While you may assume that foreign exchange fees are just a normal part of currency exchange, they don’t have to be! In fact, there are a few ways that you can avoid paying any fees at all. These tips will help you avoid fees and have more money in your pocket for your trip abroad.
1. Open A New Bank Account
There are several large banks that do not charge foreign exchange fees. So, it is a great idea to open an account with one of them before your trip! These accounts will allow you to make foreign transactions without being charged fees every time you use your debit card overseas. This is a fantastic way to save money and avoid unnecessary charges while on your trip.
2. Change Before You Go
Before you leave on your trip, stop by your local bank to exchange your currency there. This is a perfect way to avoid paying transaction fees while abroad. Plan your budget for your trip and then you will know how much cash to get from your bank. Keep in mind that your bank may have to order the currency if they do not have it on hand, a process that may take a few days. For example, if you are in Australia, trying to exchange your AUD for INR, your bank may need to order rupees. However, planning ahead in this manner will still get you’re the currency for your trip and save you lots of money in fees.
3. Credit Card with No Fees
In addition to banks that offer accounts with no foreign transaction fees, there are plenty of credit cards that do the same. Many major credit cards can be used worldwide with no fees when you shop internationally. Before you apply for a new credit card and potentially affect your credit score, check your existing credit cards to see if they already offer fee-free foreign transactions.
4. Find Your Banks Partner
Many larger banks either have branches in countries across the world or partners that they work closely with. Before you travel, see if your bank has a foreign partner in the area where you will be traveling. If there is a local branch or partner, it may be very beneficial to use this as your bank while on your trip. The foreign bank may offer you discounted fees or simply great exchange rates as you are banking within a network.
5. Consider the ATM
Exchanging your cash at an ATM while abroad is known to be one of the best ways to easily get local currency. Typically, the rates are fair and the convenience is undeniable. However, ATM’s will likely charge you a transaction fee for using the machine. Even though there is a fee for these transactions, the lower exchange rates may be worth the small charge. Consider the ATM rates in comparison to the local bank rates and then make your decision if it is worth using the ATM.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to avoid exchange rate fees while traveling. Plan ahead in order to get the most for your money and avoid all unnecessary fees!