When traveling abroad, keeping cash in hand before reaching your foreign destination is a must if you want to avoid paying extra as a transaction or exchange or processing fee. No doubt, several conduits are operating privately with licenses to exchange your home currency in a smooth and quick process. However, these foreign exchange offices charge a good amount of money on the exchanged amount, making you pay more and receive less.
The bank in your home country will likely be the best option to convert your local currency for a foreign currency, quoting favorable exchange rates to you as you are their customer. But, if you want to exchange the money for zero transaction fee, person-to-person conversion transactions through Craigslist or other similar sites are a suitable option for you, except that these channels are less secure compared to other exchange mediums.
Nevertheless, the best way to exchange currency safely and at advantageous rates is by withdrawing cash through a local ATM using your debit or credit card where no transaction fee is applicable. So, you should call your respective bank and credit card company about their foreign exchange rate policies and conditions before doing an exchange transaction. Hence, we have prepared a list of some cost-effective and safe foreign exchange venues to make you aware of their foreign exchange procedure and help you make an intelligent decision.
Best Ways To Exchange Currency and Save From Paying More
1.) Local Bank: Local bank branches where you have an account shall offer currency exchange services at a nominal rate as you are their customer. You have to approach them in advance, several days before you are scheduled to leave your country. Like the Bank of America, many international banks provide their customers with options to either order foreign currency physically at any of their banking locations using the Bank of America savings or checking account or order it online.
Suppose you do not have a checking or savings bank account with whom you exchange the currency but have that bank’s credit card. In that case, you can get your currency exchanged by visiting the local branch of that bank and asking them about the onsite foreign exchange options.
Many banks offer additional services, such as providing tips that help determine the total amount of foreign currency you would need for your whole trip, options for cash advances, and more.
2.) Travelex: To get your currency exchanged on an immediate basis, approaching a foreign exchange firm is the best option, and Travelex is considered the best in the field. At Travelex, you are spared from the language barrier and order for cash five to seven days in advance. The firm goes extra to help you deliver your foreign money at your doorstep or the departing airport.
If you plan to exchange your local currency either at your departure or arrival airport, you would have to pay a good amount of money as a foreign transaction fee. And, the same service is offered by Travelex at an economical price, termed as service charge. Consider Travelex as a concierge service provider. Like many others, you can take the long route of self-searching for cheaper ways of exchanging money and pay less.
Or, if you have waited too long for the currency, have planned a sudden foreign trip, or do not want to get into the hassle of exchanging money, you can approach exchange companies like Travelex and make the exchanging process simple.
3.) Plastic Money: Plastic money, viz your debit or credit cards, are another medium of exchanging currency only if it does not charge you any foreign transaction fee. Certain banks charge 1% to 3% when exchanging currency using their plastic money. It is wise to get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees if you frequently travel to foreign countries.
If you use plastic money from multiple banks, you can do a test in the foreign country by withdrawing, suppose $100 from each card and see which card charges the least fee on your transaction, and use the card that is cheapest concerning transaction fees. Credit cards are cash advances, so you can log into that bank’s site and make the payment immediately to avoid interest charges. Or, if you use a debit card, an equivalent amount of money will be instantly debited from your account by your bank.
4.) Craigslist: Craigslist is a currency exchange medium that allows a money giver and a taker to exchange the currency in person. People who seldom travel abroad end up keeping the extra, unused foreign currency after returning home from their trip.
So, such people place an advertisement on channels, such as Craigslist, local newspapers, or even on social media sites, stating their requirement to exchange the leftover foreign currency and the amount. Looking at the ad, people who require the currency shown would reach out to you and get the currency at the prevailing exchange rates, avoiding all fees and any markups.
But, such private money transactions involve high risks. Before accepting the currency, you must calculate the currency exchange rate, for which you can use online currency exchange rate calculators. To ensure safety and any foul play, you should take a person who has some knowledge about currency exchange along with you and make the transaction at a public place.
Understanding the basics of currency exchange is a must to make a smart and viable decision. Exchanging currency days before your departure dates is a clever move to avoid exorbitant fees and unfavorable exchange rates of many tourist-targeted currency dealers and airport kiosks. Planning ahead of traveling helps get the best exchange deals.
Author Bio: Kacee Christian is a freelance content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is the co-founder of Bigjarnews. She contributes to many authority blogs such as Toppreference.