international travel

Planning an international vacation this summer? Read this blog before you take-off!

Are you among the one-third of Americans planning to take advantage of the strong dollar with an international vacation this summer? If the answer is yes, then listen up! The leading credit card comparison website, CardHub, has just released its annual Currency Exchange Study in order to help travelers determine the easiest and most affordable ways to convert currency when traveling abroad.

With the banking system becoming increasingly digital, it makes sense that the easiest way to buy things in a foreign currency is with plastic. Why waste the time exchanging physical currency and risk carrying it around when a credit card handles the process automatically and gives the best possible exchange rates in the process? You’re going to save relative to a bank or airport kiosk exchange no matter what card you use, but getting a credit card with no foreign fees is an easy way to reduce costs even more. Just remember to get such a card before booking anything through a foreign-based company because if the transaction gets processed outside of the U.S., it will trigger a foreign surcharge.

CardHub’s editors also selected 2015’s Best Credit Cards & Checking Accounts for International Spending. They suggest you use a no foreign transaction fee credit card for the majority of international spending (this includes purchases made through foreign-based companies while still in the United States). The editors also provide a number of helpful Money-Saving Travel Tips! Here are a few highlights of the study:

  • A no foreign transaction fee credit card on the Visa or MasterCard network is the cheapest currency conversion mechanism available to consumers. The average bank and Travelex location charge 5.88% and 9.05% more, respectively.
  • CardHub surveyed 35 of the 50 largest credit unions, and only four offer currency conversion services.
  • Consumers receive 22.39% more euros per dollar this year relative to 2014, thanks to the dollar’s recent strength.
  • While the overall cost of converting currency at a national bank has decreased 13% on average relative to last year and Travelex has also seen an 11% price drop, credit unions are now charging 10% more than in 2014.

If you want help planning your international vacation this summer, check out Destination Europe Online for a custom tailored trip. If you want help finding or selling your luxury abode or winery, vineyard, estate, or new construction in Napa Valley, please contact me at 707-738-4820 or email [email protected]. I am happy to discuss the extraordinary properties that are not available on the open market or to get moving on selling your home in this beautiful part of the world.

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