Thanks to technological advances, spending our hard-earned money has never been easier. Online shopping, credit and debit cards and virtual wallets are only a few of the numerous life improvements we use every day. However, when it comes to paying while traveling internationally, we can still run into some issues with exchanging our currency or finding a good currency exchange office. As such it's important to know what the best payment options are and how to access them.
To help you avoid any payment problems when traveling, we prepared a shortlist of the best ways to spend your cash while visiting another country. Before you start your next journey, take a look at our list of payment methods.
If you have a credit or debit card from a major bank, you are in luck. When traveling, these cards are the most widely accepted payment method, so you can use them almost anywhere.
Credit and debit cards come with an international ATM network, so you can withdraw cash from any ATM that displays the MasterCard or Visa logo. When withdrawing cash, you will be charged an extra fee by your bank. This fee is usually around 3-4% of the withdrawal amount. It is worth mentioning that your bank will not charge you the ATM fee if you ask the bank for a fee waiver.
There is one significant drawback that is related to using a credit or debit card. If you do not immediately pay off your credit card or debit card balance, you have to pay interest. This results in an extra charge for the money you spent while traveling.
Due to its simplicity, PayPal is widely accepted worldwide. You just need to sign up for a PayPal account and use the funds in your account to make payments. If your bank and PayPal are linked, transactions are fast and simple. If they are not linked, you will have to deposit money into the account prior to making a payment. Keep in mind that PayPal charges a transaction fee of 3.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction. You can avoid this fee by using your debit card instead of your credit card to deposit money into your PayPal account.
If you plan to travel internationally for an extended period of time, the best choice for you would be to open a foreign bank account in the country where you will be staying. This way, you will be able to pay with your debit card or withdraw cash from local ATMs. The downside of this option is that it can be pretty challenging to open a foreign bank account. You need to provide all the required documents and information for the bank to make an assessment of your financial status.
When opening a foreign bank account is not possible, we recommend using a money transfer service such as TransferWise. These services are great when you need to withdraw cash from an ATM in the country you visit. They are not ideal for making payments as they charge a significant fee for each transaction. However, it is worth noting that the fees are much lower than fees charged by banks for using their credit and debit cards abroad.
There is no single payment method that is as reliable as cash when paying when abroad. Cash will remain the most widely accepted payment method throughout the world for years to come. If you want to keep your spending and budget under control, we highly recommend having some cash on hand while traveling. Plus, carrying cash allows you to easily access any transit options, such as buying a ticket on a train. Cash also allows you to make impulsive decisions like going on a Niagara Falls bus tour from NYC.
In addition to that, carrying cash is one of the easiest ways to avoid spending unnecessary amounts on currency exchange fees and poor exchange rates.
The popularity of crypto coins is rapidly increasing. Many companies are starting to accept crypto coins as a means of payment. To make purchasing crypto coins easier, some companies have started to develop crypto payment cards that allow you to convert your fiat money into crypto coins. These cards are very similar to credit and debit cards.
The main benefit of crypto payment cards is that they come with many features of credit and debit cards. Therefore, unlike other payment methods, you do not have to wait for your bank to transfer money to your card account. The crypto coins appear in your account as soon as you make the payment. Also, most cards should have a relatively low transaction fee.
Crypto payment cards do have some disadvantages. The biggest drawback is the volatility of crypto coins. Crypto coins can lose or gain value very quickly. You can buy bitcoin with your bank account here.
Prepaid travel cards are another payment option that you might consider using when traveling internationally. These cards allow you to add a certain amount of cash that you can spend when making payments. You can use these cards in shops, restaurants, and even at ATMs. These cards come with an expiry date and a fixed amount of money that can be used. Once the card has been used up, you need to add more money before you can spend it again.
On average, travel cards have lower fees than credit and debit cards or exchange offices. Travel cards also come with many purchase protection benefits that are not available with other payment methods.
If you prefer using paper money, you might want to consider using traveler’s cheques for your next trip. This type of payment method provides a safe and secure option for spending your cash while traveling.
Traveler’s cheques can be used in any country, and they usually have better exchange rates than banks or currency exchange offices. The biggest downside of these cheques is the fact that there is a fee every time the cheque is cashed with the bank or company issuing the cheque.
Traveling abroad is a fun and exciting experience, but it can also be expensive. You will have to pay for transportation and accommodation, as well as entertainment. To minimize your expenses while traveling internationally, the ones we have listed are the best payment options.