Make The Most Of Your Travel Money By Avoiding ATM Fees

Friday, January 25, 2013

Make The Most Of Your Travel Money By Avoiding ATM Fees

All overseas travel comes with associated costs and in the past we always took it in our stride, we had to. Converting money in a hurry at the airport or high street Bureau de Change meant fees, a poor conversion rate and their commission on top. And then changing your unspent money back into sterling cost you all those charges again!

Today things are much easier. Flying to foreign climes, perhaps, is perfectly normal for anyone now. Changing money is something that we all have to do and we’ve become savvier with it. Avoid Bureau de Change prices by changing your money at the Post Office or with your nearest bank before you look for premium free change at the current exchange rate, not one geared to make more money for the exchange agency’s shareholders.

Cash Is Handy, But Plastic Is Dandy

It’s reasonable to believe that you’ll need to get plenty of cash with you when you head overseas, and most of us make it until we get to the airport to change our sterling. Of course, this is the most expensive way of keeping money on your travels! Realistically you probably only need enough money on you to get the bus or taxi from the airport to your hotel. After that, you can just use your cash card or credit card as you do at home. What with fast electronic banking, the advent of the euro and a cashless economy plastic is far more convenient these days than paper money.

If you move in Europe, you’ll often find branches of your own bank on the high street, especially if you bank with one of the Big Four. Using their cash machines won’t incur any additional fees, since you’re just taking money out of your own account. If you bank with a smaller, local bank or building society when you’re at home you probably won’t find an agency abroad. 

If you can’t find anywhere that you can get money without incurring a charge, fill out as much as you can so that you’re only charged that flat fee once. You don’t have to spend all the resources at once since you can change it off when you get home and it’s far more economical to pay the ATM fee (usually around €2.00) once instead of each time you need to fill out a twenty. Take out more than you want and take the extra home with you, you can always change it back with the bank or Post Office so you won’t have any extra charges or you can just keep it for next time you go away.

Charge It

If you’re traveling around with your credit card, just use it as you would at home. Because credit cards are all ultimately owned by a few global companies, no matter where you are your credit card will be instantly recognized without incurring additional fees or penalties. Use it to pay for goods and services such as hotel bills and any shopping you need to do, however, don’t put it behind the table when you’re out clubbing. You shouldn’t do that at home either, but on tour you’re much more likely to get carried away!

While you’re paying for the things you want on your card, don’t be tempted to take out cash on your credit card except in emergencies when only cash will do. Taking out money from your credit record is the single most expensive way of getting cash out of any machine, whether at home or abroad. As soon as you complete the transaction you start attracting interest and if you don’t pay off your balance in full your interest will keep mounting.

About the author-

The article is written by Charles Roberts, an English expat who moved his life abroad in 2011. Charles used to get the best exchange rate when converting his life savings.

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