I'm a Hungarian citizen, and currently living in Hungary.

I'm planning a long holiday trip in Europe, visiting a few countries like Switzerland, UK, and Belgium.

My bank account in Hungary has HUF currency, and I think it would be very inefficient to use this account with my visa card to cover my expenses while I'm on trip. In my understanding, that would involve currency conversion on every ATM usage at a very high rate.

I would like to avoid this, so what I'm thinking about is to open a bank account abroad, and use Transferwise to transfer my HUF to that account.

Do you think this makes sense? Are there any more effective way to save money?

Can you recommend a good bank to open an account for this? It should be able to handle multiple currencies, and i would like to open it online without making a trip just for this. I have no country of preference.

  • 1
    Switzerland and Belgium They accept Euros there. Get an euro prepaid card. For UK get an GBP prepaid card. Why open a bank account. Or best buy traveller's cheques.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 8:58
  • Can you not follow the advice on When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money? and get a local account/card with no overseas fees + interbank rate? That'll work out cheaper than any money transfer you find
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 9:11
  • 3
    Do you think it is inefficient or expensive to use your credit card abroad? Why not simply ask your bank what the charges are? Hungary, Switzerland, UK and Belgium are all members of SEPA. It is quite restricted which fees your bank is allowed to charge for card usage in other SEPA countries. When I use my German bank cards in other SEPA countries, currencies are converted with the ECB reference rate, shop payments are free of charge and cash withdrawals are charged nominally 1% of the amount. Exchanging cash or using traveller cheques is usually much more expensive. Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 10:55
  • 1
    @DumbCoder It's sometimes possible to pay in EUR in Switzerland (either cash or card) but the country does have its own currency.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 11:55
  • @Annoyed - Yes I know. It's not only possible, but you can use EUR everywhere in Switzerland, but the exchange rate might make it worse. If you ever go for shopping, you can see price tags have both euros and swiss franc. And I didn't understand what was the point you wanted to make, if there was any ?
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


as DumbCoder said Taveller's Cheques are a good option, you are insured against theft.

regarding credit card expenses they can go grom 2 to 7 percent and as said on Independent Tavaler and WikiHow one of the best way to be overwhelmed by exchange rate would be to use your credit/debit card since you won't be charged with ATM fees.

Personally when I went to Australia and Asia, I had a Visa Premier card and my bank made me pay a 3 euros fee in order to exempt me from having any ATM fee.

Also get some local currency cash with you in case you have a problem finding an ATM or any emergency.


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