Are you planning to take a vacation abroad this summer? Whether you’re driving to the Grand Canyon area or flying to Venice, here are four tips that will save you headaches when it comes to the exchange rate.
1. Use your credit card
If merchants at your destination accept Visa and MasterCard, the credit card is one of the most convenient forms of payment for travel. You run less risk of having your money stolen … or find it soggy in the back of your shirt pocket after an unfortunate forgetfulness.
You may be offered to pay in Canadian dollars, but it is usually best to do so in the local currency. In fact, Visa and MasterCard exchange rates are often more advantageous. When buying, however, make sure that the merchant has used the correct currency. If the total on the invoice is in Canadian dollars only, ask the merchant to cancel the transaction and redo it in the local currency. If there are two totals, one in the local currency and the other in Canadian dollars, circle the amount in the local currency before signing.
2. Buy currency before you leave
The credit card is not accepted everywhere, it is better to have some cash in case of emergency. Remember that getting there once is harder than it looks. Given the sometimes prohibitive exchange rates of airports, hotels, resorts and cruise ships, you could spend half of your vacation looking for a foreign exchange office that does not overcharge. To save money, get the money you need for family outings and piña coladas on the beach before you leave. The best way to do this is to foreign currency exchange near me.
3. Use your debit card to withdraw money at an ATM
If you need cash abroad, take it to an automated teller machine (ATM) with your debit card. Look for a counter where the PLUS logo appears so you can withdraw the money in the local currency. If you are invited to choose between Interact and Visa at an ABM abroad, select the Visa / PLUS option so that the transaction is routed through the Visa network.
If you are offered at the counter to “block” or “guarantee” the rate, you will usually get a better rate by refusing the conversion. And if you are asked to select the currency, choose the local currency because the exchange rate will be applied to Visa, which is usually more advantageous. This will leave you with more money to buy sunscreen and souvenirs.
If ATMs abroad are convenient, they can also be expensive. Avoid using it every time you want to buy a snack on the street. Each transaction may incur a fee of $ 3 to $ 5 in addition to those charged by the owner or operator of the ATM.
Tip: Leave your debit card in the hotel safe. If you happen to lose your credit card or your money, you will have an alternative.
Download the Mobile App
If you download the mobile app to your phone before you leave, you’ll have an additional safety net since you’ll be able to access your banking information when needed. You will also be able to check how much you paid for your snorkeling lessons and your frozen drinks, pay your bills both feet in the sand or send funds to the dog keeper.
Have a nice trip!
Follow these tips to have fun to the maximum avoiding the worries of money. Who knows? By saving on currency conversion, maybe you can afford another trip next year!