When you are planning to exchange money from one currency to another you need to make sure that you are prepared for any of the additional charges that come with the process. You need to be aware of any commissions, credit card surcharges and ATM fees that will be applied depending on how you acquire your foreign currency. Once you have figured out the best option for you and the currency that you need, the goal is to minimize these charges so that you get the most out of the exchange.
Making every dollar count when you are planning a trip comes second nature to many of us. You will shop around for the best deal on the flights and hotel but often the currency exchange is left to the last minute. Here are some great tips for making sure that you don’t lose more money in the currency exchange than you have to.
1. Follow the exchange rates
If you are planning a trip or business venture overseas it is a great idea that you keep an eye on the exchange rate over time. This allows you to get a feel for the fluctuations in the exchange rate so that you know what a good time to make the exchange is. You should also know that the exchange rate that you see online does not include commission and any fees so you will need to take this into account as well.
2. Plan ahead
You don’t want to leave it to that last minute so that you have to use a location like the currency exchange in the airport or train station. These locations are aware that they can charge a premium as when you reach this area you will probably have little to no choice in where you make the exchange before your trip.
By planning ahead you will be able to do your research, shop around and find the best possible rate for your currency conversion. This can make a huge difference to the amount of money that you’re able to get through the transaction. You will also have time to make the decision and calculate what the best option is without having to keep an eye on the time for when your plane leaves.
3. Know what “commission free” means
So when you see a currency exchange booth or company state that they are commission free it can seem like a great deal. However, you need to be aware that sometimes commission free places will not give you the best possible rate. It is sometimes better for your to do a quick calculation of the rates and commissions that you find through your research before making the decision to change your money at any location. It is often the case that currency exchange locations that do charge commission offer a better rate which could increase your return.
4. Understand your credit card fees
The most important thing that you need to do before you travel abroad is to understand your credit card fees. This will prevent them from blocking your card and allow you to use it with no problems at all. If your card is frozen while you are in another country you can, of course, call to rectify the situation but this is annoying and takes time.
Credit cards may also charge you additional interest on international transactions. If you are planning a large expense on your credit card internationally that you should make sure that you are fully aware of any of these charges.