Budget Travel

5 Tips for Useful Money Exchange


As a traveler you frequently need to be exchanging your currencies as you countries currency might not be accepted in most places in the foreign country. These calls for a need for you to arm yourself with some skills and knowledge to ensure you get the best rates and at the same time minimize expenses. Here are some useful tips you might consider to help you in money exchange, don’t lose that extra dollar to exorbitant commission charges or to the poor exchange rates

Know the exchange rate

This might seem to be too obvious to many but it can’t be overlooked. Do some researches online or from the bank. You can also use currency conversion websites like XE.com to calculate the best exchange rate, it’s important to note that posted exchange rates are always lower than those of money exchanger or even the bank. Online exchange rates tend to exclude commissions or extra fees which mostly are exchanged exceptionally high volumes. If you will be on a long extended trip, keep checking the rates periodically so that you can be conversant with any major changes.


When it comes to foreign currency exchange, your location really matters, exchange booths are always not equal. In this regard avoid exchange booths that are located in tourist destination sites such as train terminals or the airport, this is because they rarely have good exchange rates. Go to local banks instead or local exchange terminals, chances are you will find a sweeter deal, carry with you a calculator or a money exchange app that will help you do the quick calculations, remember we are dealing with money and we can’t take chances.(image by Maggie Osterberg).

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Commission counts

Common sense will always prompt you to go for a booth that seem to charge less commission or that have a lower commission rate. However, its very important to be aware of this lower commissions booths or commission free booths, they might be having lower exchange rates such that when you calculate the money you will get after transacting with them you might find its far much lower than that which had a higher commission. The thing is never rule out a place because it charges commission, equipped with a calculator or a smart phone, do the quick mathematics. Though the commissions may be incurred most booths have very competitive rates.

Use dollars overseas

In countries where the US dollar is accepted, you might be safer than converting your money to their currency. Countries like the Caribbean, Bahamas and Barbados prefer the US dollar to their own currency or just that the currencies might be related. If the countries you are traveling to offer fix exchange rate for the dollar, then, it’s far much better to use the dollar than losing your money in some commissions or even credit card fees.

Use credit cards

Before you embark on using your credit card abroad, inform the local bank as they might freeze the account in fear of being in possession of fraudsters. Check on charges you will incur I you use the card abroad, they may be inclusive of currency conversion fees, weigh the options which is cheaper and better and go for the best. You might end up saving some dollars.

Employ these tips and save some money, you should not fear currency exchange, it might be giving you a sweeter deal especially in countries with a weak economy. Remember to avoid certain booths as those of the airports as they might cost you a fortune, they might be having very poor exchange rates as well.


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Feature image by George Redgrave

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