Travel Tips

Where to Exchange Currency: Airport, Bank or Money Changer?

It goes without saying that you need local currency when traveling internationally. The most convenient place to exchange currency is at airports, but depending on their exchange rate, you could lose hundreds of pesos. So, check out our tips on where to exchange currency so you don’t end up being shortchanged.

1. Use your ATM/debit card

This requires talking with your bank before going on your trip, but it’s worth it in the long run. Once your bank activates your ATM/debit card for international use, you can use it to pay for stuff or to withdraw from ATMs in your location. The exchange rate you’ll get is the one posted on the markets for that day. At most you’ll be charged an additional ATM transaction fee.

2. Exchange money at the bank before you go

Yes, lines at the bank can be a hassle. But you can be sure that the exchange rate they’ll be using is better than the ones you’ll get with foreign money changers. If there’s a drawback to this, it’s the fact that you have to do this in advance and not at the spur of the moment.

3. Check which local money changer has the best rates

Filipinos know that the best place to have their money changed in Singapore is at Orchard Road’s Lucky Plaza. While this may require some research on your part before you leave, it beats shopping around different locations for money changers with the most favorable rates. If you don’t have anyone to ask in the country you’re heading to, you can always ask where to exchange currency in the numerous travel groups that abound on social media.

4. Use your credit card

Completely forgot to bring money? Forgot to talk to your bank about your ATM or debit card? You can always use your credit card. At the most, you’ll be charged an additional 5% international transaction fee. If you’re lucky, your bank may not even charge you this. That means you’ll be paying the exact amount.

With these tips, you’ll hopefully get the most out of the money you bring with you.

Have enough local currency on hand? Then take that trip and book it with Traveloka!

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