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Be Wise When Exchanging Money While Traveling

Oct 28, 2020 - 06:05 AM Author - Alex Pardin


With low airfares and international currency exchange available a click away, traveling has become easy for everyone who wants to explore the world. Traveling abroad consists of many things that an individual needs to be careful about. From visas to luggage, hotel bookings, and many more, it can be an annoying task to do. You need to be careful of the risks associated with traveling and one of those risks include the risk of foreign exchange. When traveling, you need the country’s currency and you have to be wary of exchanging money. You don’t want to be ripped off, do you?

So how can you avoid paying a lot of money while buying a foreign currency? Well, the first place to avoid exchanging currency is foreign exchange kiosks and storefronts. This is because the rate that you will get at these places isn't going to be what you can get through a credit card. A small difference could mean a lot when you exchange a lot of money.

If you buy through your credit card, you can save a lot of money as compared to when you buy let’s say euros for cash that you pay in dollars. For example, you buy one euro at an exchange rate of $1.26 from a kiosk. There is a huge possibility that when you can get an exchange rate of $1.17 through your MasterCard. It doesn’t seem much now but buying 1000 euros for the same rate would make a huge difference in the total amount that you pay at the kiosk.

So, how do you escape this problem? How do you exchange money at low fees? Here are a few ways to get the best conversion rates while traveling abroad.

Use a debit card to get cash

If you need cash, make a withdrawal from a local banks’ ATM. Be aware of what your bank charges for foreign ATM withdrawals though. If you think your bank is charging a lot, then consider opening an account in a bank that doesn’t charge as many fees. It doesn’t hurt to open a new account as much as it would if you have to pay huge fees at every transaction.

Avoid currency kiosks

This needs to be mentioned again that a lot of Foreign Exchange Service Providers at airports and local kiosks charge a lot of fees. Be wary of them or at least compare the conversion rates with what you are getting on your MasterCard.

Make purchases through your credit card that doesn’t charge a transaction fee

There are a lot of credit cards available that don’t charge a transaction fee when you make a purchase abroad. Look for such cards. Or buy a travel card. A lot of banks offer a travel card that lets you spend money without charging a lot of money. Ask your bank for one and apply for it weeks before your travels so it can be delivered to you in due time.

Don’t pay in your own currency

If you are making a purchase and the merchant offers to charge you on your card in your original currency (dollars let’s say), don’t do it. They are trying to dupe you. The conversion rates against dollars are usually not much and the merchant may add up a conversion fee on top of that. Let your bank or credit card company be in charge of the conversion rate. It is best in their hands.

Never use your credit card to take a cash advance

You should only trust your research. Credit card companies offer attractive and competitive exchange rates but they usually charge high fees and interest rates. If you take a cash advance before, then chances are that the minute you take it, interest begins to be charged on your card instead of beginning after an interest-free grace period. Be aware of this.

Keep an eye on the exchange rate and compare

There are plenty of apps and websites which allow you to get an easier track of the latest currency value. The interesting thing about these sites and apps is that they are updated in real-time. Researching and knowing about these exchange rates will give an overview of perfect value running on a particular day. Also, you need to compare these exchange rates online since they vary from vendor to vendor. 

Avoid Traveler’s Cheques

Though once these travelers’ cheques were quite a popular option for exchanging money, they have now been replaced by debit and credit cards especially with those with no foreign transaction fees. Nowadays most people are using Travelcards instead of these cheques as they are not widely accepted. Plus, you may face the hassle to exchange them.

Buy foreign currency in advance 

Since currency rates are fluctuating in nature, it is always advised to get foreign exchange in advance, for example, a week before the day of travel is always the best option. If the exchange rates are high, wait for a couple of days to see if there is any decline in exchange rates. By getting the foreign exchange currency in advance, you can eliminate the last-minute rush.

Use Forex Cards 

While you are traveling abroad, it is always recommended to carry forex cards. They come in handy and allow you to enjoy a 100% return for all your money by converting the present amount in the card automatically in the local currency of the country you are traveling to. By using them, you can avoid overspending and load the card with the desired amount anytime you want. You do not need to carry cash anymore, thus eliminates the risks of stealing.        

It is always good to trust only yourself rather than blindly trusting what your bank or anyone tells you. Wherever you plan on traveling to next, look for exchange rates and places that can get you a good deal. Many private financial institutions are offering the best international currency exchange services. Traveling to Malaysia next? Contact Axios Credit Bank Ltd to discover plenty of foreign currency exchange services at affordable rates. Do good research on money exchange in Malaysia! Don’t let anyone fool you. Have a good time. Take care of your money.

Happy travels!!