I have done several methods - but am not sure which is the best:

  • via ATM in the foreign country
  • via bank before leaving
  • via bank after arriving
  • at the airport
  • just use a credit/debit card everywhere
  • other

What is the best currency conversion plan?


It depends on the countries involved ...
The ATM or Credit cards are expensive options in terms of rates ...

The best deals are with the currency exchange counters [not at airport] at some busy places ...

One needs to find out which is stronger currency, ie is the demand more for foreign currency or local currency ... For example if you have USD and are travelling from US to any Asian countries, it makes sense to exchange the USD in the local Asian countries as the demand for USD is more in these local markets, it would be a bad idea for excahange this in US [for some currencies the option may also not be available]

If you are trying to exchange between 2 equally strong currencies [say USD, GBP, EUR, etc] then it doesnt matter much where you get it changed ...

One also needs to consider local practises, for example in UK, most currency houses charge a Conversion fee above the rate making it a very bad deal.

  • 2
    Is this guidance still the best in 2015 given recent changes in US credit card foreign exchange policy and the big Visa/MasterCard settlement, and if you have a "Visa Signature" or similar? On a trip to Italy this year my ATM card was net better deal at around $200+ withdrawal. – user662852 Sep 28 '15 at 10:55

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