When you travel, keep in mind that there are many ways you can minimize your expenses and get the best currency exchange rates, while avoiding annoying fees. Doing so helps you stretch your dollar further on your next trip abroad.
First things first, you need to research your desired exchange rate. The most effective way to know if you are acquiring the best foreign currency exchange rate is by knowing the prevailing rate. Before leaving for your trip abroad, be sure to do proper research. If you are going to be away for a long time, it is highly recommended that you periodically check rates so that you can track any major or minor changes.
Also, if you use credit cards or ATM cards, you will most likely get the excellent interbank exchange rate, especially when buying currencies. Such rates are typically 2-7% better compared to rates purchased through traveler’s checks or cash exchanges. When making large purchases, try using credit cards when paying hotel bills or car rentals. Please note that many credit card companies add transaction fees for purchases made in reasonable currency exchange rates.
If there are accessible ATMs in the country you are traveling to, it is highly recommended that you use it for any of your daily cash needs. Don’t forget that you may be charged an additional fee for each transaction.
When traveling with cash or traveler’s checks, the best foreign currency exchange rates can be obtained at American Express post offices, banks, and offices (especially if you are using your checks). Hotels are also good places. As much as possible, avoid changing offices that can be seen in airports, tourist areas and train stations. Such places generally offer bad rates, but there may be times when you may be lucky.
When shopping abroad, you can also search for published exchange rates. Always request the specific net rate after all commissions. Please note that certain item fees are required on every transaction. To attract customers, there may also be money changers who will display the selling rate for USD and not the buying rate (which is what you need if you plan to exchange USD to the foreign currency of your choice). You will definitely not have this problem when dealing with an accredited bank. All in all, the most effective way to get the best foreign currency exchange rates is by doing your homework, doing the preliminary work, and doing the proper research.