With more and more people travelling abroad every year it is no wonder that the travel money industry is a booming one. With so many different places and ways to purchase your travel money it can be easy to be confused by all of the jargon that is used and all of the different exchange rates on offer at any one time.
Don’t be drawn in by commission free deals – Just because a sign says that you wont pay any commission does not mean that the exchange rate is good for you. Generally you will find yourself receiving a poor exchange rate because this allows the business to make some money back that way on the commission that you would have paid. The best way to find out the amount that you will receive is simply just to ask before you make your purchase, this will then allow you to shop around some different places and see if there is a better rate being offered locally, even when you factor in the commission fee that a lot of places charge. Do not assume that just because you may pay commission elsewhere that you will be receiving a worse rate as that is not always the case
Be wary of fees and charges – As well as commission charges that are some places which will charge for handling, usually around the £3.00 mark but sometimes much higher, and flat fees may also be charged if you do not purchase a certain amount of commission. Always ask about fees before committing to your purchase and always read the small print before signing anything.
Always shop around – Always compare prices to ensure that you are getting the best exchange rate and paying the lowest price for your travel money. It is always advisable to ask how much will you receive if you hand over x amount of money or ask what would the final price be if you wanted to purchase x amount of currency, this will give you an indication of which places are cheaper whether they charge fees or not as you will receive the total end price.
Consider travellers cheques – A travellers cheque is the perfect way to travel abroad without having to carry cash. As long as you are aware of the numbers of your cheques or have a photocopy of them you needn’t worry about being caught out in a foreign country with no money. The main downside to a cheque is that this is not the cheapest way to purchase currency but it does allow you to travel with peace of mind throughout your trip knowing that if they are lost you will be able to have them replaced quite simply. If you know that you are going to be needing them before you travel then keep your eyes peeled for the best exchange rates available and consider buying earlier to save money. Also, do remember that you will pay a fee for cashing abroad, whether the cheque is for £10 or £1000, so consider carrying slightly larger cheques with you to save some more money.
Consider using a travel credit card – While you may not be able to use this in all locations and you can be sure that the rate is probably not the best, you will be offered some additional protection. Some special travel credit cards actually have bonus privileges attached to them such as helping you to earn air miles or loyalty points. You need to consider the fees and interest when using a card like this but if you are able to pay it off as soon as you return home then this may be a good option for you while abroad. Generally you will want to avoid using this to take out cash, like you would with your credit card at home, due to the fees involved, however, if you have a well known card such as visa you may be able to use it in many of the local businesses and this will take away the need for you to carry cash on you.
Use a prepaid card – Another option when travelling abroad is to use a pre-paid credit card. This allows you to top up your card with a certain amount before you travel and you can be sure that you will be protected when abroad. You will only be able to spend the money that you have previously placed on to the card and this will help you to keep your holiday budget in check.
Generally you are going to find that there are now lots of different ways for you to spend and carry money when travelling abroad and one of the best options is with a 0 percent interest travel card which will allow you to spend your money and then repay it when you return back home. These cards have high levels of safety on them and as long as no-one else knows your pin number you should be protected from fraud while abroad. Also, should you lose your card lots of providers will actually send you a replacement, while you are on holiday, free of charge.