How to Get the Best Currency Exchanges While Traveling Abroad?
September 27 , 2023

How to Get the Best Currency Exchanges While Traveling Abroad?

A currency exchange is almost always necessary at some point while a person is traveling abroad. It can get really expensive if you don't know the methods. Due to weak exchange rates and excessive fees, exchanging money at a hotel in an airport, or elsewhere in the nation can be expensive. Visitors should try to convert their currency before departing on vacation or be informed of where to go to avoid spending to exchange money while overseas.

What is the Exchange Rate?

The ratio between two different currencies, such as your home currency and the local currency of the destination you are visiting, is known as the exchange rate. The currency rate may be expressed as follows if you are traveling from the US to Pakistan:
$1: PKR 288.37
This implies that you would earn 288.37 Pakistani rupees for every US dollar you exchanged. To exchange your money at the best possible time and receive the best rate, it's critical to keep an eye on how the money exchange rate is changing.

Factor in Currency Conversion Fees

There is a fee associated with exchanging one currency for another. The cost of currency conversion varies greatly from one foreign exchange specialist to the next. Before exchanging your money, find out how much the cost will be as this might significantly affect the amount you receive.

Paying By Card

These types of foreign transaction fees while using a credit card or debit card are something to be extremely aware of in the present age. Your card could charge a foreign transaction fee of up to 3% on each purchase you make abroad, depending on the currency exchange rate and the bank you are with. You must have studied the tiny print on your bank's website before leaving to avoid these kinds of hidden extra costs. As an alternative, call them personally or conduct a fast Google search. Why not apply for a credit card that doesn't impose these extra fees, especially one with good travel benefits, if you have enough time before your trip? If not, you can always try to locate the most advantageous currency exchange on your own.

Use International Banking Apps

If you frequently go abroad, think about managing your finances with an international banking app like Wise (formerly TransferWise), Revolute, or another one. By using these apps, holding several currencies and transferring money to accounts in other nations are made simpler. You can maintain some money in other currencies by using a multiple-currency account or by using a VISA card. It's beneficial!

Bank that Exchanges Foreign Currency for Free

There are frequent restrictions, but many U.S. banks will exchange USD for foreign currencies without incurring a fee. Customers of Bank of America can, for instance, exchange foreign currency gratis, but only on orders totaling $1,000 or more. If not, the bank will impose a delivery fee of $7.50 for orders of foreign currency. A qualifying type of account is required for customers of TD Bank to be able to convert dollars into foreign currencies without incurring any fees. Customers of TD Convenience Checking will incur foreign currency fees but not those of TD Premier Checking. Find out from your bank whether it offers free foreign currency exchange and whether there are any requirements you need to fulfill to avoid paying costs.

Bring Some US Dollars With You

Even if you don't anticipate having a significant cash requirement, it may still be a good idea to carry some US dollars with you in case you experience any issues with your bank account, debit or credit card, or VISA card once you get to your destination. Prepaid currency cards, which you can load with local money and use like a debit card, are an alternative. If you buy a lot before you go, the exchange rate will be locked in, which can be useful if you need to know exactly how much money you'll have. Additionally, you have the option of storing US dollars on the card; when you make a purchase, the supplier will convert your funds at the current exchange rate.

Access Local Currency When You Arrive

It's advised to avoid using airport exchange kiosks if you do need to purchase local currency while traveling or upon arrival, as these frequently charge higher currency conversion fees and offer less favorable exchange rates. You can withdraw cash from an ATM using your debit card but watch out for heavy fees from your bank. Check the costs associated with your debit card provider and decide if it would be worthwhile to switch to one that doesn't charge a fee for currency conversion. If you intend to make purchases with your credit card, be sure to research the fees your provider levies and contrast them with those of other currency conversion options. Fees for cash advances are included here; credit card issuers frequently permit you to obtain cash in foreign currency.

Avoid Exchanging at the Airport

The highest currency conversion rates and fees are found at airport foreign currency counters. They add a margin of 8% to 12% to the money you give them. It is therefore advised to obtain foreign currency before arriving and to complete the exchange after conducting market research for a day or two.

Use Credit Cards for Bigger Purchases

Using your no-fee credit card to pay for lodging, rental cars, and other sizable transactions might help you save even more. Just keep in mind that credit cards won't be accepted by all shops for small purchases because cash is still king in many regions of the world.

Always Compare Between Multiple Shops

The value of currencies is always changing. Daily ups and downs are normal, however, the rate varies greatly from trader to trader. The airport and busy market districts have relatively higher money exchange rates than less well-known tourist destinations.