For many of us, currency conversion represents an important part of day-to-day life.
Whether you’re transferring money abroad for business purposes or to your loved ones at home, being able to access expedient conversion options is important.
With the advent of technology in the business space, there are now numerous ways in which you can obtain currency conversion services. Our blog this week explores each of these, helping you identify which is the convenient and cost-effective for your purposes.
ATM services have grown more sophisticated over the years. So much so, in fact, that you can now purchase foreign currency with the use of your debit card.
Many ATMs only charge you the spot rate of the day along with a conversion fee of around 1-2%. While your bank may charge you an additional fee for the use of a foreign ATM, you might be able to have this fee waived through prior discussion with your bank.
What’s necessary for this process is that you first inform your bank that you will be travelling abroad and that you wish to use your card once there. It’s also important to find out which foreign ATMs are affiliated with your bank. You can do so by checking the back of your card for symbols such as those of VISA or MasterCard, among others.
If your bank is unwilling to waive withdrawal fees, and even if they do, it’s perhaps best to estimate the total amount of money you might need per day/per week and withdraw it in one go. This way, you avoid incurring unnecessary expenses.
Before you depart, ensure you identify places in which you can access affiliated ATMs and ensure your PIN number system matches that of the country you’re about to visit.
This option, however, only applies if you find yourself abroad and are in need of local cash.
While banks may be a reliable institution for this type of service, currency conversion here is exorbitantly expensive.
Banks often charge a varying range of fees and have a high exchange rate in place. This often means that you end up shelling out more money on fees and exchange rates than on the actual amount of money you’re trying to convert.
Therefore, despite the institutional security you may feel by opting for a bank, there are far more cost-effective services, including specialised money transfer/currency exchange companies.
Currency Conversion through a money exchange agent
Currency conversion through a local money transfer company is usually the best option.
Not only do they provide some of the best exchange rates on the market, you’re also in no danger of getting ripped off by hidden charges and fees. Certain companies such as Ceylon Exchange, offer this service by looking at the rate of the day and providing you with a fair and expedient service.
This option is great even if you find yourself abroad and have excess local cash in hand. Simply sell it to a local agent and exchange it for the currency you use back home. These types of services are generally very easy to find in airports and in hotels.
This option is handy if you’re out of liquid cash and find yourself in a foreign country. Most credit card providers add a charge between 2.5-3% on top of the spot rate when you use your card to purchase foreign currency.
You can avoid this fee by opting for a foreign exchange free credit card, which won’t incur you additional charges when you make purchases abroad. Travel reward credit cards also come in handy in these moments, as you obtain extra benefits that can save you quite a bit of money.
Either way, make sure you inform your service provider about your intention to travel abroad to enjoy hassle-free service.
Currency conversion options are only growing by the day. By opting for convenient and cost-effective services, especially through specialised exchange or money transfer companies, this process does not have to be as hassling as many believe it to be.
Given that these processes are fast becoming a part of day-to-day activity, it’s only likely that such services will become more affordable and accessible in the time to come.