Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying High Fees

Best Place to Exchange Currency

Currency exchange is a crucial aspect of travel. It is important to have a good understanding of how to exchange currency, what options are available, and where to exchange currency for the best rates. This post will offer you detailed insights on the best place to exchange currency for your next trip.

1. Airport Currency Exchange

The first place that comes to mind for most travelers is the airport currency exchange. Most large airports have currency exchange booths where cash can be exchanged upon arrival or departure. While this may be a very convenient option, it is also the most expensive. Airport currency exchange rates are usually higher than those in other places and travelers could lose up to 15% of their money in the exchange. Unless you have no other alternative, it is best to avoid airport currency exchanges.

2. Banks and Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions are another common option to exchange money and typically offer the best rates. They may offer competitive currency exchange rates since they have access to a global market and foreign currency reserves. If you are a member of a credit union, they may offer you a better rate than a bank. But, not all banks and credit unions have currency exchange services, and those that do may require a pre-order of currency. It is also necessary to check their fees and exchange rates before exchanging currency with them.

3. Online Currency Exchange Services

Online currency exchange services such as TransferWise, XE, and OFX offer better currency exchange rates than banks or credit unions, while also offering the convenience of online transactions. These online currency exchange services allow individuals to buy or sell foreign currencies with a few clicks. The rates offered by these services are usually close to mid-market rates, meaning you’ll get competitive rates and low fees.

4. Foreign Exchange Kiosks and Shops

Foreign exchange kiosks and shops are dotted around most tourist hotspots making them an accessible option. They cater to tourists and offer currency exchange with very competitive rates. However, it’s important to note that the rates offered may not always be the same as those posted, and there could be additional fees like commissions or service charges. It is advisable to compare rates before making an exchange as prices vary from place to place and insider knowledge of exchange rates and fees could be key to saving money.

5. Credit Cards

Using foreign ATM machines or credit cards at ATMs is another way to exchange currency while traveling, but it’s important to check fees and exchange rates since they depend on your credit card company or bank. Credit cards also offer protection against loss or fraud, but beware of high fees and surcharges. Notify your bank in advance about foreign travel plans to ensure continuous access to your funds.


In conclusion, always opt to exchange currency in places that offer the best rates with low or no fees. Avoid airport currency exchanges and always be on the lookout for additional fees and charges. Additionally, use a variety of resources and compare exchange rates before making a decision. Happy travels!

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