Ever found a bunch of random foreign coins or notes rattling around in a drawer, languishing after a trip years ago? (Or in my case, falling out of a jacket pocket when bending over to pick something up?)
Even if they’re of a now obsolete currency (franc, drachma, lira) there’s a new option for exchanging these online at Leftover Currency. They are based in London, but can be used from anywhere in the world to exchange travel money in more than 50 different currencies.
How it works: say I wanted to exchange Czech koruna from my visit to Prague. I’d select the corresponding currency, then click on the matching banknote or coin to ‘add’ it to my online wallet. (Rinse and repeat as appropriate.) It’s kind of like a reverse shopping cart.
The screen shows how much cash – either in US dollars, euros or pounds – I would receive in return based on the current exchange rates. Then it’s a case of filling in a few details, grabbing a reference number and mailing the currency to their office. (Londoners can drop by in person.)
Once processed, you get paid by Paypal, bank transfer or cheque (depending on the option you chose). You can also choose to donate the value of your currency to charity instead – there are a handful of nonprofit causes supported by the site.
It’s often difficult making it work so that you use up all of your foreign cash by the end of a trip – more so in some countries than others, depending how widely card payments are accepted there. Those coin donation boxes at airport terminals exist for a reason! But now there are more choices than ever.