4 Best Ways to Purchase Foreign Currency Before You Start Your Trip
Despite months of travel planning that entails long checklists and longer checklist revisions, tourists often miss out one of the most important facets of overseas travel – foreign currency. The Singapore Dollar may be performing reasonably well against other currencies in the market for now, but the global economy can be unpredictably volatile at times and the value of local currency can severely dip as a result of that.
Secondly, last minute foreign currency purchases will expose you to ridiculous exchange rates at the Changi Airport and other airports worldwide. Hence, it is recommended to take advantage of the time in your hands to purchase foreign currency when the local currency’s value is strong in the market. When it comes to purchasing foreign currency, here are 4 of the best options Singaporeans can look out for:
A Money Changer
The easiest and most widely used method to purchase foreign currency is through a money changer. Although the exchange rates may be rather fickle depending on the location of the money changer, you can pick out areas with numerous money changers competing against each other in order to get the best rates.
If you are seeking out a money changer to process a bulk foreign currency transaction, here are some places that will offer you a fair currency exchange rate:
- The Arcade at Raffles Place
- Mustafa Foreign Exchange.
- People’s Park Complex
Diversification is a strategy that does not merely have to be the marketing pitch used by bankers to talk about your financial portfolio; it can apply to the choice of financial institutions you associate with too. When you open savings accounts with multiple banks, you instantly gain access to a plethora of financial services offered by each of them.
Since each bank offers varying rates and fees for its products and services, you can enjoy the benefit of getting the best bang for your buck for whatever service you need, including currency exchange.
The majority of banks in Singapore, including DBS, OCBC, Bank of China, UOB, and Maybank, offer attractive exchange rates that are approximately 1% higher or lower than the rates adopted by money changers
Prepaid Forex Card
Pre-paid forex cards are one of the most underrated assets in the financial arsenal of a traveler. Its value is effectively hedged against any exchange rate volatility since the value loaded onto the card will remain the same as it was on the date of purchase.
Transferring forex on a travel card does not incur any charges, except for the necessary currency conversion charge that money changers will enforce.
Your Credit Card
Despite not being the favored choice for making foreign currency transactions, it is still a perfectly valid option under certain conditions. Yes, you may have to bear the financial brunt of foreign exchange charges and interest fees for any transactions conducted overseas; however, it is wise to allocate at least 20% of your overseas travel budget to your credit card.
Here are a few key reasons that make this alternative a lot more attractive for travelers, which will redeem it in your eyes:
- Negating Theft – Cash is the first thing everyone thinks of when we talk about money; unfortunately, this “everyone” also includes miscreants and malicious entities. When these people see an unsuspecting tourist walking around with a fat wallet, they see a fruit ripe for the picking.
There’s nothing you can do about a pickpocket getting away with cash, but your credit card is nothing but a useless piece of plastic in the hands of the wrong people since you can easily cancel it if it gets stolen by contacting your bank.
- Frequent Flyer Perks – There are a wide number of credit cards that are specially targeted at travel enthusiasts, such as the HSBC Revolution Card that provides air miles, travel insurance and supplementary bonuses for various expenses you bear traveling overseas.
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