It's almost year-end and most people are excited about their travel plans. If you’re traveling to another country soon, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don'ts of currency exchange you can try in order to minimize loss during foreign currency exchange transactions.
Plan how much money you need to exchange
Start planning for how much money you’re going to need for the trip once you’ve booked your flight and accommodation. If you’re traveling to big cities, there shouldn’t be any problem using cards. However, if you’re planning to explore any parts of the world that don’t accept cashless payments, best to be prepared with extra cash in hand.
Find currency exchange services with the lowest rates near you
Don’t settle at the first currency exchange kiosks you found. Some currency exchange kiosks show lower rates but only when you change in huge sums. If this is the case, assemble your travel squad and exchange money in bulk. We would advise you to compare currency rates offered at the currency exchange kiosks to banks and post offices to get the best deals.
Opt for companies that offer a buy-back guarantee
If you’re unsure what the buy-back guarantee term at the currency exchange kiosks refers to, it means the company is willing to buy back your unused travel money from your holiday. This also will come in handy when your travel plan is canceled. Imagine not going on the vacation you’ve spent countless hours planning, now you’re out of money too…
Inform your credit card issuers and find out about your credit card’s foreign transaction fees
Even if you’re not planning to use your credit as much abroad, best to always be prepared. Call your credit card issuer to let them know where you’ll be traveling. This is important as some credit card issuers will block any unusual transactions at new locations. Get as much information as you can on foreign transaction fees for example is there any charge if you need to use the cash advance service or ATM withdrawal fees.
Don’t rely 100% on credit card
Credit card is truly a lifesaver when traveling but don’t fully rely on them. Even though the country you’re visiting may accept cashless payment but not all shops and services accept it. Small kiosks by the roadside and public toilet entry are some examples of your credit card or debit card won’t be any use. Always carry a reasonable amount of cash with you when you’re traveling.
Avoid exchanging currency near tourist spots
No matter how desperate you want an item or service, try to avoid exchanging money near any tourist spot. The reason is quite obvious don’t you think? Apart from everything near tourist attractions designed to break your wallet, you don’t know who’s aiming for you to fall into their travel scam. Here are 20 common travel scams you should be aware of.
Refrain from using your credit card cash advance service
Try your best to avoid using your credit card cash advance service. If you’re a CIMB credit card user, you can withdraw 24 hours a day at any CIMB ATM or Visa-affiliated ATM worldwide Upon withdrawal, there will be a 5% charge of the total cash advance amount or a minimum fee of RM15.00, whichever is higher.
Visit the CompareHero Credit Card page to get the best travel credit card recommendations.
Don’t wait till the last minute
Waiting to change your money at the very last minute will cause you to panic and there won’t be any time to access the best deals and rates.
We’re not going to sugarcoat anything here, you are still going to lose a small amount of money no matter how well-prepared you are especially if you’re traveling to a country with a higher currency than your country currency. However, with proper planning, you can minimize the loss.