4 Travel Currency Exchange Options for Overseas Vacations

You are leaving for a vacation or business trip and obviously you will need to exchange your currency for that of the location you are traveling to.

While there are many ways to do so, like anyone else, you probably want to save money in the process if you can. The following are 4 best ways to exchange your currency when traveling.

1. Banks

Using banks is one of the best ways to exchange your currency when travelling. This method is fast, convenient, and cheaper than other options. Often times, banks will require you to order money in advance if the currency you need is not readily available.

You have to first contact your local bank about a week before your trip and let them know the amount of money you want to exchange and the type of currency needed. Once you have made the request, you can then attend the bank and get your currency exchanged.

Banks offer decent exchange rates for their customers compared to other means. In addition, you will have your money and you will not have to worry about finding a place to exchange your currency once you get to your destination. Keep in mind that banks charge a fee for the transaction that is dependent on the amount you exchange.

2. Kiosks

Kiosks for exchanging currency are available in places such as airports, train stations, hotels, and near popular tourist attractions. These exchange kiosks allow users to trade a variety of currencies. The advantage of these exchange kiosks is that they are readily available and fast. You can have your currency exchanged at any time you are in the area of one of these kiosks.

While exchange kiosks are convenient, they tend to charge some of the highest rates compared to other means of exchange. According to some reports, exchange kiosks charge up to 20 percent more than banks. This is in part due to the convenience afforded when using them. Therefore, if you want to save money, these kiosks should be a last resort and used only during emergencies.

3. Online

Exchanging money online through currency converters is also a viable way to get the local currency of the location you are traveling to. Many online websites offer these services, with the most common ones being Travelex, Transferwise, and OFX.

You will have to order the cash and wait for it to be delivered to you. The rates for online conversion are relatively fair. However, you may incur charges to have the money delivered to you. Some companies may consider giving you a waiver on the delivery charges if you order a large amount of cash. Be sure to check the policies of the company you are doing business with in order to get a fair deal on exchange and delivery fees.

4. ATMs

ATMs are another cost-effective option for exchanging currency when at your destination. Generally, ATMs will charge you an extra foreign transaction fee for every withdrawal. It is therefore advisable to make larger withdrawals rather than lots of small withdrawals. This will prevent your withdrawal fees from accumulating.

ATM charges vary in different locations. It is essential to review your bank’s policy and the fees for any ATM you use when carrying out transactions to avoid being charged exorbitant fees. If you choose to travel with your debit or credit card, ensure you inform your local bank before leaving. This will prevent inconveniences of being locked out of your account due to activity deemed to be suspicious. Some banks may have strict terms and you may end up having your account locked due to international transactions.

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