM of over 2,000 people, conducted online 23rd-25th March, 2012
(2) Some ATM operators may charge a withdrawal fee or set their own withdrawal limits – however the Sainsbury’s Travel Money Cash Passport™ issuer will not charge a withdrawal fee on ATM transactions abroad. For full terms and conditions
(3) Delivery charges apply: £4.75 on minimum orders of £100-£299.99; £2.35 on orders of £300-£499; and free delivery on orders of £500 or more. A £1.99 administration fee applies to all online orders under £100 for collection in store, orders above £100 can be collected in store free of charge. for full details and terms and conditions.
Sainsbury’s Bank:
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Bank recent awards in 2012 include Best Personal Loan Provider, Consumer Moneyfacts; Best Low Rate Credit Card Provider and Best Credit Card Provider for use abroad (Gold Credit Card), Moneynet; Best Loan Provider, Moneysupermarket Supers.

2011 awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Online Pet Insurance Provider, Best Online Personal Loan Provider and Best Direct Home Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards. It was also named Most Competitive Term Assurance Direct Provider by Moneyfacts.

Sainsbury’s Bank is a joint venture between J. Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.
For further information and general Sainsbury’s Bank enquiries, customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit

About Sainsbury’s Travel Money

Travel Money online and in-store is provided by Travelex Agency Services Limited, registered number 4621879. Sainsbury’s Travel Money ordered by telephone is provided by Travelex Currency Services Limited, registered number 03797356. Registered office for both companies: 65 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TD.
Travelex In 1976, Lloyd Dorfman opened the first Travelex Bureau de Change on Southampton Row, London. He is now the Chairman of the world’s leading foreign exchange specialists. We trade in over 80 currencies and in 25 countries.

Customers can find Travelex online and in over 1,000 stores, including all the major airports. Travelex has over 500 ATMs around the world and takes care of foreign currency services for partners including banks, supermarkets and travel agencies, extending our reach to over 100 countries and 20,000 locations.

Travelex continues to grow the geographic reach, both organically and through targeted acquisitions in growth markets. Recent acquisitions include FX Africa in South Africa and Grupo Confidence, the largest consumer foreign exchange specialist in Brazil.

Cash Passport: Cash Passport™ is issued by R. Raphael & Sons plc, pursuant to license by MasterCard International. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International

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