Are you going overseas this year? With smartphones and international payments becoming the norm around the world, you may want to harness the power of your Android to make payments in foreign currencies. Though some methods will convert into local currencies for you, you need to be aware of the pitfalls – and fees – that come with it!
Here are some international money transfer tips to make your travel to far flung locales that much easier.
Ditch the banks
Most of the time, banks and credit cards use the exchange rate that is in effect at the time the transaction is processed for that currency. This often makes the exchange rate worse.
Even worse, it has to pay a lot of fees and charges. Your credit card company may charge you an international transaction fee of between 1% and 3% of your funds. On top of that, they may also charge you a foreign exchange fee, which cuts into your money even more. On the other end, the payment processor may also charge a fee, which means you’ll end up with even less money. Instead, look for a company that specialises in foreign exchange transfers.
Comparing international money exchanges
Much like banks, hotels, and airlines, you should compare international money transfer bureaux using a dedicated comparison site. Comparison sites can recommend reputable exchanges and many offer various benefits such as no caps or minimums on transfers, $0 transfer speed, and same-day or day-after transfers.
For example, if you wanted to complete an international money transfer to Nepal of $1,000AUD, using an Australia money transfer bureau that deals natively in Nepalese Rupees and will let your family keep as much of the principle as possible – which at the current mid-market rate is 85,597NPR. A bank may slug you with fees, give the lowest possible “buy” rate and give your family the highest possible “sell” rate – which means less money gets transferred over.
Set up Google Pay with travel cards
Though very much an emerging technology, you can load up travel cards and bring them with you on your Android device using Google Pay. That means even if your smartphone is stolen, it can be easily replaced by downloading a backup from the cloud.
Some “neobanks” such as UBank or Up offer debit cards that have zero international transaction fees so you can rest assured you’re not paying to get access to your own money (although what rate you get will be totally dependent on the time and place of purchase.)