One of the most frustrating things when traveling is paying high fees and receiving low rates when exchanging currency. Gaining knowledge about how to get the best world wide money exchange rates and reducing fees can help to put a significant extra amount of money in your pocket when traveling overseas. Here are some valuable tips to bear in mind when exchanging currency:
The first and most essential tip is to spend some time researching the money exchange rates for the currencies you wish to convert. A deep understanding of world wide money exchange rates helps you to avoid getting ripped off and also understand what to expect when you change your money. Check periodically over the course of a few weeks before you leave to see how the currency fluctuates and if you will be away for a long time, keep up to date with how the exchange rate is moving.
- Understand Bank Rates
If you use credit cards or debit cards, talk to your bank or card issuer to find out if they have an agreement with a local bank in the country you will travel to for lower rates when purchasing currency. Usually, banks will offer rates of between 2 and 7 percent in comparison to cash exchange or traveler’s checks. It is also highly recommended to use your card when making large purchases abroad such as paying for a hotel or renting a car. However, ensure you factor in the transaction fees for purchases made in foreign currencies.
- Use ATMs
Rather than using cash exchange services which can charge extremely high fees and low exchange rates, try to use ATMs for your cash needs. The exchange rate for ATMs is generally much better than cash exchange (this applies world wide), however, ensure you check with your bank for additional withdrawal fees.
- Be Aware of Cash Exchanges
If you absolutely must use a cash exchange, ask for the net rate after all commissions to understand the value you will receive. The same applies to shops which accept multiple currencies. Some commissions are calculated on a pay-per-item basis, leading to extremely high fees. It is also common for exchanges to display the sell rate only and not the buy rate. If you spot this it should raise a red flag for using that service.
In conclusion, preparation and understanding are key to getting more value for your dollar when exchanging currency. By putting in a little time and effort you could save a significant amount of money when exchanging currency.