The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is wasting time on the phone to your bank sorting out a blocked credit card, or worse still finding yourself unable to withdraw money from an ATM because your card is not designed for international ATM use.
Travel Money Checklist
Being prepared can save you time and money on your next holiday and make sure your travel money goes further. If you can tick all the boxes below, you’re well on your way to a stress free holiday experience – and if you can’t, Exchange Now have all the information you need to avoid any hiccups overseas.
|1. Have you got local currency in cash for when you first arrive at your destination?|
|2. If you are taking a credit or debit card, are you 100% sure that it will work overseas?|
|3. Have you checked how much you will be charged to withdraw money from an ATM?|
|4. Are there any ATM's in the area you are staying?|
|5. Do you have a back-up source of funds in the event your card is lost, stolen or skimmed?|
|6. Is there any important information you need to know for your specific destination?|
Having local currency in cash
There are still many holiday destinations where cash is an absolute necessity. For example, in popular Asian destinations you may find that you are unable to pay with a credit or debit card for basic services such as a taxi or for a small purchase such as a drink or something to eat at a street stall or market. Where you do find access to EFTPOS and ATM’s, you might find that you are paying high currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees and sometimes even an extra store surcharge. Having some cash on hand means you can pay with cash where you have no other choice or where you save time or money in doing so. Exchanging cash before you go gives you time to avoid last minute money exchange options such as the Airport, where you are likely to pay up to 3% in commission fees alone. It also means you don’t have to pay even higher prices in popular tourist areas when you arrive overseas.
Exchange Now guarantee competitive exchange rates and commission free exchange for more than 60 currencies in cash – click here to access our online currency converter. Order online or visit us in-store to complete your exchange.
Be aware of high ATM withdrawal fees and currency conversion fees
Overseas ATM withdrawal fees will vary depending on your bank and the type of card and account that you hold. ATM withdrawal fees are generally a flat fee of approximately $5 to $10 dollars. Add a currency conversion charge to this and you can be looking straight down the barrel of a $16 fee to make a withdrawal of $200 – an 8% fee to be exact. In the case of Thailand as an example, add an extra Thai Bank charge of $8 to the your pile of fees! Have you considered a travel card? You can use the Mastercard Multi-currency Cash Passport travel card and pay no currency conversion fees – in any country as of July 15th 2016! You can enjoy your holiday without worrying about how many times you have used the card and how many fees are piling up in your account, plus you can now see the exchange rate you will receive rather than play a guessing game like you do with a credit card. Read more about a Cash Passport here. Alternatively, are you comfortable carrying cash? While less secure, it’s probably the most your going to get for your money on any given day – especially with our high rates and $0 fees.
Have a back up plan in case your card is lost, stolen or skimmed
It happens more than we like to imagine. You’ve just made a purchase overseas, only to find a mysterious transaction appear shortly after on your credit card statement. Card fraud is a real threat and in the event your cards information is copied, you will need to contact your bank to have your card cancelled. Beyond the threat of card fraud is the common occurrence of a lost or stolen card, which will also require you to contact your bank and have your card cancelled. Do you know the overseas emergency contact number for your bank? Do you know how quickly they will assist you? Having no access to money can potentially ruin the rest of your time off, so a back-up plan is essential. There are travel cards available that are designed for travel – and the Mastercard Multi-currency Cash Passport card comes with a free back up card so you can be back in action immediately after your card is lost or stolen. You also gain access to 24/7 emergency support and assistance, where at the worst case scenario you can organise emergency cash in as little as 20 minutes. Read more about how the Cash Passport is the safer and more convenient option for overseas travel.
Make sure your credit or debit card will work overseas
There are so many credit and debit cards available these days, it’s no wonder it becomes confusing as to which cards will or will not work overseas. It’s important to double check and make sure that both your card will work, and that it will be readily accepted at ATM’s and in-store overseas.
- Does your card have a Visa, Mastercard or American Express logo on it? If it does, then you will be able to use your card at any Visa, Mastercard or American Express merchant or ATM in the global network, providing the ATM is designed for international card use¹.
- Does your card only have a Cirrus or Maestro logo on it? If it does, then it is likely to be an older bank issued key card. You will need to look out for merchants and ATM’s that display the same logo. There is generally more acceptance of Visa and Mastercard cards.
- Does your card have a daily withdrawal limit? Most accounts will have a maximum that you can withdraw in a 24 hour period, checking this limit is important so that your transaction is not declined when you need cash in a hurry.
Plan for your specific holiday destination
You would be surprised to know just how many travellers wind up with no access to their money in Japan, as they were not aware that many Japanese ATM’s are not designed for international credit or debit card use – or how much money is wasted reconverting Euro’s when an unsuspecting traveller finds out that the country they have visited actually uses their own currency. Many popular holiday spots are straight forward for money exchange, but many aren’t. Search your destination here to find out what currency you need, what is available to save you time and money and if there is any important information that you need to know before you get on the plane. You can also check out the cash exchange rate for your currency using our online currency converter – you are able to order currency online or visit us in-store to make your exchange.
Make sure there are ATM’s where you are staying
Sure, for destinations such as London or Paris – finding an ATM isn’t going to be a problem. However there are many popular holiday destinations where you might not have such convenient access to a working ATM. You might be cruising the South Pacific and have very limited time at port to search for an ATM, going skiing in Japan where there is only 1 ATM in the whole ski resort or going on a tour through Africa where cash is going to be a necessity. To avoid getting stuck without access to your money, you can search here for a guide* to ATM’s available in your location. Remember that this is a guide only as locations do change; if you are unsure you can check with your hotel directly
If you need cash or a travel card, our team can save you time and money
- A huge range of foreign currency cash purchase rates guaranteed to be competitive + $0 fees
- No currency cash order minimums
- Full range of cash denominations
- Competitive travel card rates and instant card activation
- Over 60 currencies available in cash
- Specialised and experienced team that can provide you with up to date information for your destination
¹We are unable to guarantee that your card will work in the ATM in which you attempt to use it, as not all ATM’s are designed for international card withdrawals.
*You will be redirected to the Mastercard ATM Locator and the information displayed is not published or guaranteed by Exchange Now. The ATM locations have been provided to Mastercard by the relevant institutions and are subject to change.
We endeavour to provide you with the most accurate and up to date information for your destination. This information should be used as a guide only and does not constitute personal advice. Please refer to the relevant product disclosure statement before making the decision to purchase any product offered by Exchange Now.