Foreign exchange options decoded
Going abroad and confused about the foreign exchange aspect? Relax, it happens to the best of us. When we travel abroad there are a number of things that we need to look into so that we can make the most of the time and money that we spend there. Yet, foreign exchange is one factor where many people get stumped. There are so many options and it may get a tad bit overwhelming about which one to take, especially if you are not very good with numbers and instant conversions. So here are all the options for foreign exchange and currency. Take a look at the pros and cons of each one so that you can zero in on the best option for yourself!
Converted currency: When you travel abroad, you will have to consider the country you are traveling to so that you know whether or not they use as much plastic money as countries like US would ideally use. Starting from a taxi to street food and flea market shopping, there are many places where credit and debit cards may not be accepted. So the best thing to do in such cases is to have some local currency in hand. Now, the trick is to get the best possible conversion rates. You will need to speak with your bank about converting the currency for you, or you may even speak with the tour agent or operator who usually gives the best foreign exchange rates. Converting cash at an airport is not recommended because of the unusually high rates of foreign exchange that they have.
Travelers’ cheques: This is another method of carrying cash when you know you can pay by card or cheque. Your bank may give you these cheques in place of dollars or any other kind of cash so that you can use the same for shopping. Most major stores and tourist attractions usually accept such a form of currency. If these get stolen, you can get your money back because this is one of the most secure options when it comes to foreign exchange. You will need to pay a flat fee for converting your cash into some amount of travelers’ cheques.
Prepaid cards: This is one of the most popular options for foreign exchange today. You can get an international prepaid card and load it with the desired amount of foreign currency. The operator will usually give you the best rates for that day. Then, this card can be used as a debit card at most places including stores, tourist attractions and other such places that you may visit in the new country.
Credit card: Most credit and debit cards can be pre-loaded and used like a prepaid card minus any kind of fee. But you may incur a fee of 2% or more on withdrawal of cash. Yet, this is a secure spending option.