Travelling with money abroad
Taking cash on holiday has its pluses and negatives. An obvious draw back of cash is that if you lose it, its gone, and that is that. The reality is that we all need to take at least some cash with us before we go so that we can pay for food or taxis when we arrive
If you are thinking of getting foreign exchange you don’t need to worry about the bureaux de change commission but you do need to keep an eye on the exchange rate. What ever you do shop around. Buying foreign exchange from your bank or at the airport will mean you will probably pay over the odds.
As the exchange rates vary you must do your research. In order to get the best deals go online and find a deal. When you compare exchange rates online on a comparison site make sure you check the charges.
The advantages and disadvantages of travellers cheques
If you are going to the back and beyond travellers cheques are probably not a very good choice. Taking cash or a credit card gives you a greater deal of flexibility as you don’t need to go to a bank. American dollar traveller’s cheques are probably the only exception as they are a widely accepted form of cash payment in the US.
Load before you go debit cards
A prepaid debit card is a useful option when going overseas. This card is already charged with currency before you leave the country. All you do is withdraw or spend as you go.
The benefits of the prepaid credit card are that you can get one what ever your credit rating and they are far more secure. If you lose a card the issuer merely cancels it and sends you a new one.
Should I take my debit card?
Debit cards are what most of us would usually take on holiday.
Most of us have one, little thought and planning needs to take place, and your bill arrives in your bank statement the following month with all the rest of your purchases.
The only problem with taking your debit card abroad is that it’s not the cheapest option. The typical rate is about 2.75% to 2.99% which is relatively high. Whilst withdrawing cash out in the UK it will cost you up to 3% abroad.
Using a credit card abroad
Just as debit cards, most credit cards will charge you about 3% but there are some exceptions. Certain cards will not charge you any fees on foreign transactions. Some will not even charge you for foreign transactions. The good thing about most credit cards is that you will be protected for any purchase above £100. So if your turkish rug suddenly catches on fire at least you will be covered
All the above assumes that you payoff your balance at the end of the month so that the interest charges don’t cancel out the gains made on the foreign exchange rates. Most of all keep your money safe. Try to blend in and try not to look like a tourist.
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