If you’re planning on traveling abroad in the near future, there are a number of ways you can save money on foreign transaction fees. Cash Factory USA makes it easier to find helpful advice for those who use credit cards when traveling abroad. Avoiding international transaction fees is easy when you follow our tips below.
1. No Fees Credit Card
There are a number of credit card companies that have cards that are made for travelers. These travel abroad credit cards have zero international transaction fees — no matter where you use them! Most major credit card companies (Capital One, Chase, Discover) offer a card like this and it can save you money even when you’re not traveling.
Since shopping online is so popular, you could be buying from an international vendor. Use your fee-free card to avoid international transaction fees when you’re shopping from home.
2. Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks are a somewhat vintage form of carrying money while traveling, but they still have a number of benefits for those who are limited by fees from their debit card or for people who plan to be traveling abroad for a long time. You don’t want to be carrying thousands of dollars in cash with you on a three or four month trip!
With a traveler’s check, your bank issues you a check for a predetermined amount that can be cashed pretty much anywhere — fee-free! These checks are just like money, so be careful where you leave them because anyone can take and cash them.
3. No Fees Bank Account
There are a limited number of banks that offer accounts and debit cards with no foreign transaction fees. If you prefer to use debit or credit cards when traveling abroad, this may be the right choice for you. Open an account with one of these banks to enjoy zero transaction fees and zero currency conversion fees.
4. Exchange Foreign Currency At Home
For short trips, you can exchange currency before you even leave home. Create a budget for your trip to estimate your spending and convert that much cash into the foreign currency at your local bank. Usually your bank will not charge you any additional fees like those charged in the airport or at hotels.
Since there are a number of credit cards for traveling abroad without fees, getting cash ahead of time isn’t always necessary. The only time you should choose this option is when you’re traveling to remote locations that will not have credit card machines like Vietnam, some islands in the Philippines, and Nepal.
5. Choose A Bank with A Foreign Partner
Some banks have foreign partners that allow you to use their ATMs without additional transaction fees. These are usually in European countries including Germany and Spain, but they can also be found in other popular destinations like Mexico, Canada, and Peru. Ask your bank if they have any partners abroad.
With these tips in mind, do some research into your destination and choose the best debit card, check, or credit card for travel abroad.