Choosing the best currency exchange when traveling abroad

Posted by LauraDerb on December 17th, 2020

One of the most overlooked tasks when planning a vacation is buying foreign currency. There are several options with different currency exchange rates. Let's look at the options.

Credit cards

Credit cards are a mixed bag. There are few specialized credit cards that offer the current exchange rate with no cash withdrawal fees. These cards will continue to charge interest even if they are paid in full. This is really as good as it sounds. Most other credit cards charge 3% in addition to the exchange rate and charge for cash withdrawals. Interest is also charged even if the balance is paid in full.

Debit cards

Debit cards can be the worst way to spend money abroad. Almost all debit cards add 2-3% on top of the current exchange rate. Banks don't stop there. 1% expense charges are added, as well as a typical cash withdrawal fee of 1.5%. Some banks offer travel-friendly debit cards with certain accounts, so I recommend talking to your bank or checking their website for special exchange bitcoin to perfect money.

Travel cash

Travel cash is often easy to come by. Most travel agencies offer 0% or a marginal commission at a competitive exchange rate. It is always a good idea to ask a week or two before traveling for unknown currencies, but in general, foreign currencies can be purchased the same day at travel agencies. If you order from your bank, please allow longer for delivery, although some banks restrict this service for certain customers.

Never change money at airports or ferries. To say that the exchange rate is unfavorable is an understatement. Also remember that debit and credit cards will charge an additional fee when buying currency at an exchange office.

Although traveling abroad with some foreign currency is advantageous, it is not ideal. The money for the trip is not insured by the travel agent. If the travel money is lost abroad, there is no replacement. Your travel insurance may cover some expenses, but it will not cover the full amount.

Prepaid debit cards

Prepaid debit cards are my preferred way to spend money abroad. Exchange rates are very competitive. They can be purchased at travel agencies or post offices. However, the cards with the best offers are found online. All prepaid cards can be loaded free of charge at the branch, online or by phone, even from abroad. Prepaid debit cards do not have commissions at the points of sale and are loaded with money immediately. There is usually a charge of around $ 1 for cash withdrawals, but there are no fees for using it as a debit card. I generally withdraw money no more than three times during a two-week vacation and make debit card purchases the rest of the time. Two cards can be ordered for the same account. In case of card loss, you will receive a replacement within 24 hours.

Card companies are backed by banks, so if they go bankrupt, your money is safe. If the bank fails, you would not be covered, so as a precaution, it is always a good idea to carry money around the time of travel rather than use it as a place to store cash.

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