How do I get the Best Monetary Exchange Rates?

Autumn Rivers

It is often required that you perform a monetary exchange when you travel so that you have the correct currency, but this can get expensive unless you research first. One of the only ways to obtain the best exchange rate is to use the Internet to find out what it currently is, as it changes often. Once you know the rate to look for, consider waiting until you land at your destination before exchanging cash, at which point you are advised to use banks and post offices for this task. Finally, try to use your debit and credit cards as much as possible while traveling, as you can typically avoid monetary exchange fees this way.

It may be possible to get a better monetary exchange rate by paying with a credit or debit card.
It may be possible to get a better monetary exchange rate by paying with a credit or debit card.

There are several websites that feature the updated monetary exchange rate for the country you are about to visit, so glance at it just before you leave. Since it changes quite often, you should check it during your trip when possible, even if just to verify the rates that may be posted at monetary exchange locations. Note that areas where tourists tend to gather usually feature the least favorable rates since some exchange services prey on travelers. Therefore, it is helpful to avoid the monetary exchange desks at airports and train stations, as well as kiosks along the street.

Exchanging money for foreign currency can be expensive.
Exchanging money for foreign currency can be expensive.

In fact, the best places to visit typically include banks or post offices. For your security, it is often best to find a major bank in the country you are visiting, and to only go during the day to avoid the risk of pickpocketing. Consider asking your usual bank if they have a location in the country you are about to visit, as using a bank whose policies you are already familiar with may help you feel comfortable while traveling. If you cannot find a bank or post office near your lodging, a hotel typically has the next most favorable monetary exchange rates. If you have any trustworthy local contacts at your destination, be they business or personal, then be sure to ask them for advice as well.

If you are comfortable using a credit or debit card, you can likely continue using this form of payment while traveling. In fact, this may help you avoid paying fees for monetary exchange, as you should be able to get the same rate that banks give each other. If you need cash for certain items, such as in countries where bartering is common, you can usually take out funds at ATMs. Of course, many banks charge fees when you make purchases in foreign countries or use ATMs while traveling. It is helpful to compare these fees to the ones you would pay when exchanging currency so that you can decide the option that saves you money.

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