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Buying Foreign Money Online


Guest American Woman

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Guest American Woman

Has anyone bought foreign currency online? I'm wondering where to get the best deal, or if it's better to wait and buy it upon arrival, which isn't as convenient; it would be nice to avoid the hassle/lines and do it ahead of time. I've never pre-purchased any currency other than Canadian (which the local bank had on hand), so any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Has anyone bought foreign currency online? I'm wondering where to get the best deal, or if it's better to wait and buy it upon arrival, which isn't as convenient; it would be nice to avoid the hassle/lines and do it ahead of time. I've never pre-purchased any currency other than Canadian (which the local bank had on hand), so any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Any major bank is a good place, and they all post their rates.

BTW... an interesting thing I noticed when I went to europe this year was that I had almost no need to bring any currency with me. My RBC interac card worked everywhere I went, even on a tiny commune in the deep south of France. Its possible I was getting dinged some pretty steep services charges but even if thats true its still worth it because an interac card is so much safer than carrying cash.

In any modern country you will able to purchase things with the exact same instruments you use at the corner store a block away.... bank cards, credit cards, etc.

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Its possible I was getting dinged some pretty steep services charges but even if thats true its still worth it because an interac card is so much safer than carrying cash.
Banks will hit with 3-5% service charge on all currency exchanges. This is on top of any interac banking fees. You are better off paying with credit card (no interac charge and 1% cashback if you have the right card) as much as possible and bringing a minimum amount of cash with you. The best deal that I have found for foreign cash are no service fee money exchanges in Canada that are not in tourist districts. Edited by TimG
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Guest American Woman

Thanks for the input, guys; I appreciate it. The problem is there is no "major bank" in my small town, and banks around here don't get enough requests for foreign currency to make it worth their while to deal in it. Based on what you said, I did decide to contact my daughter who works at a major bank in a larger city, and she said they do deal in currency exchange, so she's going to find out the details for me. I did wonder if there would be a site online that deals exclusively with exchange that might give a better deal, but I suppose there's a certain amount of risk involved with just randomly choosing an online site to deal with money, too; so likely if her bank can get the currency I'll go that route. What I'm primarily interested in is the Argentine peso, which isn't a 'major' currency by any means, so it sounds as if it's sometimes more difficult to get.

I will be bringing a credit card, and also $US, but I'm not sure how prevalent accepting the $US is compared to the past (and this is my first trip to South America at any rate), and I've already read that some of the places I'm going to/staying at only accept the Argentine peso. I'm having a car/driver meet me a the airport in Buenos Aires, and after 24 hours of flights/lay-overs I'm thinking I won't care to have to deal with the exchange (and I'll need it to pay the driver/B&B), so it's something I'd prefer to take care of ahead of time. Not to mention I've always received the worst exchange rate at airports.

After mulling over what you've had to say, I will definitely be bringing less cash than I had originally planned on, though. What you said makes sense. So again, thank you. I appreciate your responses.

Edited by American Woman
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