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The Ultimate Guide to Exchanging Leftover Currency

- Published on 22nd December 2023

euro and US dollar currency. exchanging leftover currency

Suppose your annual Christmas-time search for sellotape and scissors was anything like ours. In that case, you’ll be closing out 2023 with reels of half-used tape, strips of wrapping paper, and pockets full of leftover foreign currency found in abandoned drawers throughout your home.

Exchanging leftover foreign cash and coins often falls to the bottom of our priority list as soon as we return from our trips and travels. Yet by leaving these coins and notes in their foreign state, we are essentially wasting money that could otherwise be spent – which begs one simple question.

How and where can travellers exchange foreign currency quickly and efficiently?

In this blog, we’re sharing our advice on the best ways to exchange leftover currency, maximising the exchange rate and ensuring you get the best bang for your buck.

Why should you exchange foreign currency back into pounds when you get home?

First up, why do we recommend exchanging leftover currency sooner rather than later?

For one thing, when you don’t take action as soon as you get home from your travels, the chances are that you will forget – stashing your leftover cash and coins away and forgetting to exchange them back into pounds

mixed uk pound banknotes

Secondly, with market exchange rates constantly fluctuating, it’s best to use a platform like Leftover Currency, which combines internet-leading exchange rates with an efficient service. Our rates always reflect the best deals available on the internet, despite fluctuations and changes that can happen overnight.

Now, it’s all very well encouraging efficient exchange of leftover currency on return from your holiday – but how and where can you do that? Here are some of the most common and recommended outlets for foreign currency exchange.

How do I exchange foreign currency?

When we talk about and consider foreign currency exchange, one of the first ports of call is a classic Bureau de Change facility – which can be found on high streets, in airports, and even in large department stores and shopping centres. 

While these offer convenience,they do not accept or exchange all currencies.

Similarly, post offices offer a limited foreign exchange service for certain currencies, but again operate with low rates, long queues and only accept notes (no coins!)

foreign coins

The other option is to exchange foreign currency online via the Leftover Currency platform. Boasting an unrivalled selection of over 170 different currencies, monitored online to ensure internet-leading rates for all travellers. 

Leftover Currency combines an accessible user interface with an efficient and reliable service, transferring your unused foreign cash and coins back into pounds and paid directly into your bank account or donated to charity.

What is the most cost-effective way to exchange currency?

Of course, it’s not just convenience that modern travellers are looking for when exchanging foreign currency back into pounds. For many users, it’s equally important that they find a service which is cost-effective – not just staying true and loyal to the best exchange rates on the market, but minimising the spread of fees and other charges, to ensure they get the maximum payout back into their bank account.

Here at Leftover Currency, we believe that we offer the most cost-effective service for one major reason: we don’t charge any direct fees, meaning that whether the money is being transferred to you or to a chosen charity, the payout will retain its maximum value in pounds.

mixed foreign coins in a cookie box. exchanging leftover currency

How does Leftover Currency work?

If you search for for spare batteries, or conduct your annual household tidy to uncover hidden treasure in the form of foreign coins and cash, then Leftover Currency is here to help.

Built on a genuine interest and fascination in foreign coins and currency, alongside a desire to make the currency exchange market more accessible and easier to navigate, Leftover Currency is an online platform which invites users to exchange countless currencies in one transaction.

To start your exchange, you need to simply enter the quantity of each foreign coin and note you have on our website, to uncover a quote for the full amount in pounds. 

You will then be asked to send your foreign currency to us, where it will be sorted and the full value in pounds will be paid directly to your bank account or a charity of your choice.

Our mission is and has always been to make foreign currency exchange manageable for travel lovers from all walks of life. This is why our ongoing service is matched by a desire to keep growing – encouraging users to keep us in the loop of currencies we don’t yet offer and services they wish to see.


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.