Best Places to Exchange Currency and Save on Fees

Because of high currency-exchange fees, travelers should consider converting their currency before traveling.

Nothing is worse than believing you were smart about staying within your budget after a wonderful vacation overseas, only to discover unanticipated currency-exchange expenses on your credit card bill and bank account.

Because of this, people should consider exchanging their money before setting out on a vacation. Checking important industry websites first can help you understand what a reasonable exchange rate is, which is helpful. Some of the greatest and most affordable locations to exchange currencies are as follows:

  • The greatest rates may often be found at local banks and credit unions.
  • The additional advantage of having ATMs abroad is offered by major banks like Chase or Bank of America.
  • Foreign exchange services are conveniently offered through online bureaus or currency converters like Travelex.

The conversion rate won’t be as favorable as it would be with your bank when you order cash online, but it will still be a better alternative than the ones you should absolutely avoid below.

Foreign Currency Exchange

A currency exchange is almost always necessary for international travelers at some point in their journey. It may become really pricey if you don’t know the methods. It might be expensive to convert money at a hotel or even at a currency kiosk in the area due to unfavorable exchange rates and exorbitant fees.

In addition to the advice above, investigate whether your bank has ATMs in the country you’re visiting if you don’t have time or want to carry a lot of cash. Even banking affiliates could be present there. One important piece of advice is to use an ATM as soon as you get at the airport.

Go to your bank or credit union when you get home to convert any remaining foreign cash to dollars. It’s crucial to remember that certain banks won’t accept foreign currencies. If you have any extra foreign cash before you leave, as a last option, attempt to exchange it in a shop or an airport kiosk before you leave the country.

Choosing Credit Over Cash for International Purchases

The majority of individuals no longer go about foreign nations with traveler’s checks and money belts since the world has become so digital. Because of this, you need to bring both a credit card and a debit card with no international transaction fees. There are specialized cards with no international transaction fees available from companies like Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, and other big credit card issuers.

Additionally, because a no-transaction-fee credit card is more likely to provide fraud protection than cash, it is recommended to use it as your primary method of payment. Credit cards may be replaced if they are lost or stolen, but lost cash cannot. However, avoid using a cash advance on your credit card to get foreign currency. By doing this, you risk being charged with a high interest rate that begins collecting right away, as well as a cash advance fee.

Utilizing credit and debit cards is now available in the majority of the globe thanks to the widespread usage and advancement of technology. There are, however, certain exclusions, so it is important to confirm before you go if your location accepts debit or particular cards.

Further Travel Advice

Notifying your bank and credit card issuers of your vacation intentions is one thing you should do before flying overseas. This will prevent these firms from blocking access to your account out of fear about fraud if you use your credit or debit card overseas.

Additionally, if at all possible, avoid paying in U.S. dollars, even if a retailer offers to change them for you. This covers using a credit or debit card to make a purchase. The merchant would probably impose fees and convert at a rate that is bad for you. The same holds true when using cash to pay in US dollars.

Worst Locations for Currency Exchange

Avoid going to the following locations while exchanging money:

  1. Airport shops and kiosks (not to be confused with airport ATMs) while entering a country: Consider your options before going since airport kiosks often offer some of the highest costs and the poorest conversion rates. This might be the sole choice while traveling back to the US.
  2. Prepaid debit cards and traveler’s checks are ineffective and often charge varying transaction fees. Comparing them to cash, they provide nothing in the way of security benefits. In addition, there are fees for using the card, paying for international transactions, and using an ATM.


You may save a significant amount of money if you check currency rates before departing for your vacation.


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