For British couple the Mercers, holidays at their beach pad in Barbados will be even more enjoyable than first anticipated thanks to the savings they made when they bought their property earlier this year.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

When David and Marcia Mercer, from Widnes in Cheshire, needed to send funds to Barbados to pay for their apartment on the island’s West Coast, they opted to make the transfer through an FSA-authorised firm that specialises in currency exchange, rather than do the obvious and ask their bank to do it.

Their decision saved them £’000s thanks to the currency specialist they used, Smart Currency Exchange, consistently offering their clients exchange rates that are typically 2-4 per cent better than any high street bank and charging minimial – or no – fees. To date the Mercers have used Smart to send dollars worth £208,000 to purchase their dream pad in Barbados.

“Bank charges for currency transfers are ludicrous,” said Marcia, who is a retired NHS Director of Nursing. “Smart’s cost effective service has saved us money and allowed our funds to go a little further than expected. On fees alone we saved money. For example, to transfer £1,500 to Barbados would have cost me approximately £19 with a bank. But I’ve transferred a total of £208,000 with Smart and incurred only £10 in fees and that was only because one transaction was under £3,000 – Smart charge no fees for transfers above that.”

The Mercers learnt about the service offered by Smart Currency Exchange after reading about the firm in the Caribbean Buying Guide, a free publication that offers impartial advice to property-buyers. If they were unsure about using this new type of financial service, Smart soon put them at ease.

“There was no salesman pressure and they were helpful, professional, informative and patient,” continued Marcia. “Being on first-name terms has been very helpful and
it allows for an effective relationship between us and our Smart account manager. And I’ve never been made to feel silly when asking the simplest of questions.”

David and Marcia own one of nine luxury three-bedroom apartments on a gated condominium in St Peter. They have private parking, a large roof terrace with breathtaking views, access to a communal pool and are just a seven-minute walk from the beach. The famous Westmoreland Golf Club is only a short drive away.

“We intend to rent out our apartment when we’re not using it,” concludes Marcia. “But within 18 months to two years, we’d love to move out to Barbados for good. The people are so friendly, the lifestyle so laid-back, the beaches so beautiful and it’s sunny all year round – what more could you want when you’re retired!”

To search for property in Barbados and other properties for sale in the Caribbean, visit the listings on Rightmove. For more information on how Smart Currency Exchange could save you money when sending money between the UK and your overseas account, download their free reports here or visit the Currency Zone.

To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in Caribbean, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘Caribbean Property Buying Guide

The views and comments herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Rightmove Overseas, Rightmove Group Ltd or Rightmove Plc