Countries Where Sterling’s Not Taking A Pounding

The value of the British Pound has steadily dropped in the past three months, impacting expat spending power.

At the start of May, the exchange rate against the Euro was £1.176.

Now, the figure is nearer £1.114.

Add to that the Pound is trading at a 27 month low against the US dollar, and the short-term future for the British currency does not look good.

Brexit is blamed for the fortune of the Pound, but despite taking a hit, there are still a few places where the Pound is doing well.

The question is are they places where expats can or want to go?

Where the Pound gets you top dollar

Top of the list is Argentina, which is not really an expat destination that comes up that much in conversation. Nevertheless, the Pound is trading well against the peso, mainly due to raging inflation in the Latin America country.

According to currency exchange firm FairFX, a £1,000 buys £321.50 more pesos now than a year ago.

Angola is a different prospect. As a regular destination for expats, the country has a high cost of living because it is so expensive to transport small loads of big brands around the country, which has a poor infrastructure.

But inflation is the expat’s friend and means £1,000 buys £236.50 more Angolan Kwanza compared with 12 months ago.

Across Africa, economic strife in Zambia also helps keep the Pound trading well, as £1,000 now is worth £185.60 more than in July 2018.

Should you spend pounds or local currency?

For many the question is whether to change foreign currency after a trip back to British Pounds.

Even the experts don’t have a definitive answer.

“If you have leftover euros from a trip and want to reduce the risk of being left with currency that’s worth less than it was, it is best to move funds sooner rather than later. It’s impossible to know what the future holds – particularly when it comes to Brexit,” said a FairFX spokesman.

The firm also advises using local currency whenever possible to settle bills because paying by card in a foreign currency kicks in dynamic currency conversion. This allows the rate is decided by a third party and rarely works in favour of the payee.

Leave a Comment