Currency Exchange Traps: What to Avoid When Traveling

Traveling abroad should be all about having fun, relaxing and exploring new places. You should not have to worry about where to convert AUD to USD or if you are getting the best deal when you exchange your money. In order to worry less about currency while on your vacation, take a look at these currency exchange traps to learn what to avoid while traveling. Once you know these tricks, you will be able to easily navigate your vacation!

Currency exchange traps image 111A Little At A Time

While you may be tempted to only exchange your currency as needed, withdrawing a little bit of cash anytime you run out, this is a very bad idea. Every time you exchange your currency, you will encounter charges beyond the basic exchange rate. Banks, currency exchange counters and ATM’s will all charge you service fees each time you exchange money regardless of the amount. To avoid paying these fines each time, opt to withdraw a larger sum that will last you for at least a few days.

Dynamic Currency Conversion

Frequent travelers may have heard about dynamic currency conversion as a way to avoid paying conversion charges. This is when you choose to pay in your native currency, such as paying in AUD while traveling in the US. While some vendors may accept the foreign currency, they are definitely going to charge you more than the standard conversion price. You may think you are avoiding currency exchange fees, however the vendor will typically be charging you anywhere between 5-15% extra as a convenience charge. So, you will actually save money if you swap out your money instead. You can visit online sites to check the best AUD to USD rate and transfer currency straight into your bank account.

Airport Exchanges

While the airport may seem like a convenient place to exchange your money, it will cost you quite a bit. Airports currency counters charge very high fees as they know that most people passing through the international terminal will need cash. Sure, it is simple and fast to just go to one of these counters but you are going to pay a hefty fine to do so.

Currency Kiosk

As you travel, you may see lots of currency kiosks- nice stations where you can quickly exchange your money. These tend to be set up in popular tourist location and are designed to take advantage of tourist need for money in a rush. Kiosks rarely give good rates on currency and you will be much better off going into a bank or local government office (like a post office) to get cash.

Cash Advances

Using your credit card to get a cash advance is a bad way to get currency while traveling.  Not only will your credit card charge higher interest for the cash advance but they will likely also charge a foreign exchange fee. That means you are not only paying the initial exchange rate but you are also paying double fines!

As you can see, currency exchange can be a little tricky but when you know how to avoid certain traps, you will be just fine as you go about your travels. Follow these tips and avoid paying excessive exchange charges.