Mistake #5: Currency
When it comes to accessing local currency, and making sure you are able to reduce your bank and international transaction fees, you’ll want to consider the most commonly used credit cards by seasoned travelers.
American Express Platinum Edge Card
This card offers:
· No international ATM withdrawal fees
· No currency conversion fees
· No fees on cash advances
Plus, they also offer you reward points for hotels and airlines.
The Charles Schwab Checking Account is also one of the most widely used cards by pro travelers because of its no ATM fees, no fees on foreign currency exchanges and no account minimums or monthly service fees.
As for whether you should buy foreign currency before your trip?
Travel expert, Rick Steves says:
“Resist the urge to buy foreign currency before you travel. Most new travelers feel they must have Euros or British pounds in their pocket before they step off the plane. The truth is, they’ll pay far more in exchange rates than if they simply withdraw money from local ATM’s.”
Further, he recommends avoiding exchanging money in Europe, claiming that you can lose as much as 15 percent. Instead, withdraw money from ATM’s as needed and plan your cash withdrawals wisely.
And finally, leave your traveler’s checks at home. Very few places accept them anymore.
Tip: Make sure you let your bank know about your travel plans so that your credit or debit card isn’t locked due to suspicious activity or potential fraud.