The challenges of exchanging currency when traveling overseas can be many. Perhaps the main problems people have when exchanging currencies, however, is having to pay very large fees to a money exchange provider. So, if you have time, you need to look for foreign currency brokers that charge the lowest commission fees. Often times you will find that the most affordable place to buy foreign currency is at an international airport.
If you decide to go down the route of buying your foreign currency online, it’s important to ensure that the company you use provides tracked and insured shipping services. In addition, you need to pay close attention to the fees charged. As well as commission fees, you could also be losing money on the spread. For example, some money exchange providers might advertise currency exchange rates that differ significantly from the markets. They make their money from customers that don’t take the time to check official live data from Forex markets to ensure they are getting a good deal.
One good way to save money on foreign exchange fees is to sign up for a credit card that charges 0% commission on foreign currency transactions. There are now actually many credit cards companies that offer cards that are specially designed to help people that travel overseas frequently save money on money exchange commission fees. However, many countries don’t have credit card processing machines in all of their stores and prefer to deal with cash. In addition, credit cards have high ATM fees if you use them to make a cash withdrawal. Be aware that cash advances also start to incur interest charges from day one, unlike purchase transactions. So, read the terms and conditions of any card credit agreement carefully.
It’s important to note that not all money exchanges are as tightly regulated as those in the US. In many poorer countries, the government does not have the resources to enforce strict regulations, so sometimes it can be hard to know if you are visiting a legitimate exchange. What’s more, if you are not familiar with the local currency notes and coins, it can be difficult to spot even obvious counterfeited items. So, in general, it’s best to buy all of your foreign currency in the US before you travel abroad. That way, you can be certain that you are obtaining legitimate notes and coins.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is generally not a good idea to overbuy foreign currency. This is because currency exchange rates are constantly changing and it’s possible that you could actually lose a lot of value when you covert the unused funds back to US dollars. In addition, you will then find yourself paying two sets of exchange commission fees: one when you first convert AUD to, for example, British Pound Sterling, and another when you covert unused British Pound Sterling back to Australian dollars. Of course, if you don’t need to access to the funds immediately you could hold onto your unused foreign notes and coins until you next visit a country that uses them in general circulation.