Traveler Currency Exchange Alternative

What will be the alternatives for money exchange if one is not interested in making exchanges with banks?


  • Just need some Euros and charge the rest. If you don't want to use banks, ATM's or airport Currency Exchanges are available. Do some research and find the best rates.
  • Marry wrote:
    What will be the alternatives for money exchange if one is not interested in making exchanges with banks?

    We have never used banks- always ATMs and usually at the airport upon arrival. We use plastic for almost all purchases.
  • Another vote for ATM's and Credit Cards. Make certain your Credit Cards don't have International Exchange Fees. We use various Visa Cards that don't have added fees. AMEX isn't accepted in many places, but MasterCard and Visa generally are.

    I have not gone to a local bank in the last 30 years of traveling.
  • I always get a small amount of local currency before I leave the U.S., just in case the ATMs at the airport aren't working. I feel more secure having some local currency. There could be a problem with the pre-arranged transport from the airport to the hotel (which happened only once on a Tauck tour -- in Zurich). You can always find something to spend the cash on. In general, though, like others, I rely on plastic and ATMs.
  • edited June 2018
    Personally, I prefer to take a reasonable amount of local currency rather than rely on my credit and debit cards working in ATMs across the world.

    On a recent tour of the US, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, I booked my holiday money online having it delivered to my home in good time before departure. Although we are NatWest Private Banking customers (and are supposed to have access to preferential foreign currency rates), I chose to use a travel money rate comparison site where I find a much better deal for all 3 currencies than I could possibly have achieved at NatWest. Typically, high street banks are the last place to go for the best travel money rates!

    Other travellers may find this article helpful in deciding where to buy foreign currency:

    Useful information for travelers

    And a word of caution for those who do wish to rely purely on credit/ debit cards:-

    1. Many machines may make a local charge for using 'foreign' cards

    2. Card issuers (in the UK), despite claiming there is no need to tell them if you intend to use your card(s) abroad, will block a card as an anti-fraud measure the minute it is used overseas. This results in long and frustrating phone calls; I have had cases where the matter could not be resolved by text/ phone and the card remained blocked for the duration of my trip.

    3. There are deals to be had when bargaining with local currency cash!

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