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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Way To Compare Currency Exchange Rates

Anyone going on a foreign holiday in the near future might be interested to discover how best to compare currency exchange rates. It is a very important consideration as choosing the wrong option can prove very costly indeed given the difference in fees. By looking at some choices we can help you decide what is best for you.

As obvious as it may seem, purchasing cash to take abroad with you is a very common way of exchanging currency. However, although it is accepted by all, it is the least secure option available. If you are unlucky enough to be mugged and have your cash stolen, there really is nothing that can be done to replace the lost amount and so carrying cash should be avoided wherever possible.

While some people may expect to find them in museums these days, travellers cheques are actually still in fairly common usage due to their low cost and their security. Lost cheques can quickly be replaced by the issuing institution, but this does not compensate for the fact that it is increasingly difficult to find a retailer prepared to accept them. If your idea of a good time is queuing up at a bank to exchange cheques then this might be the option for you, but for most normal people they are best left well alone!

Credit cards are now one of the most common ways to exchange currency when abroad. The most popular cards are accepted in most shops, and as the majority of people already have a credit card it is probably the laziest option too. They also are very secure and if lost or used fraudulently your bank will be able to replace or refund you without any real trouble. Major concerns about using credit cards involve cost and budgeting. The fees charged for overseas use are typically expensive, while having access to credit encourages you to overspend. Even for the most disciplined this is a real temptation while on holiday, and it would be a pity to ruin a great time by getting into financial difficulty.

Debit cards are similar in nature, and in fact provide a list of benefits almost identical to the credit card. There are a few more negatives though as cash withdrawals are subject to additional charges and the cards are not just as widely accepted as credit cards are.

With all these options available, you will be pleased to hear that the prepaid currency card is the best of all for most holidaymakers. You can load it with however much you want to spend before leaving, so that overspending is not a concern. The card also offers the same security and convenience of the credit and debit card but with lower fees, so you effectively are able to gain from having the best of both worlds.

By way of conclusion, of the numerous choices there are when you compare currency exchange rates, the only option offering security, convenience and affordability is the prepaid currency card. Although you may also use another method for emergencies, with the currency card in your pocket you can relax and enjoy your break safe in the knowledge that your spending will be as efficient as possible.

Tom writes on finding the best exchange rate for euros, amongst other things in travel. He lives London, UK.



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