Below are a few tips regarding currency while traveling.
Before you travel, be sure to bring some of your own local currency, a credit card and a bank Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card. If possible, it’s always best to have some local (country of your destination) currency before your arrival in country. Although you might be able to find ATMs at some airports, sometimes, the airport ATMs might be empty when you land, or if you land on a weekend, the machines might not be scheduled for refill until Monday. This could put you in a bind if you need some money to continue to your onward destination by train, taxi, etc. You should be able to exchange some currency at your local bank, before your trip.
Please note, many developing world countries do not have ATMs at their airports. As exchange bureau fees are often quite high, be sure to do some research, in advance, about how best to exchange money in the country you plan to visit. Many local banks often will only exchange currency for their own customers. Don’t even bother dealing with traveler’s checks. They are no longer accepted and are almost impossible to change. If you do find somewhere that will change them, expect to pay steep fees.
Using your local bank (ATM) card is usually very easy. Simply withdraw money from your account just as you would do at your local bank. However, please note, your bank account may have daily withdrawal limits, e.g. $300, therefore, you have to account for the currency conversion.
Major establishments usually accept major credit cards. You should check with your credit card company to see if they charge you an international transaction fee or foreign transaction fee. For example, Visa and MasterCard charge a processing fee on international transactions. They equal to generally a percentage of your overall purchase price, sometimes as high as 3% extra.
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