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Traveling Internationally? Order Foreign Currency Before You Go

Sally French

Sally French is a travel rewards expert who joined NerdWallet in 2020. She previously wrote about travel and credit cards for The New York Times and its sibling site, Wirecutter.

Outside of work, she loves fitness, and she competes in both powerlifting and weightlifting (she can deadlift more than triple bodyweight). Naturally, her travels always involve a fitness component, including a week of cycling up the coastline of Vietnam and a camping trip to the Arctic Circle, where she biked over the sea ice. Other adventures have included hiking 25 miles in one day through Italy's Cinque Terre and climbing the 1,260 steps to Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, Thailand.

She lives in San Francisco.

Meghan Coyle

Meghan Coyle started as a web producer and writer at NerdWallet in 2018. She covers travel rewards, including industry news, airline and hotel loyalty programs, and how to travel on points. She is based in Los Angeles.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Upon landing in a foreign country, expect a lot of lines. There’s immigration, passport control and customs inspection. But there’s one line you can — and absolutely should — skip: the airport currency exchange.

Not only does the airport currency exchange counter’s line cut into precious time abroad, but it’s typically a terrible money move. Airport currency exchange rates are among the worst you’ll find.

It’s not uncommon to see airport exchanges charging 14% more than the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) exchange rate. NerdWallet even found some premiums exceeding 17%. Some also charge additional fees on top of the poor exchange rate.

So what do you do if you need cash upon arrival to order a cab or tip the bellhop? Consider ordering foreign currency before you fly.

Most banks allow you to order foreign currencies, which you can typically pick up at a local branch before your trip. Some banks offer to ship currencies to you, and sometimes they don’t even charge extra for postage if you order a certain amount.

Plus, the exchange rate are usually quite good. For instance, at Bank of America, the exchange rates we checked in January 2024 average roughly 6% more than the IMF rates — and less than half of what the airport currency exchanges are charging.

Just check your own bank's exchange rate to ensure it's optimal before initiating the transaction.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

How to order foreign currency from your bank

While the exact process varies by bank, most major banks make it easy to order online.

Typically you can access the currency exchange webpage through your bank’s website or mobile app, or by phone. From there, you usually enter the currency you need, add the desired amount, select the pickup method and place your order.

While you can generally expect a solid exchange rate, use a trusted source such as Reuters or the International Monetary Fund to find current exchange rates and ensure you get a fair deal.

Additionally, understand all the fees involved. For example, Citi charges a $5 service fee for transactions under $1,000, though it’s waived for clients with premium bank accounts .

Or you might get charged a shipping fee. Bank of America’s standard shipping costs $7.50, but overnight shipping is $20. Sometimes you can avoid shipping fees by opting to pick up the cash at a local branch or by being a loyal customer. Bank of America Preferred Rewards program members get free standard shipping.

There’s also generally a minimum amount of foreign currency you can order ($100 or $200 is common) and a maximum ($10,000 within a 30-day period is common).

Video preview image

Other good ways to pay abroad

If it’s too late to order foreign currency from your bank, here are other ways to curtail currency fees :

Find an in-network ATM abroad

Major banks usually have branches abroad or partner with other banks to create a network. Using those ATMs often provides a decent exchange rate while eliminating out-of-network ATM fees.

If you end up using a non-network ATM, pay attention to ATM fees , which vary but usually run about $5 per transaction. Given that, consider limiting ATM debit transactions by withdrawing the amount you think you’ll need for the entire trip, or at least a large portion of it.

ATM availability is more common in some places than others. Macau has the highest number of ATMs per capita with 316 ATMs per 100,000 adults, based on 2021 data from the World Bank Group. Uruguay, Canada and Austria are other destinations with the most ATMs per capita.

But other countries tend to have far fewer. For example, Kenya had fewer than 7 ATMs per 100,000 adults and Nepal had only 20 ATMs per 100,000 adults, according to the same data.

Pay with a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees

Depending on the card, you might get dinged with foreign transaction fees of 1%-3% when you make purchases at non-U.S. retailers abroad.

That’s why it’s wise to carry a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card abroad.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. .

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. .

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. .

» Learn more: The best no-foreign-transaction-fee cards

And more international merchants are taking plastic. This wider card acceptance and increased security are reasons travelers are ditching cash, according to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2023, which polled more than 15,000 people in the Asian Pacific region between April and June 2023.

While this type of card won’t help you pay at cash-only businesses or get money for tips, it’s otherwise one of the smartest ways to pay internationally.

» Frequent travelers: Consider a multicurrency account

Try paying in cash dollars

If all else fails, offer to pay in U.S. dollars. In fact, some merchants or individuals accepting tips prefer it in certain countries. You might find vendors willing to give you an even better deal if you pay with U.S. dollars.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On a similar note...

travel money exchange post office

What to do with foreign money after your vacation

Don’t toss foreign currency in your junk drawer. There are plenty of ways to exchange it -- or donate to a worthy cause.

travel money exchange post office

Unused foreign currency is a waste of money. And yet we often return home with another country’s tender padding our wallets and jangling in our pockets.

According to global charity Oxfam , unutilized foreign money worth 2.7 billion pounds ($3.4 billion) is floating around the United Kingdom. American travelers stockpile other countries’ dough, too. Many of your friends and neighbors are likely to have a sandwich bag full of coins or a small wad of bills stashed at home.

“You break that bank note of 20 dollars or 20 pounds and then you get a few smaller notes and coins that end up in a drawer or a jar,” said Mario Van Poppel, owner and founder of LeftoverCurrency.com , which helps people cash in their foreign currencies. “But there are lots of creative things that people can do with bank notes and coins.”

Instead of tossing the cash in your junk drawer, you can still squeeze value out of leftover bills and coins for your own use — or for a greater cause.

Paula Twidale, senior vice president at AAA Travel , warns against sitting on foreign cash for too long. Over time, it can become obsolete. Last January, Croatia replaced the kuna, its national currency, with the euro. In 2016, India eliminated all 500- and 1,000-rupee notes and introduced a 2,000 denomination, which it yanked last year.

To minimize monetary losses, switch to cash payments a few days before you depart. Dole out tips to the hotel and restaurant staff, and drop some coins into buskers’ instrument cases. When checking out, pay a portion (or all) of the hotel bill in banknotes. Take cabs that accept bills.

Unfortunately, when dealing with foreign currencies, ATMs don’t work two ways. You can withdraw foreign cash from overseas bank machines, but you can’t deposit the bills back into your account.

You can, however, sell unused notes to banks and currency exchange specialists.

Exchange at the airport

Twidale recommends selling leftover foreign currency at your departure airport or upon landing in the United States. The convenience and expediency will make up for the less-than-stellar rate and commission fee.

Go to the bank

On a recent weekday morning, I lugged two quart-size freezer bags stuffed with more than two dozen currencies to a Bank of America branch in Washington. The teller inspected each note for year, denomination and condition. He rejected more than he accepted; “out of circulation” was a common refrain. I made $112 on legal tender from Peru, England, Canada and Jamaica. For the Turkish lira, my bank only takes the 20 note, which netted me a piddly 58 cents.

After visiting the bank, I tried my chances elsewhere.

Go to an exchange bureau

Marc Broder, owner of Treasure Trove Foreign Currency Exchange in Washington, D.C., said about 40 percent of his transactions involve trade-ins for U.S. dollars. Though he handles about 90 currencies, he can’t accept every banknote that slides across his desk. Many are outdated or have no value, such as my Republic of Ireland one-pound note, Pakistani rupees and Argentine pesos, which he said “weren’t even worth a penny.” However, he will accept these artifacts as a donation; he distributes them to collectors and children.

Many banks provide a similar service for their customers. They will typically buy back hard foreign currencies but will pass on soft or defunct currencies. (Hard currencies are stable; soft currencies are volatile.)

Visit collectible shops

Businesses that specialize in coins and collectibles often purchase foreign money, though the payout is typically less than what you would receive from a bank or exchange bureau. On the upside, these stores often purchase obscure or outdated bills and impossible-to-unload coins.

In my quest to divest myself of foreign cash, I dropped by Capitol Coin and Stamp Co ., a D.C. collectibles store in business for more than 60 years. The owner, Nelson Whitman, poured the coins onto a small mat covered in dark cloth. “All this old stuff has no value,” he said. “It’s obsolete.”

But not totally worthless. He extracted about $11 in British coins and offered to pay me 10 cents per banknote, which he would sell for 20 cents each. He filled out an invoice for $7.50 and paid me in cash.

Try the internet

Savvy online sellers can try their luck on eBay or through such Facebook groups as Coin collecting Buy Sell Trade Ask .

To determine a list price, Broder recommended using Google Lens. He demonstrated by snapping a photo of my Algerian 1,000-dinar note and finding a similar bill listed on eBay for $13, almost twice as much as its face value.

Use a leftover currency specialist

If you are still left with a mound of money, you could enlist the help of a company that specializes in finding repositories for unused or unwanted currencies.

Van Poppel, of LeftoverCurrency.com , said his office in Datchet, outside London, receives daily parcels stuffed with foreign bills and coins. His staff will send the money to entities that might buy or accept it, such as national banks. His team also receives requests from film studios seeking vintage currency to use as a movie prop.

“If it is a period drama set in the 1970s, the film studio will need the currency from that day,” he said. “The real thing is always better for the actors.”

Van Poppel said the return on the currencies might be underwhelming, but sometimes money is not the object.

“We have people sending in very small amounts that are lower than the cost of postage,” he said. “We ask them why, and they tell us they’re happy it’s going to good use. It’s not being thrown away, and they have clean cupboards.”

Charities and other donations

At airports around the world, travelers can deposit leftover currencies in donation boxes — or, more often, giant globes — earmarked for charities. On some international carriers, flight attendants collect loose change from passengers. The money goes to nonprofits dedicated to such causes as child hunger and community programs.

Through Help Alliance , a nonprofit founded by Lufthansa Group employees, travelers can contribute currencies on long-haul flights run by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings or Condor. Passengers can also donate at German airports.

Since 1991, UNICEF has worked with airlines on its Change for Good initiative. It accepts foreign currencies through its air industry partners as well as individual contributions sent by mail or dropped off in person. Oxfam International, which has affiliates in nearly two dozen countries, runs a similar program.

The Humane Society of the United States accepts cash and coin donations in foreign currencies.

You can also try contacting local schools or libraries about donating your currencies, which educators can use for lessons, art projects or exhibits.

Finally, if friends or family members have an upcoming overseas trip, give them the gift of your unused currency.

More travel tips

Vacation planning: Start with a strategy to maximize days off by taking PTO around holidays. Experts recommend taking multiple short trips for peak happiness . Want to take an ambitious trip? Here are 12 destinations to try this year — without crowds.

Cheap flights: Follow our best advice for scoring low airfare , including setting flight price alerts and subscribing to deal newsletters. If you’re set on an expensive getaway, here’s a plan to save up without straining your credit limit.

Airport chaos: We’ve got advice for every scenario , from canceled flights to lost luggage . Stuck at the rental car counter? These tips can speed up the process. And following these 52 rules of flying should make the experience better for everyone.

Expert advice: Our By The Way Concierge solves readers’ dilemmas , including whether it’s okay to ditch a partner at security, or what happens if you get caught flying with weed . Submit your question here . Or you could look to the gurus: Lonely Planet and Rick Steves .

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Today's latest Post Office travel money exchange rates, updated 35 seconds ago at 6:50pm

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The Post Office have 55 currencies in stock and ready to order now. Buy online and get your currency delivered securely to your door, or collect your order from one of over 11,000 Post Office Bureau de Change branches across the UK.

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Post Office travel money rates

These are the latest Post Office exchange rates available right now. You must buy or reserve your currency online to guarantee these rates or you may be given a lower rate in-store.

Compare the Post Office's exchange rates

We compare hundreds of exchange rates from dozens of currency suppliers across the UK. Select a currency below to see how the Post Office's rates compare against other providers. Bear in mind that exchange rates aren't the only important factor when it comes to getting the best deal; commission, card surcharges and delivery costs can all affect the final amount of currency you'll receive. You can see the full range of currency deals on offer right now on our travel money comparisons .

The Post Office have a minimum order value of £400 for in-store collection and £400 for home delivery. The maximum amount you can order is £2,500 for collection and £2,500 for delivery. Delivery is free for orders over £500, otherwise a £4.99 delivery charge will apply.

Latest Post Office reviews

Our users have rated the Post Office Poor in 683 reviews. Read more on our Post Office reviews page.

Glad I read the reviews before I got a Travel money card. Wont be getting one now will just take cash with me.

Read the full review

POST OFFICE MONEY CARD Avoid this card nightmare This card was suggested in the post office, unaware the staff had no understanding what they were “selling” they were in fact miss selling. It was explained that with the card I could load curre [...]

I've never had any problems ordering Euros from the Abby Post Office. They tried to encourage me to have a travel card but I prefer to have the cash in my pocket.

The euro rate at the Post Office right now is 1.1622. You'll need to buy or reserve your euros online to guarantee this rate; the euro rate offered in your local branch may be lower if you don't order online beforehand.

On average, the Post Office's exchange rates are slightly lower than those offered by other high street brands such as Tesco and John Lewis . Many customers who buy their travel money with the Post Office do so because of the Post Office's brand name and convenient locations - there are over 11,000 Post Office Bureau de Change across the UK - but this convenience comes at a cost in the form of slightly lower exchange rates than those available elsewhere.

If you plan on buying your currency with the Post Office, the golden rule is to always reserve your currency online first so you get their online exchange rate. If you turn up and order over the counter at your local branch, you may be given a much lower rate. Ultimately, if you want the absolute best exchange rate on the market, better currency deals are usually available from other suppliers. Check out our travel money comparisons to find the best currency deals available right now.

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A strong dollar is great news for most of us — but not everybody is a winner

Strong dollar.

A photo of the top-right corners of five $100 bills, held fanned out, like playing cards.

A strong dollar reinforces America's economic might and helps bring down inflation — but it also hurts exporters. Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

The American dollar has been soaring this year relative to most currencies in the world. That's providing a lot of benefits to Americans — but it's also creating a lot of pain.

The U.S. dollar conquered the world. Is it at risk of losing its top spot?

The U.S. dollar conquered the world. Is it at risk of losing its top spot?

The strong dollar brings a number of advantages. It reinforces America’s economic dominance and it helps reduce inflation by making imports cheaper.

But a rising dollar doesn’t lift all boats. Some exporters have been hit as the stronger domestic currency makes them less competitive in overseas markets, while also creating economic headaches around the world.

Here are three things to know about the dollar – and its rally this year.

What's behind the strong dollar — and will it last?

A solid dollar signifies a strong economy. And the U.S. economy has proven relatively strong and stable, certainly compared to other countries that are growing more slowly.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies of major trading partners, is up nearly 4% this year despite falling in May and experiencing some volatility along the way.

For the dollar, the gains mark quite a comeback. The greenback had soared in 2022 to its highest in around two decades, but slipped a little last year.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attending the G7 finance ministers meeting in Stresa, Italy, last month. A strong dollar reinforces America's economic power.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attending the G7 finance ministers meeting in Stresa, Italy, last month. A strong dollar reinforces America's economic power. Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Interest rates are playing a part too. The Federal Reserve continues to maintain relatively high interest rates compared to U.S trading partners, like Japan and Europe.

Higher interest rates traditionally push up a currency's value. One big reason is that they tend to attract more foreign investors into the country’s debt markets. For instance, a Japanese investor looking to buy U.S. government bonds would have to buy dollars to invest in this country.

And at the moment, the Fed appears in no hurry to start cutting interest rates after raising them to their highest level in more than two decades.

By contrast, other major economies have started lowering their interest rates. In fact, Canada cut its interest rate on Wednesday, becoming the first G7 nation to do so. The European Central Bank followed on Thursday by cutting key rates.

Many analysts expect the dollar to weaken later this year. Just how much will depend on how many rate cuts the Fed actually delivers.

A recent poll of market strategists conducted by Reuters predicts only a modest decline in the dollar.

So who benefits?

Simply put, almost everybody in the country.

A key benefit of a stronger dollar is that it lowers the cost of importing stuff. That’s a big deal for the U.S., a country that imports more than it exports.

And it’s not just the millions of shoppers buying cheap Chinese-made items from Walmart and Amazon. American companies benefit because they need to import things too, like raw materials or components, for manufacturing and production.

Lower import costs help to counter inflation. And that's especially helpful now when inflation remains one of the biggest challenges for the U.S. economy.

Containers arrive from Taiwan to the Port of Los Angeles on March 6, 2020.

Containers arrive from Taiwan to the Port of Los Angeles on March 6, 2020. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

Although inflation has come down significantly since hitting a four-decade high in 2022, it’s still above the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

“If you ask any American what's bothering them the most about the economy it’s that they're paying more for all kinds of things, goods and services,” says Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “So the number one issue here is inflation. We've got to rein that in. And one way of doing that is to have a strong dollar.”

The strong dollar also benefits Americans traveling abroad, especially to countries that have seen their currencies weaken the most against the U.S. dollar.

Take Japan. The yen has fallen to a 30-plus-year low against the dollar. American visitors have flocked there to take advantage of the resulting low prices, according to Japan's tourism agency .

Not only is traveling abroad cheaper, it’s also allowing Americans to snag luxury handbags and clothing in places like Europe at much lower prices than in the U.S., as well as making fancy meals and upscale hotels more affordable.

Then there's the pride factor. A strong dollar reinforces the U.S.'s economic dominance as the world’s most important currency.

And who gets hurt?

The soaring U.S. dollar may provide big benefits to many Americans, but not everybody comes out a winner.

It can hurt domestic manufacturers.

Take Drew Greenblatt. He owns Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, which exports products like baskets and racks to other countries.

Greenblatt says his company has “easily” lost more than $4 million a year in sales of exports because his products are not as competitive in markets overseas.

The strong dollar also means he can’t hire as many people as he would like.

“I could hire more unemployed Baltimore City people that are right now in poverty,” he says. “I could pull them up into the middle class if I had more orders.”

Drew Greenblatt runs Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore. His business is being hurt by the strong dollar.

Drew Greenblatt runs Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore. His business is being hurt by the strong dollar. Drew Greenblatt hide caption

Drew Greenblatt runs Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore. His business is being hurt by the strong dollar.

Greenblatt is being hurt even more because he only uses American steel. Quantifying the exact impact of a strong dollar on American exporters is tough. Economists agree that manufacturers are suffering because of the strong dollar, but also note the sector is more resilient to currency pressures and high interest rates than in previous devastating periods like in the early 1980s.

"They're not booming, but they're holding their own," says Zandi of American manufacturers.

A manufacturer tried the 4-day workweek for 5 days' pay and won't go back

A manufacturer tried the 4-day workweek for 5 days' pay and won't go back

Other companies are able to offset the hit to their exports by paying less for importing materials or components they need for their production

American companies who manufacture abroad can also feel the sting. For multinational corporations, like Apple which have many overseas operations, the strong dollar can prove costly when converting local foreign currencies back into U.S. dollars.

Beyond hurting U.S. companies, the strong dollar can wreak havoc around the world.

While foreign countries can benefit from exporting goods more cheaply to the U.S., they pay a price because imports into their own countries become more expensive too.

Japan and South Korea, two major trading partners with the U.S., have expressed “serious concerns” about the depreciation in their currencies even if both nations are major exporters.

I flew to Japan with my baby. Here's the travel advice that helped me survive the trip

I flew to Japan with my baby. Here's the travel advice that helped me survive the trip

And then there are the emerging economies that have borrowed in U.S. dollars. They suffer as well. Paying back the interest on their debts becomes costlier since they need to buy more dollars to repay investors. Those dollars cost more when the greenback strengthens — and as the debt mounts so do the costs.

So the strong dollar may benefit many Americans, but when it comes to currencies, not everybody can come out a winner whether abroad or at home.

USA TODAY

Is the stock market open or closed on Juneteenth 2024? See full holiday schedule

United States stock markets will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth .

The Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange will be closed Wednesday and reopen Thursday, June 20. The U.S. bond market will also be closed on June 19, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

While most restaurants, grocery and retail stores will be open on the holiday, banks and the United States Postal Service will also be closed .

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Juneteenth, known as  American's Second Independence Day , has been commemorated as a federally-recognized holiday since 2021, providing millions of Americans with a paid day off and the opportunity to commemorate the end of slavery.

The holiday commemorates the day when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas in 1865 with 2,000 Union troops to proclaim that more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free – two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

After closing for Juneteenth, it will be business as usual on Wall Street until early July. The next scheduled stock market closure is on Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

Are banks open on Juneteenth?: Are banks, post offices, UPS and FedEx open on Juneteenth 2024? Here's what to know

United States stock market 2024 holiday schedule

Markets will be closed for the following holidays:

  • Juneteenth: Wednesday, June 19
  • Independence Day: Thursday, July 4 (markets also close at 1 p.m. ET on July 3)
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 28 (markets also close at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 29)
  • Christmas: Wednesday, Dec. 25 (markets also close at 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 24)

Gabe Hauari is a national trending news reporter at USA TODAY. You can follow him on X  @GabeHauari  or email him at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is the stock market open or closed on Juneteenth 2024? See full holiday schedule

Exterior view of the New York Stock exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street in New York on Jan. 31, 2024.

Money blog: Taylor Swift makes £450 kebab shop order

The Money blog brings you personal finance and consumer news, plus all the latest on the economy. Let us know your thoughts on any of the stories we're covering in the comments box below.

Wednesday 19 June 2024 18:02, UK

Inflation news

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  • One concerning figure in today's data could delay interest rate cut - economists
  • Analysis : Welcome news but question marks remain

Money blog essentials

  • Taylor Swift makes £450 kebab shop order
  • 'One guy wanted to rent my room for a few hours to meet a friend...' What I learnt from putting my home on Airbnb
  • Women in Business : 'How I went from mum with no qualifications to owner of big law firm'
  • Holiday money - where to buy it, how to avoid fees, and one thing you must not do
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

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Wall Street's biggest bank is lifting Brussels' bonus cap for its London-based staff , weeks after rival Goldman Sachs fired the starting gun on a post-Brexit era in industry pay.

Sky News can reveal that JP Morgan Chase was in the process of notifying staff on Wednesday that it would preserve some elements of the remuneration packages introduced after the European Union's cap on variable pay came into force in 2014.

The system prevents material risk-takers (MRTs) working in lenders' operations in the EU from earning more than twice their fixed pay in variable compensation.

Sources said that JP Morgan, which employs 22,000 people in the UK, including roughly 14,000 in London, had decided to preserve a significant proportion of the fixed pay allowances used to calculate eligible employees' maximum bonuses.

You can read more of our City editor Mark Kleinman's story  here ...

McDonald's is ending its AI drive-thru trial  after customers reported errors in their orders - including bacon being added to ice cream.

The fast food chain's AI ordering system, developed by IBM, uses voice recognition to process orders and has been rolled out at more than 100 McDonald's locations in the US since 2021.

However, the technology's reliability has been called into question in recent months, with members of the public sharing videos of order mix-ups on social media.

As well as topping a dessert with bacon, the AI drive-thru assistant added $211 (£166) worth of chicken nuggets to another customer's order.

Mastercard has announced it will be changing the way customers make payments  to bring them a contactless experience at online checkouts. 

The card company has said it wants all online transactions to be "tokenised" by 2030. 

The way it will work means you will input your card details to pay for a product once and then you'll receive a "token" - a randomly generated number. 

That number can then be used to make future payments, instead of you having to type in your card details each time. 

"Contactless payments have made in-person payments seamless and ubiquitous – there’s an opportunity to bring that same experience to online checkout," it said in a statement. 

Mastercard said the move will reduce fraud, improve approval rates, and make it online checkouts "faster and safer". 

"As physical and digital experiences continue to converge, we're pushing the boundaries of what's possible," said Jorn Lambert, chief product officer at Mastercard.

"We're focused on bringing best-in-class digital services together to deliver more value, access and safety to our customers and the end-consumer." 

It's been a really difficult few years for millions of families paying for their energy. 

Many have expressed their anger and distrust in energy suppliers as a result of spiralling prices and shifting goalposts. 

But there are signs that's beginning to change.

Overall customer satisfaction is up 10% since last year, a survey of 15,030 energy customers by Uswitch.com has revealed. 

The survey found that Utility Warehouse and Octopus Energy were the best and second-best at providing customer service and for value for money. 

However, satisfaction with value for money from providers overall is still 17% lower than before the energy crisis, according to the poll.

Uswitch also announced its top five cheapest energy tariffs - see below... 

Every Wednesday we ask Michelin chefs to pick their favourite Cheap Eats where they live and when they cook at home. This week we speak to  Sofian Msetfi, executive chef at Mayfair's one-starred Ormer restaurant.

Hi Sofian - what are your picks for a meal for two for less than £40 in London?

Berenjak  in Soho and London Bridge offers a traditional Persian dining experience - I'd recommend ordering a charcoal grilled kebab for that tables plus a selection of the mezeh-style sharing plates to accommodate a budget of £40 for two. A brilliant dining experience with high-quality and fresh ingredients.  

BAO  (with locations around London) is known for its creative take on Taiwanese street food. They offer some of the best bao buns in the city which start from just £6, plus there's affordably priced small plates, allowing for a diverse tasting experience without overspending. The restaurants also have a weekday set menu with three courses for £15, which is a steal.

Secret Sandwich Shop  in Notting Hill elevates the humble sandwich to new heights – the sheer size of the Japanese Wanpaku sandwiches are incredible and so filling. It's a great find, hidden behind a secret door in Notting Hill, with the signature "Secret Sandwich" priced at £9, meaning you can each get a sandwich plus a generous selection of classic snacks and even some Japanese drinks for £40. 

What's your go-to cheap meal at home?

A braised lemon chicken with green olives. You can use chicken thighs or legs in this recipe (which are often much cheaper). It's easy and quick, everything goes in the dish together and cooks at the same time. One of my favourite tips is to use some of the olive brine from the jar when cooking as it really enhances the flavour of the dish.

We've spoken to lots of top chefs and bloggers - check out their cheap eats from around the country here...

Taylor Swift has reportedly ordered 45 large kebabs for her team ahead of her Wembley Stadium show.

The singer is set to perform in front of up to 90,000 fans on Friday in the first of eight Eras Tour shows at the London venue.

But before that, her staff will be tucking into £450-worth of chicken donor kebabs made by Kentish Delight, according to The Sun.

The takeaway restaurant is thought to be a favourite of Taylor's, having featured in the music video for End Game in 2017.

"Taylor adds garlic sauce to hers, as well as heaps of salad," a source told The Sun.

The newspaper previously reported the star bought hundreds of Greggs sausage rolls, steak bakes and bakery goods for her team when performing in Edinburgh.

Cricket salads, lab-grown steaks and azolla burgers could be staples on British menus in 30 years' time, according to the Co-op. 

Using AI and research from experts from FixOurFood and the University of York, the retailer predicted what mealtimes could look like in 2054. 

They predict a rise in urban indoor farming across Britain, which will in turn see lab-grown meat and seafood - cultivated from animal tissues to produce steaks, burgers, tuna and lobster - become more mainstream.

Another part of the report suggested climate change would result in the likes of avocados and olives being grown in Surrey by 2054 - meaning less reliance on importing vegetables. 

"By 2054, British people will have edible insects on their dinner plate, and we may see the crushing up of crickets quicker than wholegrain," project researcher Bob Doherty said. 

"We may even see the introduction of 3D-printed food. As we navigate the challenges of climate change, we'll need to embrace these innovations to ensure that we can feed a growing population sustainably."

After spending the morning reacting to the positive news on inflation (and less positive news on interest rates), we're going to start posting other personal finance and consumer news again now.

We'll still have any reaction coming in on the economy.

Our  economics and data editor Ed Conway  has been poring over this morning's data drop from the Office for National Statistics. 

"In one sense this is a watershed moment," he says, inflation having dropped to the target 2%.

But looking at the data another way - at overall inflation over the last three years rather than annual figures - the numbers tell a different story. 

By doing so, you can see there's closer to a 20% increase in prices since the start of the cost of living crisis - rather than the 2% increase we've recorded in the 12 months from May last year to May 2024. 

And this figure - basically, prices - is still going up, just slower than it was before.

Watch Ed's full analysis here... 

We have one more chart to show you in response to inflation having fallen to the target of 2% in May.

Like much of today's data, it is primarily good news - wages are going up significantly more than inflation.

For workers to whom this applies, it's rightly a cause for some cheer after a period of falling living standards and skyrocketing prices.

But for the economy, there's a flipside - high wage growth is inflationary, as businesses either have to absorb wage increases or put up prices. It also means people have more money to spend - again, when this happens prices tend to go up faster.

This chart illustrates how wage growth - after lagging behind price rises for some time - is now ahead...

May's fall in inflation cannot disguise "the worst period for living standards in modern times", Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Paul Nowak has said.

Reacting to today's data, he said: "Over the last three years UK families have suffered the highest price rises in the G7 - with inflation going up more over that period than it usually does over an entire decade.

"Ministers can try to rewrite history all they like. But the Conservatives have presided over the worst period for living standards in modern times.

"Food and energy bills have surged. Rents and mortgages have skyrocketed. And real wages are still worth less than in 2008."

There are nearly 50 affiliated unions under the TUC banner with a total of about 5.5 million members.

We've been reporting how services inflation - which is much higher than the headline rate at 5.7% - could thwart hopes of an interest rate cut in June or August.

That's potentially bad news for borrowers - but Britons could benefit from savings rates remaining higher for longer than previously thought.

Mark Hicks, head of Active Savings at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Lower inflation will be music to the ears of savers, because if you hold cash in a competitive account, you'll be significantly outstripping inflation. 

"Right now, you can still earn more than 5% on everything from easy access accounts to those fixed for up to two years.

"Unfortunately, most people won't be making anything like this, because high street easy access branch rates are far less generous, and in most cases, they pay less than inflation. 

"At times like this it's key to check out the rates from online banks and savings platforms, which tend to pay more than the high street giants."

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