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Frequently many travellers ask about whether it’s best to change currency at home or abroad to gain the best exchange rates. Well experts say that unless your trip is months away, it probably won’t make that much of a difference as currency exchange rates can change hourly.
Also, the major currencies tend to move only plus or minus a 1% in a day which is a very minor effect on the amount you are exchanging, unless you are changing thousands at a time.
Most experts suggest exchanging only enough currency to cover your immediate travel and transportation costs, and leave changing the bulk of your money until you are overseas.
Airport hotels are convenient but often don’t offer the best rates of exchange and also apply high charges for changing your money. As do the airport exchange facilities.
Most major credit cards offer customers a currency exchange service that often offers good rates of exchange and low charges.
Just be mindful that your purchase of foreign exchange might take a few days to show on your account and therefore the rate of exchange could differ to that you of what you were expecting. Ask your credit card provider how long it will take to show up on your bill.
Although many consider Traveller’s Cheques to be old fashioned they do have many perks. They are free to exchange when you are overseas and they are easily replaced whilst you’re away if they are lost or stolen.
Overseas banks can often offer good exchange rates and charge small amounts for the service. But do check how the rates and charges are applied. Some base their rates on the popularity of the service so check you aren’t somewhere very remote. Others are determined by the Government so if the Country is unstable the charges could be high too.
Always check current rates before you travel, either in a daily newspaper or by using our handy currency converter on the left of this page.
ATM cash machines mean you don’t have to travel with all your money, or take out more than you actually need. By using your bank card, as you would at home, you can withdraw cash as and when you need it. However, check the charges your bank applies to each and every transaction. And also warn them you are going away in case their suspect your card has been stolen and they freeze it, meaning you are left without access to your bank.
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