After booking a holiday, many of us can get wrapped up the excitement of buying new clothes, shoes
and sunglasses to think about travel money. However, leave this important job to the last minute
at your peril: you’re more than likely to end up out of pocket if you decide to get your notes at the
airport rather than getting a good deal on a travel credit card.
Whether you’re hitting the continent for some fun in the sun on a cheap package break or going
somewhere further afield,
Do some research before using ATM’s abroad…
there’s a whole range of options when it comes to travel money. Getting
the best deal will ensure you can spend on the things that matter rather than the mere act of
spending cash itself.
As there’s a whole host of currencies out there, the right travel money for one trip might not be the
same for another. But there are some general rules that apply in most cases:
Credit cards usually offer the cheapest travel money
There are plenty of good card deals out there where you’ll pay no exchange rate fee for taking out
foreign currency. And the charges for cash withdrawals or spending are usually lower than other
travel money options such as debit cards and travellers’ cheques. Most credit cards come with
robust fraud protection – making them safer than carrying cash. In many cases, it’s worth taking out
a travel card for the specific purpose of spending overseas – but just make sure you pay it off in full
to avoid incurring any interest, which could be higher if you’re spending abroad.
Plan ahead
Remember that credit card applications can take a few days or weeks to process, so plan your travel
money as soon as you’ve booked your break to get the best deal. Expect to get the worst exchange
rates at the airport or ferry terminal, as you’re a captive customer. If you’ve decided to take cash
abroad, use comparison sites to find the best exchange deals. Also be wary of using your debit card,
as they can often be the worst way to spend – many include steep charges for withdrawing cash and
chip and PIN transactions.
Shop around
When you’re looking for a travel credit card, take notice of any rewards on offer, but try not to be
enticed by them if the interest rate isn’t favourable or there’s a steep charge for overseas use. Sort
out a good deal and you can focus on the important things – like getting that new bikini or pair of
killer heels.