What is the Best Way to Purchase Foreign Currency?15 Oct 2018

The least expensive exchange rate is typically getting cash from an ATM machine in the country you are visiting. See what logo is on your debit card and look for the same logo on the ATM machine. Most large international airports will have ATM machines. Know what your daily withdrawal limit is and ask your bank to increase it before leaving home during your travel if you think you will need to take out larger amounts during your travels. In addition, many US banks require that you let them know where and when you are traveling abroad or they may deny a transaction suspecting fraud (also true for credit cards).

If you want to have some foreign currency on hand for emergencies or a taxi upon arrival, then buy a limited amount from your bank or credit union. Avoid foreign exchange stores in airports as they have expensive conversion rates and fees. Also, stores that say they accept US dollars often do not have a competitive exchange rate – you are better off paying cash in local currency.

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