Are you going on a vacation? Perhaps you are escaping for a week of sunshine and relaxation? Or, maybe you have an important business conference overseas? Whatever your reason for going abroad is, you will most likely need to exchange foreign currency. If this is something you do not consider carefully, you could end up getting a bad deal! People often spend way over the odds for this service, losing a lot of cash in the process. To ensure this does not happen to you, read on to discover some tips and things to consider while exchanging foreign currency…
Don’t Leave it until you get to the Airport
This is the biggest mistake people tend to make. They leave exchanging their currency until they get to the airport. If you do this, you are assured to end up getting a bad deal. Why? Well, the exchange store in question knows it is your last resort. You can’t exactly leave departure lounge and start comparing the exchange rates elsewhere. They know that they can get away with charging you more money, as you effectively have no other option.
Keep an Eye on the Exchange Rates
Once you have booked your trip you should keep an eye on the exchange rates. This is the only way to ensure you will get the most foreign currency possible, as the rates aren’t fixed, they fluctuate continuously. If you monitor the exchange rates, you can look out for a period whereby the exchange rate is good. If you simply decide to exchange currency a week before you are due to fly, then you have to take the exchange rate that is given to you at that time, no matter how bad it may be.
Order your Travel Money Over the Internet
Nowadays, you don’t have to go to your local post office or bank to get foreign currency, as you can order it over the Internet. If you do this, you will be able to assess your options. You can compare different companies against one and other to see who has the best exchange rates. Don’t only look at the rate being offered, but consider the service as well. How do you get your hands on the money? Some of the best companies will actually deliver it securely to the address you provide.
Consider getting Travellers’ Cheques
You may want to think about using travellers’ cheques. This is still an option for holiday spending and it is a popular one, as travellers’ cheques are secure. If you have the misfortune of having your money stolen, or if you lose it, you wouldn’t be able to get it back if you were carrying everything around in note form. However, with travellers’ cheques you can.
Consider using a Prepaid Card
Another safe option for carrying holiday cash is to go for a prepaid card. This is a much better alternative to using a credit card abroad. With this card, you will load cash onto the card before purchasing. You can then use it in store and you will also be able to withdraw money from ATMs. Not only is this a more secure method of carrying money, but you will be able to manage the amount you spend more efficiently as well. Another benefit associated with this option is that you can lock in the best exchange rates, by pre-loading money during a time when the exchanges are favourable. Moreover, a lot of these cards are multi-currency, which is ideal for those that travel on a regular basis.
Stay away from Dynamic Currency Conversion
What is dynamic currency conversion? This is when you are overseas and you purchase something and they ask you if you would like to change your purchase to UK pounds. A lot of people are tempted to do this, as they think it’s the better option, especially if they are using one of their UK cards. However, if you do this you are certain to suffer at the hands of a poor exchange rate. The bad news doesn’t end there either. There will also be hidden fees in place on top of this. Plus, if you are using your UK credit or debit card, you will then be charged a foreign-transaction fee. All in all, the purchase can end up becoming much more expensive than intended, which is why you should make sure you are charged in the local currency instead.
When exchanging money, you already know that different exchange rates are offered in different places. You will find that popular towns and cities tend to give you a lot less for your money. This is another reason why it is recommended that you purchase your foreign currency over the Internet.
Look for a Company Offering you an Original Rate Buyback
When most people go on vacation they tend to take more money than necessary with them. After all, the last thing you want to do is run out of cash whilst you are in a different country. Thus, it is a good idea to look for a company that offers you an original buyback rate. This means that you can return any unused currency and benefit from the same rate you experienced when you exchanged it in the first place, as opposed to having to use the rate that is in place at present. This protects you from losing a significant amount of money.
Make Sure the Exchange Company is Credible
Of course, your primary concern is going to be making sure that you get a good deal. Nevertheless, you do need to be cautious and assess the exchange company’s credibility. Unfortunately, there are fake websites nowadays and the last thing you want is to experience the horror moment when someone takes your money, yet you get no currency in return. Make sure the company in question is regulated by the necessary authorities. Look for a business that is well-known with a good reputation. You should also make sure they are easy to get in contact with as well.