Microage India

Quick Guide to Get the Best Exchange Rates

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Managing a different currency while travelling abroad can quickly become an expensive affair, especially if you are unprepared for the same. This brings up the questions of how you can get the best Forex rates and what you must keep in mind while exchanging your currency. There are plenty of ways to carry your money, like cash, traveller’s cheque or Forex card. Also, there are many merchants like banks, Forex exchange providers, airports, local vendors, etc which provide the service of exchanging currency at varying rates.  Here is a quick guide to getting the best exchange rates on Forex while travelling abroad.

  1. Stay updated with Forex rates– If you have sufficient time before travelling abroad, you can keep a close eye on the exchange rates every day. It is a 2-minute task where you can Google the latest exchange rates and get the best Forex rate when your currency performs strong, giving higher exchange rates. At that time, you can convert your money and freeze the perfect exchange rate by loading the same onto a Forex card.
  2. Compare rates with different merchants- Depending on the place you are visiting, various merchants will be providing different rates for the Forex exchange. Compare the Forex rates offered by different vendors and then choose the best one. Remember, the cheapest one is necessarily not the best option. You need to evaluate the various services provided by them, like the delivery speed of Forex cards, how fast your merchant provides exchanged currency, and many more.
  3. Avoid Forex exchange at Airports – If at all there is a worst place to exchange your currency, it has to be airports. Please do not wait until the last moment to exchange your money at the airport. They offer very high exchange rates as they take advantage of your last-minute helplessness. You may lose 6-8% of your money by paying high Forex rates at airports. It is highly advisable to convert your money well in advance for the best currency exchanges.
  4. Foreign Exchange Institutions – One of the major problems in exchanging currency with banks, whether in India or in abroad is that they might refuse to exchange your money if you don’t hold an account with them. This is a common problem and it can happen with anyone. The best way to exchange currency is to reach out to Forex exchange institutions which work dedicatedly on Forex exchange only. They will provide you with a better service at a convenient fees/rate. Thomas Cook is India’s only AD-II RBI approved Forex institution, so you know where to go!
  5. Carry a Forex card – You should carry both cash and a Forex card to avoid losses (in case of theft or lost bag/wallet) while travelling with 100% cash. A better alternative is to carry 30% cash and the rest 70% loaded in your Forex card. This will allow you to maintain the fluctuating rates and offer better exchange rates than cash.
  6. Don’t use your Debit/Credit Cards –Never use your regular domestic debit or credit card unless very urgent. They charge a host of fees, and you will end up paying high Forex exchange rates. It is always better to carry a different Forex card which is accepted globally as it will have significantly fewer charges and will also be accessible easier. Many credit cards can charge up to 3% fees when used abroad.
  7. Digital currency – Digital money is the future, research on the local payments apps which are widely accepted in the particular country you are visiting. For example, in India,Paytm is one of the most commonly usedappsto make a transaction, similarly, in USA, PayPal is used. You can directly load money in your digital account with which you will be able to transact easily and are less likely to lose your money anyway. You will also get better currency exchange rates on digital platforms rather than through physical means. 
  8. Avoid multiple exchanges – Many might think that USD is a globally accepted currency, and thus, it is better to take USD and then get it converted into local currency. This will lead you to pay higher rates in fees or exchange rates. Always insist on exchanging your money directly with the local currency of the country you are travelling to.
  9. Opt for an extra Forex card–This is not a very crucial requirement but one should carry an extra card for his/her own safety. Just imagine being stranded in a completely new place without access to your money, it can be nothing less than a nightmare. So, it is better to opt for an extra Forex card as it is extremely easy to book one simply through the Thomas Cook website.
  10. Look for authenticity –While you exchange your currency in India, always make sure to deal with a person/institute who is an authorized stakeholder of RBI. Do not fall in the trap of any frauds who offer cheaper rates. Always do your own research before getting in any sort of deal.

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