Save money: ATMs & credit cards

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Just recently it happened again.

A hotel staff wanted to convince me, how much more convenient it is to pay the bill in my home currency. Maybe it is more convenient, but on the downside also more expensive. So don’t do it, if you want to save money! After all it’ your money!

ATMs

This is very common in Europe, once happened to me in Spain:

You withdraw money in a foreign currency like the EUR and the ATM asks you, whether you would like to be charged in your own currency (e.g. USD) or in the currency of the country (e.g. EUR) where you are. Always choose the currency of the foreign country as your own bank at home usually gives you the better exchange rate than the local bank at your holiday place.

You will have to wait for a few days until you know how much money you were charged, but it will be cheaper. Usually the exchange rate with this “trick” is one to two percent worse, so on 100 EUR withdrawn you can save 1 to 2 EUR.

dont-worry-just-travel-Avoid-the-150-Baht-ATM-fee-during-your-Thailand-travel-trip

Credit Cards

I don’t know how common this is, but in Thailand they try it all the time:

You pay your hotel bill with a credit card (like Mastercard or Visa) and the staff charges you in your local currency (e.g. EUR) instead of the foreign currency (e.g. Thai Baht). You might not even be asked if it’s ok for you. I guess the hotel (or the tailor, or the travel office) gets a commission for each transaction. But you should refuse, as again your own bank at home usually gives you the better exchange rate than the local bank at your holiday place.

You will have to wait for up to six weeks until you know how much money you were charged, but it will be cheaper. Again the exchange rate with this “trick” is one to two percent worse, so on 100 EUR bill value you can save 1 to 2 EUR.

 

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