Travelling overseas is a great way to bond and make new memories with family and friends. There are several things to take into account for an overseas trip, from accommodation and flight details to tours and car rental. Another key aspect to consider is currency exchange. Bear in mind that there are fees involved in exchanging currency, and there are many travel options to choose from.
Problems with credit cards
Don't rely solely on your debit and credit cards when travelling overseas. There may be transactions that don't accept cards.
Here are seven currency tips to keep in mind when travelling overseas:
- Check the best way to exchange currency in your destination. Part of your trip planning should be knowing how to exchange currency when you get there. It’s always better to be prepared to avoid paying unnecessary fees and inconvenience.
- Don’t wait until you’re at the airport to exchange currency. In general, fees and profit margins are way higher in airports. Whether you’re going to use cash or credit card, you will still pay much more in charges and margins.
- Banks usually offer competitive rates but make sure to look at several banks and choose the one that gives the best foreign exchange rates and fees. In general, you will pay about 2.5% higher than the market exchange rates of that particular day. If you’re a regular customer then you may get lower fees.
- Consider using a prepaid travel money card. You can convert your Australian dollars into your chosen currency without paying currency conversion fees, unlike when you use your Australian card overseas.
- Always bring cash. Don’t rely solely on your debit and credit cards when travelling overseas. There may be transactions that don’t accept cards, so cash can be your best bet.
- If you need to use your credit card, bear in mind that transactions come with fees such as cash advance fee for withdrawals and currency conversion fees, not to mention the interest rate.
- Place your currency order several days before your overseas trip. Some banks or providers may not have the currency that you need, especially the not so common ones. There can be changes in currency exchange rates by the time you place your order up to the time when you receive your cash.
Avoid the inconvenience and hefty charges when exchanging currency for your overseas trip. Keep these tips in mind to save some cash and get the most out of your pocket money.
Got other tips on how to get the best currency exchange rates when travelling overseas? Share your ideas in the comments section.