Best Ways to Save on Currency Exchanges

Best Ways to Save on Currency Exchanges

Even in today’s charge-it world, there are still occasions where keeping cash on hand is useful, particularly when going abroad. Yes, there are several locations ready to facilitate a fast and simple money exchange. However, this nearly always results in you paying more than necessary for currency conversion.

Unless you’re willing to take a chance and conduct a private transaction with someone you encounter on Craigslist, your bank will likely give the greatest bargain when it comes to currency exchange without costs.

The safest and most cost-effective option, by far, is to get cash from a nearby ATM using a debit or credit card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. You will be able to buy things without paying any more fees than you would if you bought them in the US thanks to this. Call your banks and credit card firms to find out more about their conditions before you go.

How Can I Save the Most on Currency Exchanges?

Let’s look at some of the most effective ways to reduce the number of expensive currency transactions.

Your Nearby Bank

You may always visit your helpful neighborhood bank office to avoid paying exorbitant costs. However, you’ll usually need to make financial arrangements a few days in before.

Most banks allow you to buy foreign currency before traveling overseas, according to Ileaa Swift, owner of the Swift Travel Deals website. “Clients of banks like Bank of America have the option to purchase foreign currency using their checking or savings accounts with the bank online or in person. Visit the local office and ask about on-site currency conversion services if you have a credit card with a certain bank but no savings or checking accounts.

The majority of banks even provide advice on how to calculate the amount of foreign currency you will need to purchase and provide choices for cash advances. The majority of banks now provide the opportunity to print out wallet cards with currency conversion rates for you to bring on your vacation.


An exchange company is the most convenient option if you need cash quickly. Probably the most well-known firm is Travelex. You don’t have to place your order five days in advance (as you sometimes do with your neighborhood bank), and there are no language obstacles to contend with. Even better, Travelex can transport the funds to your house or the airport where you are flying out.

Obviously, there is a cost associated with all of this convenience: the service fee. Waiting until you get at the airport to exchange your money will undoubtedly result in you paying a large international transaction charge.

Branch locations could be somewhat less expensive: Some Yelp users, who typically have positive reviews for Travelex, have mentioned that there were no fees if they checked in to a branch location online and that Travelex would return any unused funds within 90 days of their trip and convert them back to U.S. dollars without charging any additional fees. Others point out that you must exchange certain minimum quantities to avoid paying higher costs.

Consider Travelex to be your own concierge. Like with most things, you can always find a method to spend less if you’re prepared to put more of your precious time into completing the research independently. But Travelex and businesses like it will make the procedure straightforward whether you are planning an unplanned vacation, delayed too long, or just don’t want to deal with the headache.


Your wallet’s plastic isn’t a terrible resource. But be cautious: Check to see whether your credit card or bank’s ATM card levies a foreign transaction fee before using it. If it does, expect to pay an additional 1 to 3 percent. Take into account obtaining a credit card with no international transaction fees if you want to go abroad often.

“The currency rate is also crucial, in addition to the absence of a foreign transaction charge, “added Mike Scanlin, the chief executive officer of Born to Sell, a software company that develops investing tools for covered calls. “During my visit to Japan, I took a test. I made use of the same ATM using a Bank of America debit card first, and then a Capital One Visa card (with a cash advance feature).

The conversion rate for the Capital One [card] was much better than the exchange rate for the Bank of America [card], despite the fact that the transactions were completed one minute apart. Additionally, Capital One did not impose a foreign ATM fee, although Bank of America did. Even though the Capital One [drawing] was considered a cash advance (because it was made using a credit card rather than a debit card), there was no interest applied since I was able to pay it off right away using online banking.

If you have many cards, you may do a test identical to this one abroad and then check the bank’s website to see what transpired. Find out which card cost you the most by withdrawing $100 with each of two or three different cards. Then, for the remainder of the journey, use the best card.


Travelers sometimes return home with foreign cash that they haven’t converted back into dollars. Place an advertisement for cash exchange on Craigslist, Facebook, or your neighborhood newspaper. You don’t pay any fees, and depending on the other party, you could be able to trade at the going rate with no markups.

There are certain restrictions. You must first comprehend how to compute exchange rates. There are several papers and online calculators that may aid with that. Second, whenever there is a financial transaction, security is a problem. Have a companion with you and do the trade in a public setting.


We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Related Articles

Speaker McCarthy Proposes $1.5 Trillion US Debt-Limit Increase


Speaker McCarthy Proposes $1.5 Trillion US Debt-Limit Increase Speaker McCarthy Proposes $1.5...

Republicans Propose Spiking Clean-Energy Tax Credits to Raise Debt Limit


Republicans Propose Spiking Clean-Energy Tax Credits to Raise Debt Limit Republicans Propose...

Barclays to Shut 21 ETNs a Year After ‘Staggering’ Note Blunder


Barclays to Shut 21 ETNs a Year After ‘Staggering’ Note Blunder In...

Stocks Face Hit as $800 Billion Stimulus to Fade, Citi Says


Stocks Face Hit as $800 Billion Stimulus to Fade, Citi Says Stocks...

Money Markets Bet on ECB Hikes as Banking Crisis Fades From View


Money Markets Bet on ECB Hikes as Banking Crisis Fades From View...

Japanese Stocks Have Longest Rally in a Year Amid Buffett Boost


Japanese Stocks Have Longest Rally in a Year Amid Buffett Boost Japanese...