Is preconverting FX a good strategy?

Typically I find during workweek that FX rates on 0% cards from the same network are about the same.

But I find that weekend FX spreads wider on MasterCard.

I typically convert pounds to a given local currency on Friday to spend on the weekend. And it seems to work out better than converting during weekend with just spending pounds with either Revolut or other MasterCard cards.

… Or is it just my superstition?

I know that revolut charges a markup on weekends, but is there actually worse rate for weekend/holiday spends on the MasterCard network? Or any sort of markup above interbank mid market rate? Is revolut / currency cloud in general better than MasterCard rates?

Depends on where you’re visiting but if it’s a stable economy is the 2 or 3 percent potential gain on your typical holiday spend worth the faff?

Generally fx carries more risk at the weekend because of reduced market activity, e.g settlement activity from many financial institutions pauses at the weekend, many markets are closed. Because of this increased risk, fx providers spread usually widens to cover it.

Lower quantity of trades = lower confidence in actual price. (take unlisted stock for example :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

So yes, rates are generally worse at the weekend.

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If you were going to purchase an expensive item in a foreign currency on a Saturday, it could well make a major difference.

Beyond that, you may find it easier to budget in the local currency when away and it may save you a little if you convert in advance on a good day for that currency exchange.

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That’s the thing. If one checks in or out of hotel on a weekend and need to pay it then, it ends up being the expensive item. Or car rental, and similar.

On the other hand sometimes want to pay those things with a credit card. Dilemma.