According to one study, there are 1.4 billion international travelers. If you’re going to be one of those international travelers, you might be looking for a currency exchange service to get currency for your trip.
However. the rates and fees can leave you paying extra money. Thankfully, we have some of the best insider tips on how to go about this process, so keep reading to find out how to exchange currency!
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1. Debit or Credit Card
If you don’t have time to exchange your currency before your trip, you can always use your debit or credit card. It makes sense to use it for large purchases, like car rentals and hotels.
However, before you start paying with your cards, check to see if there is a foreign transaction fee attached. This can cause you to rack up a lot of fees. If you don’t have any fees, then this is definitely the easiest way to pay for things while abroad.
Even if you’re shopping at smaller street markets or festivals, many vendors are now set up to take electronic payments. There are also many countries like Mexico or Ecuador that accept the United States dollar.
You should also check to see if your credit card company will offer you good exchange rates. This will make paying for anything cheaper or expensive. However, if you have a good travel card with rewards, you may be able to rack up a lot of rewards that you can use on another trip!
Before you leave on your trip, make sure that you call your bank or credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling during that time. Sometimes, if your card is used in a foreign country, the company will cancel it in case it’s fraud. If you let them know that you’ll be there, you should be okay.
However, you could still have your credit card stolen while you are there. Instead of using your credit card, you can also use mobile payments and hook your credit card up to those.
Some common ones include Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay. That way, you can access your digital wallet wherever you are!
2. Local Bank
One of the most common ways for currency exchange is to go to your local bank.
A lot of these banks and credit unions will sell foreign currency. Some of them may even order the currency for you and ship it to your home. However, keep an eye out for what the shipping rates are.
It might be cheaper to go and visit your local bank in person. When you go in person, you won’t have to pay any fees since you’re a member of that bank.
3. Pay in Local Currency
When you travel abroad, ask the merchant if they want you to pay in local currency or if you can use United States dollars to complete the purchase.
If you find yourself in a situation where they ask how you’d like to pay, always pay in the local currency. If you pay with dollars, there might be an extra currency conversion fee tacked onto your purchase.
They’ll also probably give you a poor exchange rate in exchange for convenience. That’s why you should always exchange your money before you go shopping.
4. Traveler’s Check
A traveler’s check is another great way to exchange currency. A lot of traveler’s checks are from American Express, but many other banks or credit unions will hand them out as well.
You buy them from the bank, and they’ll charge you a small fee. You can get these shipped to you, but it might be better to go in person.
The best thing about traveler’s checks is that if they’re lost or stolen, you can easily order more. Once you have them, you’re also the only one who can exchange them.
However, the downside to this option is that many merchants may decline to take them. Then you’ll have to find a bank that will cash them in for the amount you want.
If you don’t want a traveler’s check, you could also look into getting a traveler’s prepaid card.
5. International Banking Apps
If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to open an international bank account. Then, you can download a banking app that will help you manage your money.
These apps make it easy to transfer money between each country, and you can hold accounts in different currencies.
For example, if you live in the United States but frequently travel to Mexico, you can hold pesos in your account as well.
This will help you go around currency exchange rates, and you’ll always have money for your next trip without having to go to the bank.
6. Avoid These Places
When you’re exchanging currency, there are some places that you should definitely avoid.
These include convenient options, like airports and major transportation hubs. That’s because they never offer great rates. They should always be your last choice.
You also shouldn’t exchange currency at any major tourist centers or hotels.
Discover More Insider Tips on the Currency Exchange Service
These are only a few of the best insider tips on the currency exchange service, but there are many more out there.
We know that it’s probably the last thing to do on your travel list, but it’s also one of the most important.
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