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Basic Guide To Saving On Currency Exchange

Money Exchange in Surrey

 

When we travel, we give a lot of importance to choosing a cheap flight, a hotel with a good location, which excursions we can do, etc. However, travelers and tourists ignore economical aspects generally such as currency exchange.

If you travel to a Eurozone country or the United States and Canada, you will not have problems with payments. But things get more complicated if you plan to travel to a country that uses another currency. In these cases, you will have to change your currency to that country’s currency, and this exchange will not be free; the first thing to keep in mind is that there is an official currency exchange rate that fluctuates over time.

Therefore, when you exchange one currency for another, you will have to pay the exchange rate immediately. And when we say right at that moment, we mean right at that instant; the exchange rate varies from one hour to the next and from one minute to the next.

Trying to predict what it will be to make the exchange right at the moment it is at its lowest is impossible. You can follow certain guidelines to avoid overpaying when making the exchange. Here are our tips.

Do Not Leave Currency Exchange To The Last Minute

This first tip will not help you save money directly since you will not be given more of the new currency if you change your currency several weeks or months before your trip. However, it will prevent you from making the mistakes we will explain below, so we recommend that you do not leave the currency exchange to the last minute.

Haste is never a good advisor when making decisions, especially in money matters, so when planning your trip, make a budget calculating the amount of money you will need in the foreign currency.

Avoid Exchanging Currency At Airports

Almost all airports have exchanges where you can take your currency and exchange it for another. These places are one hundred percent legal and safe, so using them does not involve any danger. Moreover, since they are located in the airports themselves, they are the preferred place for many people to make the exchange while waiting for their flight. Still, the problem is that they are expensive compared to other alternatives. They may be the most expensive place to exchange currency since they have to pay airport fees and commissions.

Beware Of Exchange Houses Located In Very Touristy Places

Outside the airports, you can find exchange houses of all kinds. Some will be more secure and others less, and some will have a cheaper exchange rate and others more expensive; just as with an ice cream parlor or a restaurant, the more tourist bustle in the area, the higher the prices will be. Therefore, if you want to save on currency exchange, you should avoid exchange offices located in the city’s most touristy areas. In all likelihood, the commissions you will be charged will be above the industry average.

Avoid Withdrawing Money  From ATMs In The Country Of Destination

Many travelers tend not to exchange money when traveling abroad. Instead, they find it more convenient to withdraw money by debit or credit directly from ATMs in the country they are traveling to since most of them accept VISA and Mastercard cards. Still, the problem is that this operation is not usually free of charge. On the contrary, in addition to the exchange rate, your bank may charge you significant fees for withdrawing money abroad.

An alternative to withdrawing money for free at ATMs when you travel abroad is offered by some technology-based companies. The cards of these entities are free, can be used to get money in any country in the world, and have no maintenance cost. If you don’t know them, you already have homework to do.

Compare The Rates Of The Different Banks

All banks offer a currency exchange service so that you can exchange your currency for any foreign currency. All you have to do is go to a branch and request the exchange. They are a fairly simple and widespread alternative since most people trust their bank more than a currency exchange company, and the advice we give you is not to do the exchange at the first bank you find.

Take your time to compare several until you find the one that charges the lowest commissions. On the other hand, remember that they will not exchange the currency on the spot, but you will have to give some time in advance so the bank can prepare the amount of the currency you need.

Do Not Resort To The Black Market

It is the worst option of all: not only the riskiest but also the most expensive. In some countries (in almost all, in fact), there are unofficial currency exchange points. Resorting to them should not be an option unless you have an emergency and are caught without any cash in local currency. In that case, you will have no choice but to accept the conditions offered by the unofficial intermediary and make the currency exchange.

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