If you have a trip abroad planned, one of the items on your to-do list is going to be exchanging currency so that you can have the proper type of money once you get there.
Facilities that offer accurate currency exchange can differ when it comes to exchange rates and the availability of the money you need but most reputable facilities will have everything you need to make the transaction simple. Still, it is good to keep in mind the following tips when you need to exchange any currency.
1. Find a Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee
Most credit cards have separate fees that they add on every time you use the card in a country that isn’t your own. Some credit cards, however, do not. The credit cards without foreign transaction fees are the best ones to use when traveling abroad. These cards can save you an awful lot of money in your travels that you can use for other things, such as souvenirs!
2. Shop Around Before You Exchange Your Money
Although many airports offer currency exchange services, these places tend to charge high rates and people pay them because it is so convenient to utilize their services. Just as with shopping for anything else, you want the best exchange rate you can get so do your due diligence and compare different companies so that you get the best rate in the end.
3. Don’t Overspend on Tips in Other Countries
Since service providers in many countries can make good money without tips, you shouldn’t over-tip them on a regular basis. Does this mean that you shouldn’t leave them a fair tip? Of course not, but you don’t have to overdo it. Just tip what feels right to you, especially if it is a generous and fair amount, because this is another way to save some money when spending abroad.
4. Use Cash Whenever Possible
If you can, you should use cash whenever possible but if you have to use a card, use a credit card and not a debit card. Credit card companies allow you to dispute charges whereas debit cards do not. You can save money on currency exchange rates by using only cash and credit cards whenever possible. It also helps protect your financial information and personal information such as your PINs.
5. Always Let Your Bank Know You Will Be Traveling Abroad
Giving your bank this information makes your trip abroad a lot less complicated because it will prevent them from assuming the worst and loading your card with unnecessary fees or, worse, cutting the card off so you cannot use it. If they think that any activity on the card is suspicious, it can make your trip a lot more difficult. You may find the information and resources available at Interchange Financial to be very useful.
6. Consider Using Travellers’ Cheques
Not all places accept travellers’ cheques but when they do, you should use them. Having a few hundred dollars’ worth of travellers’ cheques is never a bad idea; you can keep them socked away if and until you ever find it convenient to use them.