Best way to get local currency for foreign trip

Old Jan 30th, 2020, 06:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 40
Best way to get local currency for foreign trip

Hey guys-I have travelled a lot over the years to Europe, Asia, and South America. Over the past few years, when I am in a foreign country I have generally used my credit card to pay for anything I can. When I arrive at my destination, I generally determine how much cash in local currency that I will need, then go to an ATM and use my debit card to get the cash. I did a little research a few years ago and thought this was probably the best way to get the local currency. But I wanted to ask all of you travel experts if anything has changed and if there may be a better way to do it? What do you think?
TennesseeVol is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2020, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,713
Nope -- no changes. Credit cards when you want to, and ATMs (in most countries) to get currency.
janisj is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2020, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 859
Only thing is I'd try to have a little cash before arrival. ATMs are fairly reliable but problems have a habit of cropping up when you can least afford them. Having enough cash for the first day or so is a nice safety net.
Traveler_Nick is online now  
Old Jan 30th, 2020, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,687
Same here - I use a "no foreign transaction fee" credit car for just about everything and get small amounts flocal currency from an ATM on an as needed basis. The only caveat is to be sure the ATM is affiliated with a reputable bank and not a privately own one. That way you'll get to best exchange rates.
RoamsAround is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2020, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,510
Yes ATMs are the best way to go.

Whether using a credit card is good or not depends on what type of card it is, what kind of fees, foreign exchange rate, etc.

I also do often order in advance from my home bank (BoA) and pick it up at the branch although this costs a bit more because of lesser exchange rate plus a service charge. To me is worth it for the reassurance and convenience.

Every since being "stranded" in Mexico one vacation trip when my ATM card would not work anywhere (thanks BoA -haha) I like to have more than one method to obtain funds.
suze is online now  
Old Feb 1st, 2020, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 23,385
TennesseeVol, I'm with you about wanting money in my pocket upon landing. Same reason I always want a motor on the sailboat! Wind ain't gonna blow all the time.😁

I get some through AAA. They no longer keep currency but one sends for it. So far, it's reliable albeit not the cheapest way. I've never tried my local bank.
TDudette is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,510
To use my local regular bank, you go online and order it. Then pick it up in a few days. The bank doesn't actually have it in stock.
suze is online now  
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