The Best Ways to Get Local Currency in a Foreign Country
When you travel to a foreign country, one of the most important things to consider is how to get the local currency. While there may be some places that will accept your country’s currency, it’s usually best to use local money. Make sure that you look up the preferred currency for the country you are visiting because some places prefer a different currency than their own. But then there’s the question of where is the best place to get local currency.
Most international airports will have currency exchange kiosks. While this may seem like a convenient way to get the local cash and start enjoying your trip, don’t do it. Typically the exchange rate at airport kiosk is nothing short of horrible. In a pinch, you can use them to get enough to cover your taxi fare or get a snack, but you’ll get more for your money if you can wait.
Occasionally, hotels will offer currency exchange services at the front desk. This can be a convenient option, but usually, they will be a couple of points off from the interbank exchange rate. Also, they typically only offer this service to hotel guests and will not exchange large sums of money.
Surprisingly, many casinos offer very fair exchange rates. This is probably because they will more than likely get it all back anyway, but that’s a different story. The exchange rate at casinos most times will not be quite the interbank rate, but it’s usually fairly close.
ATMs are a great way to get local currency because you are guaranteed to get the interbank exchange rate. You may have to search out an international ATM because your card may not work with the ATMs of the country that you are visiting. If the ATM offers to convert the transaction to your currency, you’ll almost always want to select the local currency option. This conversion rate is almost always worse, sometimes significantly worse, than the bank rate. However, you should make sure that your bank does not charge a foreign currency exchange fee. Also, make sure that you call your bank to let them know that you are going to a foreign country as they may turn off your card thinking that this is a fraud attempt.
Currency Exchange Kiosk
Currency exchange kiosks in a lot of cases will offer you the best exchange rates. Sometimes their rate is even better than the interbank rate. Be cautious with these kiosks as sometimes the rate they advertise on the signs is not the rate that they offer. Also, you don’t always know how well these kiosks are regulated, which could leave you vulnerable to fraud.