Currency Exchanges

these tips should help, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.If you’re planning your dream trip overseas this year, you’ll need to know something about exchanging currency. It’s best to understand this concept before you leave the country, as it could save you both money and headaches before you reach your destination. If you’re a seasoned traveler, you may already be familiar with where to get the best exchange rates and when to use foreign currency. But if not, these tips should help, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.

Currency exchanges at your bank. Before you leave, visit your financial institution to exchange currency. It’s best to get enough money exchanged for transportation and local incidental travel costs until you reach your vacation spot. The associated exchange costs may mean it’s not worth obtaining extra money beforehand. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you might place your order by phone or on your financial institution’s website. The currency can be delivered to your local branch in just a few days. This service may incur delivery fees.

Beware of airports and hotels. The idea of exchanging currency in airports and hotels might seem appealing because of the convenience it offers while traveling. However, it’s generally more expensive to exchange currency in either a hotel or an airport; high transaction fees (occasionally up to 20%) are the norm rather than the exception. Regard this option as a last resort.

Currency exchanges using credit cards. While abroad, your credit card can be an economical way to go. You may get good exchange rates and lower fees than those associated with cash exchanges. Better than exchanging large sums of money, though, consider simply using your credit card for larger purchases. This makes it more convenient and safer than cash, especially for larger purchases, such as for resort accommodations and fancy restaurants.

Prepaid currency cards. Consider a Cash Passport Prepaid Currency Card by Travelex. You can get one at a Travelex store with proper identification or online at You can have the card preloaded with a specific amount of currency, and it can be used at ATMs, restaurants and shops all over the globe. At the moment, it’s available only for seven currencies: British pounds, euros, U.S. dollars, Australian dollars, New Zealand dollars, Canadian dollars and South African rand. If the card is lost or stolen, the company will replace it for a fee, but it won’t replace the money lost. While the card is convenient, you could rack up lots of fees for withdrawals, inactivity and closing the card.

ATM withdrawals. Withdrawing money from ATMs while abroad is another common way to get local currency at a decent exchange rate. Use your debit card at the ATM, and it will give you the appropriate currency exchange. However, before you leave for your trip, you should ask your bank if your debit card will work at overseas ATMs. Some ATM cards won’t work abroad, and some ATMs may freeze your card to protect against fraud. Also beware of ATM fees, which can vary significantly.

Now that you better understand currency exchanges, you can plan your financial travel strategy ahead of time. In many cases, your trusted financial institution is a great place to begin. Feel free to ask one of our representatives for help.


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