Sunday, August 11, 2013

Exchange Foreign Currency at the Best Rates

Before travelling we have a lot of questions in our mind, one of the most frequent question people ask is, how do I get foreign currency for my next trip?  It is often a challenge to save money on a holiday and the hardest part of it is saving money when exchanging money.  Sometime you don’t realize that banks and other money changers empty your wallets so fast.  Be wise and do not ignore details.

after you arrive better get local money from the ATM in the country because in most places it is always cheaper.  No worries because airports have ATMs where you can do this, (at least almost all airports).  It is also good if it comes handy when you need local money for cab.  If you have no time to do this in the airport because you already have a transport from the airport booked with your hotel then you can just do this a little later in the hotel.  You can walk around and check for ATM close to you.

Getting money d\from the ATM is also safer.   You can just get enough for the following days so you will be safe from thieves and misplacement.  And this is also saves time rather than money exchange that consumes time.

It will also be good if you stick with Visa or Mastercard because both are widely accepted.  Be mindful that all card issuer charges different rates for cash advances in a different country than your own.

Usually a debit card linked to a checking or savings account do not charge cash advance fees so using them will be the cheapest because you are withdrawing  the money you already have therefore you will not be charging money and paying for it later.   If applicable, you will still be charge for using a different bank’s ATM.  You will also be charged with a 2-3% foreign transaction fee.  Using a credit card versus a debit card incurs the foreign transaction fee, but also a cash advance fee which varies greatly.  Often it's 3-5%, but can be a flat rate of $10-15 (USD).

Your bank’s debit card ATM fee of $2-3 (USD) is less than the cash advance fee.  To sum it up, it's cheaper to pay a $2 ATM fee and 3% foreign fee than a 3% cash advance fee plus 3% foreign fee.  To make sure about the card you have because every card is different, call your card issuer and ask for ATM fee, cash advance fee, foreign transaction fee rates.

Another tiny detail that you must keep in mind is to make sure you take crisp bill with no damage or whatsoever.  Money changers will offer less or not accept worn out bills.  $100 bills have the best cash exchange rate bills with lower value are changed at a lower rate.  And be very wary of whom you exchange your money with, there are many scammers out there.  Make sure you know the right exchange rate and if ever there will be someone offering you a higher rate or you see a signage on the street that offers higher rate do not believe it because chances are they are fraud.  They are know to be quick in folding bills over or swapping bills that you may think that he had given you the right amount but in reality you had been deceived.  Always go to the legitimate banks and money changers.

1 comment:

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