Best Places to Exchange Currency and Save Fees
There is nothing like coming home from a fantastic trip abroad thinking that you’re informed about sticking to your budget only to be hit with unexpected currency-exchange fees on your bank statement and credit card invoice. Because of this, travelers […]
There is nothing like coming home from a fantastic trip abroad thinking that you’re informed about sticking to your budget only to be hit with unexpected currency-exchange fees on your bank statement and credit card invoice.
Because of this, travelers should look to exchange convert their money before embarking on a trip. It helps if you have some idea of what a reasonable exchange rate is, so check key company websites first. The following are some of the best and cheapest places to convert money:
- Local banks and credit unions usually offer the best prices.
- Major banks, such as Chase or Bank of America, offer the extra advantage of having ATMs overseas.
- Online bureaus or money converters, such as Travelex, provide convenient foreign exchange solutions.
Ordering cash online will probably include delivery charges as well as the exchange rate will not be as great as with your banknonetheless, this remains a better choice when compared to must-avoid options below.
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- Due to high currency-exchange fees, travelers should think about converting their money before traveling.
- Banks, credit unions, online agencies, and currency converters deliver convenient and frequently inexpensive converting money services.
- After on foreign land, the best ways to convert money is to use a foreign ATM or determine if your bank has ATMs or banking affiliates near.
- Many debit and credit card issuers make it possible for users to buy no foreign transaction fees.
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Exchanging Currency Overseas
Virtually every overseas traveler should exchange currency at some stage during their trip. If you do not know the tricks, it can be extremely pricey. Trading money at the hotel or just a money kiosk from the nation can be costly, including poor exchange rates and high prices.
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The best solution for exchanging currency and saving fees would be to use a foreign ATM.
Piggybacking on the above suggestion, if you do not have time or do not need to carry a good deal of cash, check to find out whether your bank has ATMs in the destination country. They might even have banking affiliates there. A key trick is to use an ATM inside the airport after you arrive.
When you are back in the States, head to your bank or credit union to transfer any remaining foreign currency to U.S. dollars. It’s important to remember that some banks won’t take foreign currency. As a last resort, if you’ve got foreign currency leftover before you depart, look to convert it in an airport kiosk or a shop before leaving the country.
Using Credit Versus Cash for Foreign Transactions
The world has gotten so digital that the majority of people no longer walk around overseas nations with traveler’s checks and money belts. That’s why you need to take both a no-foreign-fee debit card and a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card with you. The likes of Chase, Bank of American, Capital One, and other big credit card issuers provide special no foreign transaction fee cards.
Additionally, it’s ideal to mostly utilize a no-transaction-fee credit card since it will probably provide fraud protection; utilize money only as a backup. You are able to replace lost or stolen credit cards, but misplaced money can never be replaced. But don’t use your credit card to get a cash advance to get foreign currency. Doing this means you will get hit with a cash advance fee and a high-interest speed that begins accruing immediately.
The widespread use and improvement of technologies have helped make using debit and credit cards possible in most regions of the world, though there are exceptions, so it’s worth investigating whether your destination takes debit or particular cards prior to going on a trip.
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Other Travel Tips
1 thing to do before traveling overseas is to allow your bank and credit card businesses know of your travel plans. This way, if you use your debit or credit card overseas, these companies won’t cut off access to your account because of concerns of fraud.
Additionally, avoid paying U.S. dollars when possible, even if a merchant offers to convert them for you. This includes paying using a debit or credit card. The merchant would probably convert at a rate that is disadvantageous to you and charge fees. The same is true for paying with U.S. dollars in the kind of cash.
Worst Places to Exchange Currency
Some places that you need to prevent for exchanging currency are:
- Airport kiosks and shops when heading to a nation (not to be confused with airport ATMs): Plan ahead as airport kiosks generally charge some of the greatest prices and have the worst exchange prices. When returning to the US, this could be the only choice.
- Traveler’s checks and prepaid debit cards: These aren’t efficient and frequently carry various transaction fees. At the same time, they add little benefit, concerning safety, when compared to money. At the same time, prepaid debit cards include card charges, overseas transaction costs, and ATM-use charges.
The Most Important Thing
If you do a little homework before leaving for your trip by checking exchange rates, you will save yourself a pretty penny.