Importance of getting some foreign currency cash before travelling abroad   

Do not just rely on your credit card & reduce any potential hassle.  

It's often a good idea to get some foreign currency before you leave home so that you have cash on hand to handle your immediate expenses -- like buying a meal at the airport or taking a cab to your hotel. This way you're not stranded without cash if the airport ATM isn't working or you arrive after the local exchange bureau has closed. 

Many banks, credit unions and credit card companies freeze customers' cards if they are used outside of the customer's normal range of travel. 

Some restaurants, stores and even hotels won't take credit cards, so you'll need to have cash on hand at all times. 

While you can use credit cards to get cash advances at ATMs, bear in mind that they'll be subject to any finance charges your credit card company imposes -- which can add up very quickly. Plus, if you're not home by the time the bills come in and you haven't made arrangements to pay them, you'll be hit with hefty finance charges on these advances. 

Keep in mind that you may not have as much protection overseas as you do at home when problems arise over inaccurate charges. Incidents are always being reported of travellers being charged twice for the same item or for items they never purchased, and credit card companies have been unwilling or unable to intercede on their behalf. 

Avoid paying the extra costs  

Each cash withdrawal you make will usually be subject to currency conversion fees, foreign ATM fees or other charges from your bank and/or the local bank that maintains the ATM.  

Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% per purchase. If you pay for all of your hotel stays and most of your meals and other expenses on a credit card while you're abroad, those repeated 3% fees will add up by the time you get home.  

  • Your debit card may not work in all ATM machines at your destination, so you'll need to bring some cash
  • If you travel abroad, your debit card probably won't be accepted at stores or restaurants; you'll need to carry some cash for daily expenses.
  • In rural areas, finding an ATM that is part of your network might be difficult.
  • In some places, using an ATM isn't free unless you use your bank's machines.  

Never travel abroad with only one form of travel money.

Travelling abroad with cash helps you reduce any potential inconvenience and can save you time and money.  

Reserve your foreign currency online with Travelex and pick it up at a local store.

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