London travellers will now be able to pick up their holiday euros at the last minute after London Underground unveiled euro-dispensing cash points at 70 Tube stations last month.
The ATMs, which will also provide sterling, will serve passengers who are using the underground network to reach Heathrow or Eurostar services at St Pancras station.
Travellers can now find the ATMs at some of London Underground’s most used stations, including Euston, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Piccadilly Circus and Heathrow T123.
The machines will be run by Raphaels Bank to provide currency at rates marketed as “commission free”. The Bank commissioned a survey of 2,000 travellers and found that only 62 per cent of them bought currency in advance of their holidays and the new machines will serve the 4 million or so Londoners who use the Tube daily.
The service will be especially welcome by holidaymakers jetting off to their timeshare resorts which may be located some way away from the local town, or travellers arriving at an overseas airport late at night or at peak periods to avoid long queues at the currency exchange desk.
If you’re not sure, check our quick guide, below, which shows which members of the EU use the euro – and which don’t.
EU member countries which DO use the euro
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain
The ones that don’t:
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
However, British bank customers who use their cards to withdraw euros from the new London Underground ATMs will be charged rates above the interbank spot rate.
The rates are currently competitive but travellers have been advised to compare the offerings to others close by.
The Telegraph Travel’s consumer affairs editor, Nick Trend, said: “For those who pay outstanding bills in full, the cheapest and safest way to buy things when you’re abroad is to pay by credit card and just use cash for incidentals.”
One thing to note, if you’re heading to Croatia, is that although your euros will probably be accepted in many places, the Croatian kuna is still the country’s official currency. You can withdraw it at local banks/ATMs but it might still be worth taking some euros with you as emergency cash.