How to Buy Foreign Currency: 6 Methods for Beginners

Whenever an individual decides to go on a trip, money will end up playing a key role. Travelling can be costly, depending on the trip’s length, even before the inevitable expenditures. To make things a bit more complicated, the type of money used in a specific country may vary. Now would be as good a time as ever to look into what type of currency is present.

Typically, there are several ways in which you can buy foreign currency, especially if you plan on travelling. Most of these options come with their own pros and cons, and you’ll have to contemplate those accordingly. If you’re just looking for the basics, check out these six methods on how to buy foreign currency:

1. Calculate the foreign currency

Your homeland’s currency may be worth more, in terms of value, than another nation’s capital. As a result, you’ll have to do some math in order to figure out how much you’ll need. The best way to go about this is to take an initial look at the current exchange rate. In essence, this determines how much your money will be valued in another currency.

The calculations done in an exchange rate comes down to a multitude of factors. If you are starting out, however, it is recommended to do some rudimentary calculations at the onset. If you are still unsure on how much currency should be used, don’t worry. That is the job of the experts to figure out!

2. Visit a bank

Visiting a bank is a popular way on how to buy foreign currency. Depending on where you are, banks will have many types of foreign currencies available. Once you check in, speak to a representative, in order to process your request. They will usually have an objective look into the current exchange rate.

Be wary of choosing to use a bank, however. There may be additional transaction fees to know about, as well as other charges. If you are unsure about how much foreign currency you’ll need, don’t withdraw a surplus of money. Take only what you need prior to your trip, and come back if you require more.

3. Currency exchange vendors

For convenience’s sake, banks are not your only way to buy foreign cash. To make things a bit easier on the buyer’s end, there are different vendors available. For example, a currency exchange service may be able to provide you with foreign currency at a better deal. It just comes down to some considerations.

Generally speaking, some currency exchange offices may require bigger transaction fees upfront. On the other hand, you could be provided with the option to bring back excess foreign cash after a trip! This can be incredibly useful for those who want to change their currency back to a preferable state.

4. Online exchange bureaus

The internet has fundamentally changed the way in which we conduct our lives. As it pertains to business, this sentiment is even more valid. Say, for instance, that you are behind your preparation plans for a trip. If you are unable to make it to a bank on short notice, you may be in luck.

Check out the myriad of online exchange bureaus available in your region. These vendors keep the exchange rate up-to-date, in addition to providing you with some great deals. Just be wary of the delivery time; your foreign currency order’s shipping time can differ!

5. International purchasing

Although you will be given the option to purchase currency while abroad, you should be wary about doing so. Unless you are in your home country, the rates for buying another nation’s currency will be very high. To make matters a bit more complicated, the fees you’ll have to pay upfront are just as high as the exchange rate.

Always consider this before making a purchase while overseas. The last thing you’ll need is having your credit impacted by an exorbitantly high transaction fee. Do some preplanning in advance, and you will be just fine!

6. Investing in foreign currency

For the common traveller, using one’s own currency to manually buy another currency will be ideal. However, for those who want to try their hand at investing, you may be able to buy foreign currency at a better rate. Trading in foreign currencies is a very common practice, and could pay huge dividends.

It is generally recommended to not do this if you are unsure about how it pans out. Trading with competence takes time, especially with fluctuating factors related to foreign currency. With enough practice, however, you can make money while purchasing various currencies!

The main consideration to contemplate with foreign currency is, of course, research. You should always pay attention to the exchange rate, with respect to your destination. That way, you won’t be overspending on currency more than you need to!