Foreign Currency Trading – F.A.Q. for Travelers.

Order foreign currency in advance online.

Get your currency needs managed in advance. Many airports, railroad stations, bus depots, and other points of entry have no currency exchange. When currency exchange is available in airports, lines can be long and rates can be “sky high.”

Aren’t US dollars accepted everywhere?.

In the majority of countries, including all of Western Europe, only the local currency is accepted. Some tourist businesses, such as hotels, will offer to change money for you, but the rates you get can be much higher than you would pay if you were to complete your foreign currency exchange before you leave the US.
Business hours and holidays are not the same in other countries, and banks there may very well be closed when you expect them to be open.
You will need local currency to get into town.
When exchange facilities are available in the airport, lines are frequently long, and rates are often high. Also, many countries have no currency exchange facilities in airports, railroad stations and other points of entry.
Changing money before you go buys you peace of mind.

Can’t I just change my money at my bank?

Compare the rates offered to those at from vendors listed above. Outside of major cities, foreign exchange is a very tiny business for US banks. Most branches don’t keep foreign currency on hand. You’ll have to order it from a main branch, pay in advance, and make two trips to the bank.

Can I take my bankcard instead of exchanging my money?

Depending on where you’re going, you may be able to find many bank machines that will accept your bankcard.

However, you should be aware of some disadvantages of using your bankcard abroad. You cannot always be certain that you will find a bank machine that accepts your card. In addition you may be charged high network access fees and disadvantageous exchange rates.

Many tourist-related merchants, restaurants and hotels will accept your creidit card. Lately more of them will automatically ring them up in your home country’s currency which makes it easy to see how much you are actually paying. The challenge is that you may get socked with a dismal exchange rate—considerably higher than if your card provider were making the conversion.

How can I transfer funds internationally?

You can transfer funds directly into another account or you can transfer funds by Bank Draft—essentially a Bank Check written in a foreign currency. Also known as an International Draft or International Money Order, they can be deposited directly into a foreign bank account. International payments can be made with a wire transfer, also known as a Money Transfer. International Wire Transfers can take 3 to 10 business days. A Foreign Curency Draft can be used to pay suppliers or vendors internationally.

How about foreign curency trading?

Currency trading is the simultaneous exchange of one country’s currency for that of another for the purpose of hopefully making a profit. Currency markets offer 24-hour trading, high liquidity and low transaction costs which may make it attractive for stock, futures and options traders.

You’ll want to limit risk with stop and limit orders. While it is possible to leverage currency trading transactions, remember that leverage exaggerates both gains and losses and can generate large gains and losses even when market conditions are relatively calm.