How to Compare your Travel Money Options
What is the best way to carry and to access your travel money when abroad? Firstly, compare your travel money options by researching the following:
- Know the exchange rate of your currency to US$ and to keep track of rates of exchange as they can vary daily, even seasonally.
- Know which form of money – credit cards, debit cards, travelers’ checks – and what banks offer the best exchange rates, and the lowest fees for international transactions including cash withdrawals and purchases.
Compare your travel money options
To get the best rate when you transfer your currency into US$, there are a few things you can research to optimize your savings and make your budget go further.
If you are planning on staying for a long period of study, consider opening a local bank account. Inquire at banks in your host city about their requirements for opening a bank account. The advantage of having a local bank account is that there are no ATM transaction fees and you can pay local accounts – cell phone bills, for example – easily. Many larger banks are multinational; you may have an account with a bank at home that also operates globally.
Upon returning to your home country after completing your studies, you may wish to maintain your accounts and investments in a foreign bank. Many international alumni choose to maintain the accounts for a variety of reasons, including the tax beneﬁts and the security and stability of ﬁnancial institutions.
- Traveler’s checks
Though this form of carrying travel money abroad is becoming obsolete, it still oﬀers the advantage of being replaceable if lost or stolen. However, fewer merchants accept them and there are fees charged for buying traveler’s checks. The more convenient way to go these days is with debit or credit cards.
- Currency Exchange Kiosks
These ﬂashy little counters charge inﬂated transaction fees and the worst exchange rates. They are usually conveniently located at airports, tourist areas and hotels … avoid them if you want to conserve your travel money!
By informing yourself about these travel money comparisons, and by paying attention to expenditure and savings, you are well on your way to making your budget go as far as possible!
Download now – get our e-Guides series for best travel money practices and options for international students in the USA.