Superyacht Crew Money Tips: Currency Exchange

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Manage your Currency Exchange

Something a lot of you do not pay attention to is currency exchange. You get paid in one currency and bank in another. Live in one country and travel to an even wider variety of places. Because of this you will have exposure to foreign currency exchange. You will also have more overseas charges and travel related expenses than most other people.

Here are a few things to think about;

1. Is your bank account the same currency as your salary?

2. When you take cash out of the bank is the card you use the same currency as the country you are in?

3. How many times per month do you transfer money between bank accounts?


All of the above can expose you to charges and non-preferrential rates. This can mount up to a surprising amount of money over the course of a year.

Here is an example of how costs build up;

We did a case study into a senior crew member last year. He is an experienced British First officer on a 50m yacht. His salary is above industry average and he works on rotation. The key points are these;


1. He gets paid in Euros into a UK sterling account.

2. He spends in Europe and the USA/ Caribbean with his UK sterling debit card and UK sterling credit card

3. All his bills come out of his UK account in Sterling every month.

Straight away you can see where the costs start to add up. For example, if you are paid €7000 per month into a UK bank account right now you will receive £5949.60 which is equal to 0.849. Compare this with the interbank rate today of 0.871 (£6099.50) and this has just cost you £149.90. Over a year this is £1798.80 which is better in your account than someone else’s.

Next, spending abroad. Based on the rates above, every time you take £100 (or the equivalent of) out of a cash machine it costs you £1.54 due to the exchange rate and a further 2% or £2 foreign transaction fee. Therefore, if you withdraw £100 five times every month this will cost you £17.70 per month or £212.40 per year.

Add to this your credit card. You will get the same or similar exchange rate plus a (on average) 2.99% fee. On the same type of spend this will cost £22.65 per month or £271.80 per year.

Add all this up and based on you spending £1000 per month this costs you a total of £484.20 per year plus the amount you lose getting paid.

The person we did the case study on was actually spending closer to £3000 per month and so their actual costs, as a result of their circumstances were in the region of £1452.60 card losses plus £1798.80 salary losses. Makes you think doesn’t it?

All it takes to limit these costs is a bit of forward thinking.

1. Look at your banking situation. What can you do to make this work better for you?

2. Overseas card fees. Can you do better?

3. Type of card you use. Will a multi currency card help? Of course it will.

4. How do you transfer your money? Is there a more cost effective way to do this? The answer of course is yes.

At this is just a small part of what we do. We have spent years in Yachting, made all the mistakes and come out the other side a lot wiser for it. We stop you making the same mistakes.

Get in touch to learn more.

Published on 19th February 2021 in by