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82

I think the current usual solution is to get a debit card (or failing that a credit card) with low/no foreign transaction and cash withdrawl fees. (In the UK, the Halifax Clarity Card is the best for this at the moment) Then, when you get to the country, take out cash periodically. Not too much in case of issues, but don't assume you can do it too often as ...


73

Before you leave, call your bank. You'll want to alert them that you'll be using your credit or debit cards overseas, so as not to trigger fraud alerts. Then ask them if there is a network in your destination that involves lower fees. For example, my bank gave me names of specific banks in England, Italy, and Germany and told me that if I used ATMs at those ...


40

I use five strategies to pay for things when I travel: The best rates are often the rates you get with your American credit card or debit card. Try to charge as much as you can. The fees are very low and the exchange rates are fair. However, many American banks charge several dollars for every foreign currency transaction, so if you plan to spend a lot of ...


38

Technically the only note that is valid legal tender in England and Wales are England and Welsh bank notes: Are Scottish & Northern Ireland banknotes "legal tender"? In short ‘No’ these banknotes are not "legal tender"; furthermore, Bank of England banknotes are only legal tender in England and Wales. Legal tender has, however, a very narrow ...


25

My answer is Europe centric: We are used to banks in the USA that will give you a debit or check card with a magnetic stripe. Credit cards are the same way. Some of these credit cards have a chip and almost none of them require a pin when used as a credit card. On the other hand, when you fly / sail / swim across the pond to Europe, almost every local card ...


24

It is certainly not true that "most European countries take gold". You cannot pay for goods in a shop with gold. Nor can you walk into a high street bank with gold and walk out with currency - you would need to do it through a specialist dealer. There are places where you can sell gold jewellery, but you will get very poor prices.


23

Thomas Exchange will change almost any currency into Sterling - including the Mongolian, Kazakhestan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Armenian and Georgian currencies, and many other obscure currencies and even pre-Euro currencies such as French Francs, Italian Lira, etc. We do not charge any additional fees and our rates are always better than the Post Office, ...


23

Unless it is a significant amount, changing coins isn't worth it. The amounts are small and most banks and foreign exchanges won't accept coins generally. My solution is to collect the left over foreign coins until I fly on an airline that participates in the Change for Good program and then donate them. British Airways and Virgin also have their own ...


22

I believe you are mixing two pieces of advice. The best currencies are Euros, Canadian Dollars... This is because of the trade embargo against Cuba from the USA. This means US dollars are very expensive to exchange in Cuba, so other currencies should be used. Euros are often said to get the best exchange rate. This is not saying that vendors, hotels or ...


21

There is one Pound Sterling, which is represented by Bank of England, Scottish and Northern Irish notes and by Royal Mint coins (there aren't separate coins in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland). Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Saint Helena (overseas territories) and Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man (crown dependencies) each have their own ...


20

There is no limit, if it's more than 10'000 USD however, you need to declare it: There is no limit on the amount of money that can be taken out of or brought into the United States. However, if a person or persons traveling together and filing a joint declaration (CBP Form 6059-B) have $10,000 or more in currency or negotiable monetary instruments, they ...


19

I think you are overreacting to the credit card charges. A 1% transaction fee is small, most credit cards charge 3%. Also, most credit cards give a very fair currency exchange rate. Even if you spend $1000 on the credit card during your trip, that only amounts to an additional $10. Enjoy the trip, take only a small amount of cash, and use the credit card ...


18

This varies very much depending on your country of origin and your destination. Best exchange rate mean lowest spread, but keep in mind, that some banks apart of the spread, also charge extra commissions. Keeping that in mind, there are some general tendencies. Exchange rates, from best, to worst: electronic transactions (i.e. transactions made directly ...


18

It would be more convenient for you to change your Swiss Francs to US Dollars while still in Switzerland, and you would probably get a better deal too. If you walk down the street in the center of any Swiss town, you'll encounter a bank every block or two. They will all likely post their exchange rates quite visibly, and will happily deal in cash. (The ...


17

There is no limit to the amount of cash you can carry, however if you are carrying more than $10,000 USD (or equivalent in foreign currency) then you must declare it (full details on how to do that at the URL above). However bringing cash is very rarely the best strategy for foreign exchange. Although your credit or ATM cards might charge you a fee when ...


16

What I now do and it has worked really well for a few years is plan on average how much I will need, leave it all in a bank account with a visa debit card (maestro doesnt always work). I then just draw it out in 2/3 goes. Safe, convenient, easy and cheap.


16

I am not sure if you can open a bank account in France if you are not a resident. When I stayed in France for almost two years, it took me quite some time to open a bank account, even while working there. Finally I had the best service at the post office. What might be a solution is to use the gift card of the same post office. These gift cards are ...


16

The first sentence of the gibraltarinfo.gi page you quote is oversimplified to the point of being incorrect. The currency of Gibraltar is the Gibraltar Pound, which is a separate currency but fixed at a 1:1 exchange rate with Sterling. People and businesses in Gibraltar choose to use both Gibraltar Pounds and Sterling for their own convenience. However, as ...


15

It really depends not only on where you are going but also from where you are coming. I usually carry with me enough money to pay for everything I need on the first 3 days. The rest of my money I try to get with my credit cards and I usually try to carry two of them. Always try to pay for hotel, car and other similar before you start your trip. In this case, ...


15

What you are talking about is this 100/50 USD bill: I have had this problem many times. If you end up with old USD bills older that series 2003-6 then it won't be accepted by most countries and money changers outside the United States. More frequently the problem I have noticed is with the bills with the front face photo to be smaller than the current ...


14

Credit Cards are a fairly safe method, when they are accepted. Note, however, that save for very few credit cards, the vast majority will charge you a conversion fee on each transaction (around 2%-5%). Using a debit card, and taking out money at an ATM when needed, is another alternative (although you again may be limited by the ATM network). There are also ...


13

My normal advice is in this answer, which is to get a card without foreign exchange fees and take the cash out while you're over there. You'll generally get the best rate by far with this, and you don't have the safety issues of carrying round a week's worth of money in cash. If you are going to be somewhere without access to ATMs, so you need to take cash ...


13

Very, very easy. Any bank in NZ will happily exchange those for you, or indeed as you step off the plane, there are several currency exchange places at all the international airports. Be aware that the airports can sometimes offer worse rates than banks in town - but it depends how much you're exchanging of course, as to whether bothering with the effort ...


13

When you are departing from the UK and travelling to a non-EU country, you have to declare if you have €10000 or equivalent at UK customs (around $13000). Then on entry to the USA you will have to declare if you are carrying $10000 or more. Also make sure you have some documentation on you to show the 'source of your funds', bank statement, receipts etc... ...


13

In my experience it is less expensive and much less hassle to change your Swiss Francs to USD while still in Switzerland. I would, however, not go to a bank to change money, but rather to a train station. All major SBB train stations allow you to change money, and their rates are very good. More importantly, though, they have much better opening hours than ...


12

First of all, you should check the main way to pay in the country you are going to. Also check the way to change your money to your host country's currency. When using a debit/credit card, remember that it can become broken or simply stop working, and you should have some cash to solve this potential problem.


12

I always go for a mix of funds types. I carry two different credit cards, one of them is also a debit card. I carry some home currency and I try to get some currency for the country to which I am travelling before I enter the country. I have had mixed results with exchanges. In my own country, Australia, they charge lots of fees to convert the currency ...


12

Every international airport I've visited has something like this: (This one was in Schiphol yesterday, but I've seen them everywhere.) It doesn't matter what country the coins are from or what country you're in. They'll sort them out and spend them to make the world better. Just gather up what you have and drop them off next time you see one.


12

I have just been to two Exchange offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. I had banknotes from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with me. They both offered to buy all three of them. This doesn't mean you find someone who does this in Finland but it proves that both Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are indeed convertible currencies. This is a sign from one of the ...


11

If you really want to change them, your best bets is to change the currency with people who go to the currency's country, either tourists or residents. Usually, I just keep the coins around and give them to friends when they go to somewhere I happen to have some coins from. Other than that? Just keep them as souvenirs, give them away, go visit the same ...



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