You should always be ready for travel, from having your itinerary ready to booking your flights and hotel rooms in advance. In addition, you should be familiar with the currency of your destination and some of the best ways and places to make the currency exchange, before you leave for your trip.
Choosing the right currency exchangemethod is key to saving a lot of money, as there are loads of hidden fees in this business. Besides, currency exchange businesses tend to differ in rates and service fee. Therefore, currency exchange services Ottawa, Canada are likely to be different from those in Winnipeg, Canada.
However, with a bit of research and asking around from avid travellers you can know some of the best options of doing currency exchange. As for now, here are five best currency exchange options for travellers.
ATMs are everywhere and they often have better rates than foreign exchange booths or bureaus. They often charge the spot rate, which is the interbank rates and some conversion fees. There are also some charges, from your home bank for using a foreign bank, but most often, these fees are low and can be waivered.
You can also get low or zero withdrawals fees if you transact with one of your bank’s partner banks abroad or if your bank belongs to the global ATM Alliance. Just do your research and know where the ATMs are located for convenience sake.
Besides, ATMs are safe, as it means you will not have to walk around with cash as you tour. They are also cheap to deal with.
In addition to all these, inform your bank that you will be travelling to avoid any fraud alerts on your account, due to abroad transactions.
Use a bank
Exchanging your foreign currency at home is usually the first place to start with, as they have far much better rates than the currency exchange businesses located at airports and hotels.
However, they can charge a higher spread, but since you do not want to land in a foreign country with zero local currency. It would be wise to shop for banks with better exchange rates, before you leave your country.
Nonetheless, at times when you are exchanging currency of your neighboring country, the spread might be fair, but still be sure to look around and compare rates before you exchange any foreign money.
Use credit cards
Nowadays credit cards are not optional for travellers. You must have them, as they are often useful for abroad trips. You can use them to make large purchases and even book hotel rooms.
However, when compared to debit cards they tend to charge a little bit more on top of the interbank rates, whenever you use them for abroad purchases.
Nevertheless, you can avoid some foreign transaction fees by opting for a no-transaction fee credit card. This way you are not charged even a single cent when you purchase with foreign currency. You just have to inform your credit card provider of your abroad trip, to avoid service disruptions.
Moreover, if you have a travel rewards credit card, then you can maximize on some of its travel benefits, to save some money. Some of the benefits included in these cards are delay or lost baggage insurance, trip interruption or cancellation, travel medical insurance among others. Just read the fine print for a better understanding of what they offer, before you sign up.
Foreign exchange offices
Foreign exchange offices are always the quickest and most convenient option for travellers to make a currency exchange, since they are located almost everywhere from the airports, hotels, popular tourist locations, within the city or town and even at the border crossings.
They are also very reliable, when it comes to getting rid of any leftover currency of the country you were touring.
However, take note that they are likely to charge you higher fees than banks, even those who claim to have no commission fees. The best way to get a foreign exchange place with better rates and low service fee is by planning and researching. This way you can stand a chance of getting one with a fair rate.
Use traveller′s cheques
Even though traveller′s cheques are not widely accepted, they are still consideredsafe and convenient when it comes to carrying travel money to a foreign land. However, you often pay a commission on them, on top of the spread whenever you exchange them for cash, making them expensive.
Traveller’s cheques can give you peace of mind while travelling abroad, but there are other options as stated above. So opt for one that suits you, as they are all viable options for abroad travellers.