Foreign Transaction Fees and Exchanging Currency

On my very first trip to Europe (from the US) I was told to just take my credit card and use it as my currency –  and use local ATM’s if I wanted cash out. I was told I  would get the best rate. True. But no one told me I was also going to get slapped with a 3% charge on very transaction! (once called a currency conversion fee).

If you’re planning a foreign trip, double-check with your credit card
issuers to find out how much using your credit and debit cards will cost
you: Many have increased their foreign transaction fees, though some,
in a move to attract rewards-hungry consumers, have recently decided to
buck the trend and drop the fees.- as of 2012.

Depending on what city you plan to visit, sometimes, a currency exchange booth is the best bet. On my last trip to Prague in 2011, I was able to exchange American currency for an excellent rate with almost no fee at all. But, you have to ask around.  If you can ask your hotel or another trusted source, you are better off. Some of these places will rip you off.

BUT BE WARNED, your American currency MUST BE PRISTINE. If it has the tiniest flaw or tear, they will refuse it.

Also, the AIRPORT is probably the worst place to exchange money. Avoiding exchanging money here at all costs!

Know, before you go!