Travel Hack 18: How to Convert Your Currencies Without A Huge Loss!

in #currency2 years ago (edited)

Ever had the time where you're struggling to exchange your currencies before and after traveling? Hesitating whether is it a wise choice to exchange your currency ahead at a local currency exchange here in your country or contemplate whether you can get better exchange rate in a different country. Alternatively, you've over-exchanged foreign currencies and you have no idea how to deal with it. If you're one of them, you're at the correct site to find out how you can avoid making these mistakes and to prevent suffering from currency loss.

Here's how you can avoid and tips to handle these misadventures from happening;

1. Avoid Cash Exchanging at any Airports

Aiport is a rip-off spot for all travelers because they know some of the travelers are desperate and they are the dominance of the currency exchange. So, this leads to the spike exchange rate and the only way to deal with this kind of scam is to walk away from it. No matter how tempting they try to offer you with a better rate as you negotiate, they'll give make a big cut to the exchange rate from the legit global exchange rate.

Well, unless you really needed some cash with you in order to make a ride to your hotels or for an emergency. Or else, don't even consider to make any transaction here as you're most probably ends up with regrets.

2. Stay Away From Sketchy Local Currency Exchanger

I always believe that there are no free lunches in the world. If you have spotted some overly good exchange rate and you're tempted to stop and look at it, you should probably walk away quickly before they caught you in their eyes. It's almost impossible for them to offer you an exchange with such a good rate without taking up some commissions. After all, business is all about making a profit right?

At times, these exchanger tries to scam you with reliable procedures and tries to give you an assurance with legit documentation and etc. But, there are always some sketchy plans behind it. For example, you'll receive some fake notes in the stake of cash you're holding, old notes that aren't accepted anymore or it's just not the correct amount when you recounted it again later at home. The best way is to stay away from it.

3. Peer-to-Peer Currency Exchange

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This is one of my ways of reducing any loss from making a loss from currency exchange. Although at most of the occasion, there are not many friends around us would have those currencies available or a huge amount of money ready to be exchanged but there's always a chance for this mutual demand. All you have to do is just ask around and who knows you might find someone who is willing to exchange the currency at according to the real-time rate. Best of all, it's safe, secure and hassles free.

4. Dispense Cash From Your ATM

Try to look for a bank that supports your credit card to dispense cash as it's more secure and safer. I don't deny that many other banks try to make a cut from every transaction you make especially when you're abroad. It's a common thing that you'll be charged for a small amount of foreign transaction fee which is around 6-8% but, some cards do provide free charges too. All you need to do is just to search for the correct credit card that provides this kind of service. For an instant, DBS multi-currency account in Singapore allows a user to perform any foreign transaction without any extra charges. Not to mention, the currency exchange rate is better and you don't have to worry about receiving a fake note and also you can keep track of your money transaction through mobile or online banking.

5. Use Credit Card For Big Amount Purchase

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Try to use a credit card to pay for your accommodation or when you're doing a big purchase for luxury goods. As it is still the cheaper option and more convenient to pay through credit card even though there's typically a 1-3% foreign transaction fee incurred. These small percentage of transaction fee is cheaper than you're making a cash exchange through your bank and the best part you'll be able to collect those points in exchange for goods, vouchers or miles for future use. Also, some cards allow you to shop and cash back at the same time which means you're practically saving while you're spending. Isn't that a good deal?

However, the only downside is there not many shops or vendors accept visa transaction where it forces you to pay with cash. But, if a shop does offer a visa payment, you should probably take it.

6. Using a Traveler's Check

In this modern era, we would definitely prefer things to be quick and convenient. Thus, the invention of ATMs comes to our mind quicker than anything else. The strong dominance of ATM in the market relatively caused us to neglect the importance of traveler's check. Although, these checks might seem to be an antique from the forgotten era, but it can come in handy especially during an emergency.

It's undeniable that these traveler's checks might not be accepted by many countries and it could cost a fortune to exchange it at some part of the world, but it's safer to travel with instead with a big stash of cash. However, if you're traveling to China, a traveler's check is a great advantage as it has the lowest exchange fee due to the government regulated policies and you don't have to pay a hefty fee for making any foreign transaction through your bank.

7. Research Before Exchanging Your Currency

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It is always a good idea to research ahead. Spend some time to monitor the currency exchange and keep up-to-date with the daily news for a great opportunity to exchange some currencies. Whether or not it's for current use or for investment, you'll be happy to earn a few bucks from the transaction you make with your money changer.

8. Change Only The Amount You Need

Have you ever encounter a situation where you have to think and force yourself to spend all the balance currencies at things that you probably don't even need it? Well, the best solution to this problem is to plan ahead and make an estimation of how much you need to use for the trip, don't overspend or underspend, you'll end up having a loss when you're converting the balance currency back at your home country.

Alternatively, if you that money are not urgent for you to use or you are considering to use it in the coming days, you might want to consider keeping it instead of exchanging it for the currency you've changed initially. This way, you can avoid the commission cut and the extreme low selling rate to your local money changer.


At the end of the day, the best way to avoid these problems is to always research and ask for pieces of advice from your traveler friends. After all, no one wants to suffer from a loss, considering these are all your hard earned money. You rather want to spend it on something that is beneficial to you rather than pushing it to third-party to pay for their commission. Please just let me know if you have any ways to combat this issue, I would really like to hear from you.

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That is true, but you won't have to loose much when exchanging currency withstanding the fact that you must pay an exchange fee, though the above mention ways have diff fee for exchanging, yea asking question is also one of the best way thanks for sharing with us,, really help

I'm glad it helps :D Hate it when money changer tries to get a huge cut from us. I've learned it from the hard way too.

Use Revolut. It's a bank startup which offers competitive exchange rates.

I'll check it out! I've heard of online money exchange but I am always too skeptical to try it out. Anything that is processed online just doesn't seem to be reliable for me :X

It's safe as any bank. But, so far as I know it's only available in some countries.

Definitely plan ahead and budget my spending for the trip. If not, I will be either running out of cash or overspending which cause me to have trouble for repaying debt on the next month. Usually, I convert locally then only fly.

Totally agree! I always make a good estimation before travel. If there's balance of cash, I will normally keep it as I know that I'll be traveling quite often and it might come in handy one day rather than change and exchange again at a money changer.

Yup, a collection of foreign currencies. Changing back is quite troublesome unless it is left with big portion and I am in need of cash.

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Absolutely, try to avoid them as soon as you sense something wrong. It's better to be safe than sorry!