How to save money when paying in a foreign currency. 

Things you didn’t know about booking your vacation in a foreign currency.
How to save money when paying in a foreign currency.
I have been working super hard to pick out hotels, holiday parks, tours, trips, rentals and the list goes on.

I have been working super hard to pick out hotels, holiday parks, tours, trips, rentals and the list goes on.
When dealing with travel it often means dealing with another currency.
Here is a list of what to look out for and how to save money!

1. Check the fine print!!

Some companies will charge you a fee to pay with your credit card. The fee may even be higher for certain types of cards, like American Express vs. Visa or MasterCard.

2. More fine print!!!

If you are paying by credit card, check the fine print. Your card may charge you a percentage of the transaction on top of their exchange rate. For example, you book a hotel room online or in person and your card is charged by the hotel in their currency. The charge on the card may be 2.5% higher with fees. If you are using your card a lot or for expensive purchases (like a car rental), this can add up to hundreds of $$$$!

3. Think the bank is better?

Big banks can send a money wire but it might cost you big $$$$. Check your local bank for their set fees.

How to avoid these expensive money grabs by finding other ways to pay.

1. There are companies that specialize is foreign money transfers and can often offer much lower rates. For example, I just sent a money wire for $15 CND. MY BANK WOULD HAVE COST $100

2. Do the math. If your transfer fee is $15 vs. your credit card charging you 2.5% (as mine does), than anything less then $600 is cheaper on the credit card and anything over $600 you should try to find a money transfer with a fee of $15. Just do the math with your card and the services in your area. (Hey look, I used my algebra skills!!!)

2.  Book your vacation that will allow you to pay in your home currency.

There are sooooo many travel sites out there that will help you to search and book flights, hotels, cars and even tours/attractions.  If you can prebook and prepay the full amount using one of these sites you will avoid the hassle of dealing with foreign currencies.

3.  Get Cash

If you can go to “your bank” in another country you may be able to avoid some extra fees and just pay the banks exchange rate.

If your bank doesn’t exist in the country you are visiting you may be able to visit an affiliated bank.  In Australia, for example, Scotiabank will allow me to withdraw cash using my debit card from Westpac.  No extra fees, just their posted exchange rate.

 

 

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Scotiabank. Placencia, Belize

 

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