Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria.
The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower).
Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria
You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.
One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.
The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare.
You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients.
To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure.
The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria
Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back.
It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card.
Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure.
Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.
Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.
See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.