Travelling Abroad: Best Ways to Exchange Foreign Currency
If you’re planning to travel overseas, one critical aspect you need to consider is how to acquire foreign currency. Exchanging currency can impact how much money you have to spend during your travels. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to prepare for travelling abroad so that you get the most out of your money.
Exchange it at your Local Bank
When you’re planning a trip abroad, buying foreign currency from your local bank is an easy option. However, it’s essential to use a bank that you already have an account with. This can potentially lower your fees, although the exchange rate might be in favor of the bank, not yours. Regardless, exchanging money at a local bank is still a better option than doing it at kiosks around the airport, which have the worst exchange rates. So, it’s always better to plan before you go.
Buy Foreign Currency Online
If you want foreign currency before you fly to your destination, ezforex.com and Wells Fargo offer an online service where you can purchase foreign currency and have it delivered to your home. These websites are becoming popular because of their low rates and convenience. Just remember to be home when the package arrives. Bonus tip: Wells Fargo offers free shipping if you spend $1,000 US dollars or more on foreign currency. That means more savings for you!
Use a Credit Card
Many credit cards offer automatic exchange rate calculation, and you can use them wherever major credit cards are accepted. The smartest way to use this tip is to get a card that waives all foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, you could end up paying more than 3% on every purchase, which could be a surprise when you receive your credit card bill after a relaxing vacation.
To avoid these fees, you can consider applying for a card from Capital One, Bank of America, American Express, Citi, or Chase. Just ensure to read the fine print to confirm that the card waives these fees, as many companies offer different cards.
Withdraw it from an ATM
Many banks, such as Charles Schwab, allow you to withdraw cash from any ATM in the world without charging a fee. This is a great way to get the cash you need immediately in the currency form that is compatible with your destination, and it’s the most convenient way to get money when you’re traveling. With cash on hand, you can quickly pay for snacks, taxi rides, and other things you might need on the trip. Besides, you can contact your bank and raise your daily withdrawal limit if you need to make a significant purchase. While Bank of America allows you to withdraw cash without a fee as long as you’re at an affiliated bank, Charles Schwab lets you use any ATM and enjoy their perks.
Use Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks are primarily outdated, and not all merchants accept them. However, they are a good, safe backup if anything happens to your other funding sources, and you can get them from any local bank.
Know Your Exchange Rates
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do when traveling abroad is to do your research and know your exchange rates. That way, if you’re unable to exchange your money before you travel, you’ll be knowledgeable enough to bargain with foreign banks, taxi drivers, and currency exchange booths to get the rate your deserve.
Travelling abroad requires adequate planning, including how to acquire foreign currency. Depending on your preferences, there are different ways to exchange foreign currency. You can exchange it at your local bank, buy it online, use a credit card, withdraw it from an ATM, or get traveler’s checks. Whatever option you choose, it’s essential to do your research and get the most out of your money. With these tips, you can travel abroad with confidence knowing that you can get currency when you need it.