If you ever have the opportunity to travel abroad, such as a visit to Europe, how should you handle money…cash or credit card? What about exchange rates? And security? Paul Fain, president of Asset Planning Corporation, joins us with some international travel tips for your wallet.
PAUL, IF YOU ARE GOING OVERSEAS, WHAT IS THE FIRST ORDER OF FINANCIAL BUSINESS?
- Notify your bank and credit cards of your travel plans: Online or telephone.
- Avoid decline of overseas purchase!
WHAT ABOUT TIPS FOR USING CREDIT CARDS ABROAD?
- Find out if your credit cards charge foreign transaction fees.
- Use credit cards vs. debit card due to safeguards.
- You can use VISA and Mastercard around the world. American Express and Discover less so.
- Debit cards may charge currency conversion fee, etc.
SHOULD YOU ALSO CARRY SOME LOCAL CURRENCY?
- Use local currency for taxis, public transit, street vendors, cafés, smaller attractions/entrance fees.
- Don’t buy foreign currency in the U.S.
- Use a debit card at an airport or bank ATM to withdraw cash.
- Avoid exchange booths: charge 8-15% to exchange dollars.
- Study the currency of the places you travel. Understand the units.
DO YOU NEED TO OBSESS WITH THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES?
Not really. Download a currency converter app. Like XE Currency.
1 Euro = 1.17 dollars
10 Euro = 11.66 dollars
Generally know the relationship of the dollar to the country’s currency: strong or weak.
FINALLY, ANY TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR MONEY SAFE WHILE TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY?
- Take photos or make copies of your cards, front and back.
- Keep some cash and a credit card separate from your purse or wallet.
- Consider a money belt. Use a front pocket.
- Keep some hidden in your hotel.
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