Let’s be honest, most of us leave organising our foreign exchange until the last minute. It’s usually one of the last things we do, in between getting travel insurance and packing our bags. Whilst it is often the last thing on your mind, leaving foreign currency to the last minute can cost you precious holiday cash. A bit of forward planning can ensure you’re not paying sky-high airport fees or being stuck with a less than ideal rate.
We’ve put together a few tips to ensure your currency is going towards that extra night overseas, rather than excessive fees or a poor exchange rate.
A little bit of forward planning goes a long way. No doubt you didn’t buy the first airfare you saw online, so don’t accept the first exchange rate you are given. Take the time to watch your preferred currencies fluctuations. Whether it’s an app on your phone, watching the morning news over breakfast or signing up to our currency alerts – having some knowledge of the currency can help you get the most bang for your buck.
Like the weather, currency trends can be very unpredictable, fluctuating day to day. However, if you can see from historical rate charts that your currency is performing particularly well, it is the perfect opportunity to grab some for your holiday. Just keep in mind that the advertised rate on the news is not always available to the public.
Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best rate. Savvy travellers will go in, or even call around, to banks and foreign exchange businesses and ask for the daily rate. Be sure to ask for the total rate you will be charged though, as some banks and companies add on commission and a service fee at the point of sale. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples to avoid disappointment at checkout.
Step 1 of getting a good exchange rate: don’t exchange at the airport.
If you exchange your foreign currency at the airport, you pay for that convenience by the way of not-so-great-exchange-rates and high service fees. Take the time to organise your travel money before you leave.
Pre-paid travel money cards are a safe and convenient way of taking your money overseas.
Travel Money NZ offers a prepaid currency card that allows you to lock in that days exchange rate when you load your card*. This takes away the stress of wondering what the exchange rate will be each time you swipe your card overseas, which can often happen when using your normal bank card.
While you are shopping around, if you do find an overall exchange price that is better than what you are offered at Travel Money NZ, we guarantee to beat that price. Some terms and conditions do apply to this, so check them out on our website.
The convenience of using your credit card overseas is often outweighed by the fees added to your exchange. The credit card company is likely to charge you an international transaction fee for every purchase, as well as the exchange rate. On top of this the local vendor may also charge you a fee (ouch!).
Before you decide to use your bank cards, just check what fees you may be charged overseas. There are lots of other options available to you, and it’s easy to avoid these fees.
Nothing beats ordering your pizza, groceries and clothes online from the comfort of your couch. Many travellers don’t realise that you can order your currency online too. Simply pop online, choose your currency and pick which store you would like to pick it up from! When comparing rates online always double check any delivery fees. At Travel Money NZ you can pick up your foreign currency from any of our stores (3 to 5 days after you place your order) and avoid all delivery fees! Interested? Order your currency here!
Thinking about how you will spend your money overseas is far more exciting than actually organising it. However, a little bit of homework and planning will ensure you get the best exchange rate and a bit more spending money in your back pocket.
*Lock in your exchange rates mean the exchange rate is locked in for the initial load only. The exchange rates for subsequent reloads will be set at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
Disclaimer: The Multi-currency Cash Passport™ (“Cash Passport”) is an unsecured debt security issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, a member of the Travelex group. Cash Passport is not guaranteed by any member of the Travelex group or any other entity. Before you make a decision to acquire a Cash Passport, we recommend you to read the Product Disclosure Statement which is available free of charge at www.cashpassport.co.nz. MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.