Traveling abroad means having fun exploring new cultures and cuisines and engaging in international transactions. And to do all these things, exchanging currency is a common necessity. However, exchanging currency can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to go or what to look for. There are several methods to exchange money, but some of which often involve high fees.
Traditional currency exchange methods have hidden charges and unfavorable exchange rates. These things can impact your finances significantly. So, knowing where to exchange your currency during your international trip is important.
You can know more about the currency rates of the country you plan to visit. There are numerous free platforms for exchange rates, including currency exchange websites. For example, if you want to know about the GBPNZD exchange rate, you can check out the current exchange rate and look for a place to convert your money.
So, if you’re also concerned about exchanging currency without incurring hefty fees, keep reading. This article explains different methods to exchange currency without paying excessive fees. It also explains the worst places to exchange currency and some of the best alternatives if you don’t want to exchange currency in a new country.
Also read: Indian Currency Exchange Rate Today
Where to Exchange Currency
There are several options and places that you can consider for currency exchange at home and abroad. However, make sure you don’t convert your currency at unfavorable rates with high currency exchange fees.
Here are the best places to exchange currency:
1. Credit Unions & Local Banks
Banks are one of the safest and most convenient options for exchanging your money. They offer reasonable exchange rates and the lowest fees of any other methods. Another great thing about banks is that it allows you to exchange your currency before traveling.
However, remember that every bank may have a slightly different exchange rate. Some banks also have a small fee for currency exchange less than a certain amount.
2. International Banking Apps
If you visit foreign countries quite often, you can use an international banking app. These apps offer better rates and help you manage your money overseas. Another benefit is that you can hold multiple currencies. All you need to do is to open a multiple-currency account, and you can transfer money to accounts in different countries.
Another best way to convert your currency after reaching your destination abroad is using your bank’s ATM. You can easily withdraw cash in the local currency at a good exchange rate and with the lowest fees possible. You can do this online or find the ATM nearest to where you are staying. However, don’t withdraw cash from out-of-network ATMs, as they may charge foreign transaction fees.
Where NOT to Exchange Currency?
You should avoid exchanging currency at these places:
The first place that comes to our mind after arriving in a new country to exchange currency is the airport. There are terminals and kiosks which offer to convert your currency. However, these places come with sky-high fees and hidden charges. These airport-based currency exchange shops have the worst exchange rate as they know you may need foreign currency urgently.
2. Currency Exchange Stores
Currency exchange stores can be commonly found abroad. They are usually located at popular tourist spots. These places offer higher fees and unreasonable exchange rates. Currency exchange stores make huge profits by charging you excessive fees for your currency exchange. So, avoid these places and use an in-airport bank or ATM.
What Are the Alternatives to Exchanging Currency?
There are other ways instead of exchanging currency, including:
1. Credit Card
To avoid high currency exchange fees, use a credit card. These cards are accepted everywhere, and you can use them at local restaurants, shopping malls, and other purchases in the local currency. However, ensure your credit card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
2. Traveler’s Checks
Another option is to bring a traveler’s check. This is not as popular as credit cards but can be used to avoid currency exchange fees. You can get a set of traveler’s checks in the local currency of the country you’re visiting. You can use these checks to withdraw cash from an ATM or directly to make purchases at shops or stores.
The Bottom Line
Currency exchange is important before leaving or arriving in a different country. There are several ways to do it, from the airport ATM to your local bank. However, traditional methods can charge you extra fees and unreasonable currency exchange rates.
You can follow the tips mentioned above to exchange your currency without paying high fees. You can use a no-transfer-fee credit card and free platforms for exchange rates.
With careful planning and the best methods, you can avoid extra charges and hidden fees while exchanging money.