International travel is more popular and commonplace in the 21st century than it has ever been, but one of the remaining necessary evils of this endeavor is the need to exchange your local money into different currencies. Even in the event that people make use of their credit card in order to pay for the great majority of their purchases while they are overseas, cash will still be needed for minor transactions such as the likes of airport taxes when leaving particular nations, payment for visas when arriving, and taxi fares However the good news is there are a number of ways to exchange your current currency for foreign money that are relatively simple, easy and streamlined.
Take Australian money abroad and convert it there
One of the simplest methods of money exchange is just to take your Australian dollars with you to a foreign country and have it converted to local money when you actually get there. In some nations you may even be able to do this with considerably lower fees for the service than is the case within Australia, as well as even possibly gaining access to a much more favorable exchange rate than you would if you had performed the money exchange at home with cba exchange rates, for example. This is usually the best idea for those whose travels are often last minute arrangements, due to the fact that currency orders that can be placed online usually have to be done at least a few days in advance.
Travel money/debit cards overseas
Using an overseas ATM to withdraw money via your travel money card or debit card can be a good deal more convenient than having to order cash online and then having to waste time queuing up to collect it at the airport – providing you can find one. However the fees can be a problem, with ATM charges, a fixed withdrawal cost from your own bank and a -3 percent overseas currency fee, which can quickly add up. In order to avoid this obstacle as much as possible you should try to make use of ATMs that fall within the alliance of your own bank. For example, Westpac is a partner with a variety of other institutions such as Barclays, BNP Paribas, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank, among others, which would remove the fixed transaction fees even though the international transaction fee would still apply. On the other hand, you may wish to take a look at the likes of other accounts and providers including the Citibank Plus Transaction Account, which has no monthly account fees, international transaction fees or international ATM withdrawal fees and even provides its own Visa Debit Card.
American Express Travelers Cheques
Although American Express travelers cheques may not enjoy the same level of prestige as they once did thanks to the advent of ATM alliances and travel money cards, American Express travelers cheques still remain a quick and easy way to gain access to your money while in a foreign country. They are usually accepted at most banks, hotels or foreign exchange bureaus either as payment or in return for the local currency, and they have no expiration date. Another advantage over ordinary money is that if travelers cheques are stolen or lost they can be cancelled and even replaced just with one phone call. A wide variety of banks in Australia offer American Express travelers cheques, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ, Westpac and NAB, and they can also be acquired either straight from American Express or via Australia Post. It is a good idea to do your research to try and get the best overall price due to the varying exchange rates and fees offered and charged by these institutions.
While the Australian Travelex airport kiosks do not generally offer the best exchange rates, the reverse is actually true if you pre-order the exchange using their website and pay direct from your bank account with BPAY. This results in a better exchange rate and no commission charges, enabling you to still pick up the foreign currency from the airport but at a considerably superior overall cost.