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69

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 ...


63

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 ...


52

I have haggled over the scarfs on the Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh. The starting price was usually around 200DH and I was able to buy for 65DH. I was totally unexperienced back then but I made some observations: Wait to be invited by the shopkeeper. Pretend you are just passing by and stopping for a moment to look at the wares. Do not express interest ...


37

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 ...


25

Assuming a mature system of law and a country where the police is not commonly corrupt and debts not commonly collected by violent means: Are they allowed to hold your passport until you come back and pay? No, unless you agree to it as a means of quickly, cheaply and unbeaurocratically settling the issue. What happens if they call the police? The ...


25

In many hotels you can just drop your keys in a box on your way out (or leave them in your room) and the charges will go to the credit card on file. Should you become aware that the card won't work, one approach would simply be to stay as long as you had intended, pack your bags, and just leave. Undoubtedly the hotel will call or email you within a few days ...


24

If you pay by Dollar (or home currency) The hotel will add a charge for this, hence you will be paying more. If you pay by local currency the exchange rate will be decided by the credit card company or bank. These exchange rates are much better than the hotel rates. Check this Visa page for more information regarding this service for Visa holders. AFAIK, ...


22

Try a credit union. Many of them boast surcharge-free ATMs. Lots of smaller banks don't collect surcharges either. Those that don't often will have a big sign saying so near the ATM. The Credit Union National Association, the Independent Community Bankers Association and The Co-Op Network all have ATM locators on their Web sites. Ask for cash-back when ...


21

Currency inflow/outflow in India is regulated under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The relevant foreign exchange / customs rules are: Import of Indian Currency is prohibited. However, in the case of passengers normally resident in India who are returning from a visit abroad, import of Indian Currency upto Rs. 7500 is allowed. This translates to ...


20

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 none require a pin. When you fly / sail / swim across the pond to Europe, almost every local card has a pin and a chip. Most European stores will accept US ...


20

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 ...


20

The only real way to be successful at this is to start knowing the value you place on the item and never pay more than this. Start your haggling below this price - a good rule of thumb is for your starting price to be around the same amount below your final as the asking price is above. Some countries like to bargain harder, but at the end of the day, you ...


19

In most border towns you can, further away not. Sometimes they might also give you small change back in CAD, or charge you a small fee for using USD. If you exchange the money in a bank you will get a much better rate. Try to pay with your Credit card whenever possible.


19

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.


17

This happened to us a few times. Credit card companies can be very fickle things, they allowed someone that wasn't us to pay for $500 worth of CDs across the world, but blocked a local hotel we were staying at from finalizing the charge for our room. When we travel, we generally only bring one credit card to minimize the potential pain of losing our stuff, ...


17

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 ...


16

No. I've lived in Montreal and Toronto and the occasional place will take US dollars, but most places will just laugh at you, perhaps in French. If they do take it, they might give you 80 cents on the dollar or so. Just use credit for everything. There's really no reason not to.


16

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

You need to have a real understanding of what the local currency is worth in your home currency. It's very easy to get blinded by large numbers. I was in Indonesia, haggling over a set of wicker place mats. The exchange was about 9000 Rupiah to the USD. Starting price was 250,000 Rupiah for a set, about $27.00. We ended up paying 100,000, The price ...


14

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.


14

In short: no. Mostly, credit card acceptance in Germany is still the exception rather than the norm. There are a couple of places, however, where you can expect at least Visa and MC to be accepted, most notably ATMs and gas stations. Be prepared to pay in cash everywhere else.


14

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 additonal fees and our rates are always better than the Post Office, M ...


14

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 ...


14

元, traditional Chinese 圓, is the generic Chinese character for "unit of currency" and is used to refer to the local currency: RMB in China, HKD in Hong Kong, SGD in Singapore, etc. So odds are pretty high the signs you saw were actually for prices in HKD. While many Hong Kong shops do accept RMB, it's just a service for Chinese travelers and the exchange ...


14

You need two things: 1) a good feeling for the local prices and 2) experience. Haggling is more than just quoting low prices. It about your complete presentation and attitude. When they quote me their first price (I will never be the one to call the first price), I usually just smile at them, maybe tell them it is a ridiculous amount etc. So, while not ...


14

I just can tell you about my personal experience: Most often it would have been possible for me to pay with Euros in restaurants, bars or hotels, but the exchange rate was really bad. So I preferred to exchange money in a bank and then use Czech crowns. If you book tickets or accommodation online, it wasn't a real problem for me because the prices in Euros ...


14

First of all, haggling is not an expected part of buying goods in Dubai, which is by a fairly long shot the most Westernized place of the Middle East. Most people shop in shopping malls much like those in London, where things have clearly labeled prices, and you would only negotiate for discounts if you'd do that in the West as well (say, buying a sofa). ...


14

First of all, it depends on why your card is retained. I can think of at least three common situations: You have entered a wrong PIN too many times. Your issuing bank has decided to cancel and retain your card, e.g. because you have exceeded your credit limit and they want to prevent you from charging the card at "offline merchants". This may of course be ...


14

Customs officers generally make a judgement call. They want to know that you will be in the country only temporarily, and that you will not try to work without a work permit. I often arrive in countries with no local cash at all, but I have a bank card where I can withdraw cash on arrival and that's no problem. If you have no cash, no credit card, and no ...



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