If you are traveling overseas from the United States and are looking to exchange dollars for Euros or Pounds (a stronger currency), the last thing you want to do is incur additional fees on top of your investment in your trip. We have a few tips to keep you from collecting ANY additional fees on your purchases while abroad. You’ll need cash on hand for tips, restaurants that don’t accept credit cards and street vendors.
- Bank with Charles Schwab. They refund ALL ATM fees. I recently switched from WellsFargo after that hideous fake account scandal and will never look back! Did I mention the Debit cards have maps on them? #fangirlstatus
- NEVER use Travelex. It might seem convenient since they park themselves in most airports right outside of baggage claim, however you’ll get hit with fees upward of 14 – 18%.
- Use a credit card that does not charge Foreign Transaction Fees. See our favorite Travel Cards here. Try to avoid the AMEX options since many vendors abroad do not accept them.
- Don’t use traveler’s checks. These were invented prior to the no foreign transaction fee credit cards and are an outdated form of payment.
- Don’t order currency in advance at a local bank at home. They may not rival Travelex in their fees, but seriously, don’t bother.
Overall, there is no reason you have to pay any kind of fee on your purchases while your abroad, and if you do everything right, you should even get a return on your travel purchases when you use the right credit cards that reward you for dining and travel.