There are many things to consider when traveling abroad in relation to money. How to convert, how much cash do I need, are the ATMs similar? This article will prepare you and point you in the right direction regarding cash needs and what to avoid.
Credit Cards – Credit cards are an excellent choice and a must for large purchases when traveling (rentals, hotels, airline tickets). There are also hinderances.
Pros – The best part is that credit cards are exchanged at the interbank exchange rate. Paying fees this way is cheaper than an actual exchange bank. Capital One has the widest selection of cards that do not have foreign transaction fees.
Cons – There are many places that may not accept credit cards and you will need cash to make your purchases. ATM’s can be tricky as well as you will read next.
Debit and ATM Cards – ATM cards can be convenient and save you lots of money. No matter what, you will undeniably need cash while abroad.
Pros - With debit and ATM cards, you get the same interbank exchange rate as you do with credit cards. You also get instant access to the cash you need.
Cons – There may be foreign fees that your bank has. Be sure to find out before your trip what those fees are and what ways you can avoid them. You can also check the ‘ATM Abroad’ website for details. Lastly, if your bank is not connected to the worldwide networks; PLUS, or CIRRUS, the fees and conditions can be tricky. Look into perhaps having a VISA or Mastercard that you can use.
Cash – Having some foreign currency before departing can save time once you reach the airport. You may need to catch a cab or make cash only purchases before you can reach a working ATM or exchange bank.
Pros – Having cash on hand will prevent you from being stranded upon arrival. There are guaranteed places that will solely require this method of payment. You can also receive foreign currency from your local bank before your trip. If available, they typically will waive the fees normally associated.
Cons – There is a very strong possibility that you will have some type of commissions or fees from your bank.
Whatever you decide, be smart, plan ahead and keep your money tethered to you at all times. Having a money plan will provide you with the comfort needed to enjoy your trip.