Travelling abroad can be exciting. Visiting new places, experiencing new cultures and tasting new food is sure to drive up your wanderlust. But travellers often forget a crucial aspect in their plans – foreign exchange. When you go abroad, you need local currency. Here're some tips on getting money abroad with the ideal exchange rate.
Use your credit card for your international expenses
Using your credit card for your expenses can be very convenient, but beware of international transaction charges. Some cards have processing fees for transactions you make abroad while some don't. If you're a frequent traveller, always find a travel credit card with low or even zero international transaction fees.
While it's one of the better ways to spend while travelling, places like taxis, street vendors or amusement park stands may not accept credit cards. In those cases, you'll need currency in hand.
How to exchange foreign currency
1: Exchange currency at your local bank
This is one of the easiest ways to exchange currency. Many authorised dealers sell foreign currency, so you can place an order and pick it up from your local branch.
2: Withdraw from your bank’s ATM while abroad
You can use your debit card to withdraw from ATMs at international locations for local currency, but it might cost you extra. You also need to activate your debit card for international usage beforehand. Contact your bank to know more about the availability of such feature and related charges.
Tip: minimise the transaction fees charged by withdrawing larger amounts in one go, instead of making smaller, frequent withdrawals.
3: Buy foreign currency online
There're different vendors offering this service. Log on to the website of your preferred vendor, choose the required currency, specify how much you need and make the payment in your local currency. The vendor then sends the foreign currency notes directly to your address.
Though convenient, this may not always be the best choice, as it incurs delivery fees, transaction charges, and sometimes poor exchange rates.
4: Use currency exchange vendors at airports, hotels and other tourist spots
Most international airports, hotel chains, and famous tourist spots have currency exchange desks with currencies available at a specified rate.
This also might not be the best choice, since their rates are often poor and the exchange desks may not accept your currency.
5: Buy a prepaid travel card
Prepaid travel cards often appear on tutorials on carrying money abroad from India. Though there could be withdrawal limits and daily transaction limits, you don't need to carry foreign currency in cash and if the card is lost or stolen, you can report it just like a lost credit card.
Get the most out of your money by choosing the right currency exchange method
Getting the right exchange rate and minimising charges can give you more money to spend abroad.
Look around, compare exchange rates and choose the right method that offers the highest value for your money.
Click here to know the exchange rates provided by HSBC.
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