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Travel Tips: Foreign Money? What Not To Do When Exchanging Your Money

2073 ratings | 128440 views
Sonia Gil on the mysteries of exchanging Dollars for Yen, Yuan, Euro, Pesos and every other currency, plus how to deal debit and credit cards while traveling. The basics of currency exchange in three very entertaining minutes.
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Text Comments (171)
world news (1 month ago)
Your voice and your style.i so like
Brayden COPE (2 months ago)
Diana Preisser (2 months ago)
I'm going to Europe in two weeks and you just saved my ass <3
philip kal (4 months ago)
i travel all over the world and bank are not a good place to change currency. credit card are great . if you get a good one. there are so many card have no foreign transaction charge like chase sapphire. bank of america travel credit card and exchange rate is great. i am sorry but your information are not correct
Adittya Dash (4 months ago)
where are you from are you from France
roadforrunner (5 months ago)
Sonia,Im in France,Igo to the bank ATM,it gives me 2 options:one with the currency rate(in which it's terrible) and the other with a unknown,what do I do?
Bradwell Jackson (8 months ago)
Sonia, you are cute : )
CreditFast (8 months ago)
Don't assume just because your credit card is a "travel credit card" that it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. There are quite a few credit cards in the travel category that do. When in doubt just call your credit card company or look online. Taking that one small step can save you approximately 3% on all your credit card purchases abroad. American Express is known to have great perks for people that love to travel, but use the wrong one and you'll be surprised to see foreign transaction fees when you get home. The American Express Green Charge Card Charges foreign transaction fees while the gold and platinum charge cards do not. Easy for any traveler is to use a Capital One Card if you're not sure because none of their credit cards charge fees for currency conversion.
Immortal 86 (8 months ago)
Sonia you so fine you so fine you blow my mind!
Matteo Montanari (11 months ago)
worst type of woman ever.
MAJIK DIVA KNOWN BEST (11 months ago)
MAJIK DIVA KNOWN BEST (11 months ago)
2 Land (1 year ago)
Great video. Really clear!
Jake Moor (1 year ago)
Banks will not know what your credit card fees are you have to contact the company with whom you got your credit card
Monti Khan (1 year ago)
BEST EXCHANGE is the best for exchange your electronic money..And you can earn lot of money..no invest..no scam...its realits very easy...do you want earn daily $10-$20..look here https://goo.gl/FnfNhw
Faretrade (1 year ago)
Well now there is Faretrade App, no fees and exchange at the market rate @soniatravels you will have to do a revision video :)
M. Lee (1 year ago)
Don't the airport have a place to exchange your currency to the country you are at?
Robert Bruce (1 year ago)
M. Le airports are notorius for giving the worst possible rates because of the convenience. You can be gauged a whopping 10 pct!
CNVideos (1 year ago)
Exchange money with fellow travelers at the officially published rate.
Don Lee (1 year ago)
Great fun informative advice, and traveling tips.
gurlio (1 year ago)
Chase credit cards does not charge foreign transaction fees. You can also earn points each time you use it. The only downfall is they charge you an annual $90 fee for using the card, the first year is free however. The more you use the card, the more points you earn and you'll eventually earn back the annual fee.
Mellie Vern (1 year ago)
What a beauty. You look like Karen Carpenter. Thanks for the good ideas.
AmandaWithLov3 (1 year ago)
PROTIP: Capital One does not charge any credit card fees abroad,
Joanne Rico (1 year ago)
thank you, Sonia, for sharing these very useful tips. right after I watched your video, I called my credit card company and requested to activate my card for international use. only then had I realized that I would not be able to use my credit card had I not called them to activate. thank you for saving my trip to US. you are my angel. God bless you more. =)
Mike of Indy (1 year ago)
I could look at your pretty face 8 days a week
Mike of Indy (1 year ago)
Christine Lombardo thanks, I hope she thinks so too lol
Christine Lombardo (1 year ago)
What a sweet thing to say! You're a romantic!
You Rock!!!!
惜之姜 (1 year ago)
I just want to ask..If i can only bring visa debit card in Europe? I don't have a credit card and it will be my first time to go abroad and study there, I really worry about using money
Jada Crouch (1 year ago)
look up the Global ATM Alliance and consider getting a card with a bank that is a part of it in order to help further reduce fees paid at ATMs when making withdrawals in foreign currencies.
Sam Rooney (1 year ago)
Liam Bacon (1 year ago)
so rude that was actually very helpful. leave ur negitivity somewhere else
Anton K (1 year ago)
*Among hundreds of exchangers where Internet users can exchange electronic money, only slightly over forty most reliable ones with flawless reputations and high business levels are included in the online monitoring service* https://www.bestchange.com/?p=71622 Its convenient interface allow you choose e-currency exchange services with the best rates at the moment. This exchanger monitoring service provides exhaustive information on selected exchangers starting from the most important thing – the exchange rate – and ending with the exchanger reserve and its business level – a kind of reliability index given to the participating exchanger by the WebMoney system.It take just one click to go from the monitoring table to the exchanger and carry out all necessary operations – the service saves not only your money, but your time as well because you exchange money using the very exchange rate that you see in the table.
Julijana Tomicevic (1 year ago)
Love your videos Sonia!!! I'm preparing for a trip to Italy and would like to know where I can look to buy tickets to the museums or anything really so I don't have to wait in long lines???? Please and thank you :)
Hannibal730 (2 years ago)
the painting on the desk is eerie but intriguing.
Shuai Han (2 years ago)
stop behaving like idiot. so damn annoying
Ghost2960 (2 years ago)
Get the Amazon.ca Rewards Visa if you're Canadian. Zero exchange fees with Visa' exchange rates and no annual rate.
alexkg1 (2 years ago)
TY Sonia! This was very informative!
Daniel Keenan (2 years ago)
if you go to England with a American express and if you get money out of a atm what is not your banks atm it will not charge you in the uk
VanMedia (2 years ago)
So what should I do if I want to exchange my.dollars in cash for Vietnamese dong then? U said not to use currency exchange places
tookie anacalypsis (2 years ago)
atm machines
Elvis E (2 years ago)
good advice, but wow you're annoying. but good advice
Pat TheHombre (2 years ago)
Suggestion: cut the drama and just say what you want to tell viewers.
Arthur Dicrescento (6 months ago)
agree shes annoying as hell
A.J B (1 year ago)
Having bad day ?!!!
Midhat Sibonjic (2 years ago)
hi everyone ,if anyone else needs to find out about forex trading plan try Loctavan Amazing Exchange Strategy (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my m8 got great results with it.
British_Mummy (2 years ago)
What would be the best option to get cash? My toddler and I are going to be traveling to England towards the end of this year for 6 months =)
Desi Eka Rahmayani (2 years ago)
Hi sonia! it's so glad to know you and watch your videos, they are helping me so much! I am so glad that I am going aboard to Russia as my very first time in my life on this month. It feels like I cannot wait to go to Russia!. However, I have some questions, is that right we have to use the original windows on our laptop? some people said that international airport are not allowed fake software or etc. Do you have some advice?
Mark Santucci (3 years ago)
Hey David I'm not Sonia but I have your answer depending upon where you live if your Mall has those places set up that might be cheaper than going into your city and doing it there. I would also suggest a Mall over your bank, unless you have a checking account with them, savings, credit card and a Mortage then you would get a better rate at your bank than the Mall. but aside from having lots of account set ups The Mall should be your best bet. I would pick the Mall over any city and any bank.
David Nguyen (3 years ago)
Hello Sonia, where do you recommend making currency exchanges??
Matthew _ Ian _ (3 years ago)
+David Nguyen banks
Dhammagavesi Bhikkhu (3 years ago)
I worked in a Bank so can safely say that it is cheaper to use credit cards then Atm withdrawal. And the money exchange is the worst not including the scams. Watch YouTube for the scams. One more thing is all credit card transactions happens in dollars so if you purchase something in Euro it's converted to Dollars then your local currency (for me say Rupees) so each time a conversion happens there is a fee. So if fee is 3% then you pay 6% and on top of this the local country service tax. The part that some banks don't charge fee is suspect as it is part of visa/mastercard policy bank don't have much say in that.
Kevin Aponte (3 years ago)
Hi Sonia, when you say currency exgange are evil, and to stay away from those you mean it is better to get money from an ATM if you ever need cash than traveling with cash to exgange?
Lady Stardust (3 years ago)
+Kevin Aponte I was reading about this the other day, apparently it's better to get from the atm when you get to your destination, and check with your bank on atms to use, and to save on fees draw the highest amont out each time.. And you apparently get a a way better deal too.
mo17 b (3 years ago)
and i agree that calling your bank regarding your visa and debit card before leaving is a most.
mo17 b (3 years ago)
maan she is so beuitiful that i forgot how to spell buitiful !!
Christine Lombardo (1 year ago)
You are sweet!
Good vibe (3 years ago)
Hi Sonia!Thanks for the tips!
legendofmudkip (3 years ago)
Thank you so much for this video. I didn't think about my card being locked. Now I made sure to set a travel notice :)
Jill Reichenberger (3 years ago)
Hey Sonia! I was told that it was better to use an ATM vs. credit card. True or no?
Smuel Tadlock (3 years ago)
Your bank can and most likley will hit you with fees for each transaction you make. Another big thing is the EU doing away with slide cards, they are switching to chip banking cards so the old slide readers are getting rare. BTW I've run into cash only businesses so you will more than likely have to exchange $CASH$. What I did last year when I went to Scotland was hit up a (CASINO) in Edinbrough; they exchanged my money at the casino with no fees. Yes NO FEES just that days exchange rate! FYI the casinos in the UK are a little different, you cannot just walk in and start playing, you have to sign up for a free membership;PS Don't wear shorts to a Casino in the UK.
Michael Kukula (3 years ago)
If you live or work in San Francisco, get a bank account with SF Fire Credit Union. They don't charge any foreign currency or exchange fees when you use your card abroad at an ATM or a store. If the local atm has a withdrawal fee, the SFFCU will reimburse those fees.
napa modesto (4 years ago)
Not sure about this but it makes sense to me to create a bank account with a large international bank that has branches on your home country and the countries you will visit as well.  After that talk to the bank to see which kind of account allows you to transfer and exchange your money overseas with the best rates. Mostly it would be in ATM form or a credit card as travelers checks are becoming obsolete. Preferably change the money in your home country before even leaving and have it transferred overseas in advance. Give it around a month or 2 leeway. I welcome any comment contrary to this but having surfed some banks that seems to be the best way to go about that. One thing I am certain about is DO NOT change your money at the airport if you don't want your vacation ruined as ours was. 
Ashley Gray (4 years ago)
hey sonia! do you have any suggestions on types of credit cards and how they work? i don't currently have a credit card - i just have a debit card (that has a mastercard part to it so I can swipe it as credit - still comes out of debit, though - my dad also works for the airlines, so I can fly anywhere in the U.S. standby for free, but int'l have to pay the tax portion...and if I need to go on an airline that is not in our network, then have to pay for those - so travel rewards could be good :-) 
Jorge Villalobos (4 years ago)
Thank you! I needed this so much.
Oli Caroline (4 years ago)
I'm so glad that I found you! I'm often in Poland but live in the UK and cashiers etc always ask me "charge in British pound sterling or polish zlotys?" and I didn't know what was the difference. Finally I know! And luckily, I always took local "Polish zlotys" option in these situations :D
Oli Caroline (2 years ago)
Well, it was long time ago, I don't remember what she said, but local = the place where you are. So if I am in Poland, Polish zlotys is local currency.
Kent Sandidge (4 years ago)
U r not frence
TheMiffy7 (4 years ago)
So, I am about to travel the world and have been looking for a bank card. I found a credit card that promises no fees and interest free for 55 days (28 degree master card). I was wondering if this is true, then how do these card make money? Is it only off people who dont pay their balances before the interest free due date? How does this concept compare to say a cash passport? Great video btw, thanks.
Avanti Morocha (4 years ago)
+ShanteRoxxane Chase doesn't charges foreign currency fees 
ShanteRoxxane (4 years ago)
Capital one charges no foreign currency fees and 0% APR for at least 6 months. You'd be better off with that. And there's no annual fee. I just applied for the Quiksilver card.
Simone N. (4 years ago)
Should I exchange my USD for foreign currency here in the US or wait until I go abroad? 
Simone N. (2 years ago)
Awesome, thanks. I'm thinking of going to Japan one day.
Melissa (4 years ago)
I always exchange about $50-100 for whatever currency I need at my starting airport just in case I'll need it right after I land!
Morris Yarnell (4 years ago)
I find that if I take money to my bank and buy Euros and have them deposited to an ATM card, I can use the card in Europe. When I return I exchange them back to dollars and it all goes rather smoothly. Have done this for three trips, even one to South Africa.
kolmenoitaa (4 years ago)
A really helpful thing to do is to make a small chart in your wallet before you go out shopping. 5$ is xx€, 10$ is xx€, 15$ is xx€, etc... it really helps guage how much you're really spending and to tell whether or not the item is really worth it!
ramon mendoza (4 years ago)
I wish someone would have told me this to... Went to Venice..l exchanged 500$ at the airport and got 250€ back. Every exchange booth after was just as terrible. Ruined the whole trip, and all of expectations of riding in a gondola!!!
Yazmin G (4 years ago)
how and where can you exchange your physical money-cash? at any random bank or the airport? traveling for the first time and its a little nerve racking :/
Ottmar Brandau (4 years ago)
I always get some money from my bank before I go. The exchange houses in Bogota and Shanghai may not charge you a fee (even though there are some that do) but they give you a crappy rate. I was just in Bogota and the Dollar was at 2040 and they gave me 1900, that's 5.1% difference. I had forgotten to get money beforehand!
kolmenoitaa (4 years ago)
+miamihurricane555 I've never been in an international airport (at least regarding Heathrow, Helsinki, Schiphol, Hamburg, Düsseldorf) and found a good exchange rate. Really, most of them are truly rip offs so I wouldn't even risk it. Maybe there are some honest and good exchange counters, but I've never seen them and it's definitely worth waiting or just exchanging at your own bank prior to travelling. The airport is always a tourist trap.
miamihurricane555 (4 years ago)
+kolmenoitaa Not True the currency exchanges in Bogota's EL Dorado airport do not charge you a penny nor does Beijing's Capital airport or Tokyo Narita Airport. What is true is the US airports are horrible when exchanging currency. never had issues in other countries exchanging currencies at the INTERNATIONAL airport. If u are talking about flying inside another country then you can forget it, domestic airports are a horrible place to do an exchange.
Yazmin G (4 years ago)
thanks for the tip!
kolmenoitaa (4 years ago)
NEVER exchange at the airport!!! They will always give you the worst exchange rate. If you can, exchange at your local bank at home or see if you can exchange at a local bank at your location where you are travlling.
yudeny Fernandez (4 years ago)
Que tarjeta de credito recomiendas para iniciar en eeuu
Lina Strindlund (4 years ago)
is the water really clean there? :P 
Jessica Owyoung (4 years ago)
Can you do a piece on which credit cards have the best travel rewards for domestic and international travel???? Pleaaaseeee!!
Cassidy S (4 years ago)
Credit cards are great for ATMs, but a lot of European card readers do not work with the common American swipe cards.  :/
Mark Asmundson (4 years ago)
Thanks, Sonia, great information. Like you, I have made most of the travelers currency exchange mistakes you mention--and more. I have recently switched my banking to Andrews federal credit union--as in Andrews Art Force base. And I live on the west coast. (And this is not an ad for the credit union!) It is easy to join--all was done online. Why would I do this? No foreign transaction fees--either for the ATM card or the credit card and the only "chip with a pin" Visa card that I am aware of in the USA (specify the Globe Trek Visa). It is logical that AFCU would offer these features when you consider that its core membership consists of  US military personnel, many stationed in Europe. The credit union even has physical branches in Europe. And you can make mobile deposits from any location using your smart phone or a scanner. Thanks for the continued great information. Ciao.
Bua Schmidy (4 years ago)
Capitalone and Amex (only certain credit cards) are no longer charging fees! yay for me. 
Bua Schmidy (2 years ago)
+Woosung58 Amex do have credit cards that you don't have to pay in full. Platinum and Premier rewards gold do require to pay in full. Unless they offer you to pay over time. Delta Amex, Everyday Amex on the other hand do not request a pay in full in one cycle.
Timothy Larson (4 years ago)
The Charles Schwab Investor Checking account with the cash card is my answer... It's a free account with a VISA cash card, no foreign transaction fees and they reimburse you for any fees charged by the ATMs
Peter Mangione (4 years ago)
When you arrive, go to ATM and take out all the money you will need for your trip! this will save on more fees. Derek is right on all this!
Derek Koonce (5 years ago)
Best solution I have found... 1. When you arrive, use your ATM to pull local currency cash from local ATM - you get best exchange rate, plus foreign bank fee (minor). 2. Use the cash during the time there. 3. Anything left? Use it for paying hotel bill. Any balance left - use the credit card. This is the simple way to look at it. My tip - use a 4-digit PIN. Some foreign banks cannot handle more digits.
Kevin Reed (5 years ago)
So far for me caption one is the best no fee n most places take visa
MyRandomCommentsXD (5 years ago)
Here's another money saver: don't spend your money on stupid, useless stuff tourists tend to buy
Hisham Alkaddour (1 year ago)
MyRandomCommentsXD بل عربية
SweetIndiaGirl (5 years ago)
Thank you so much. I subscribed straight away. Thank you for helping us travelling grasshoppers! :)
brod2man (5 years ago)
Cool video. But I have MORE questions. I leave for China next week and my Aus dollar has just started to drop pretty significantly. It used to be 1AUD = 6.5CNY (chinese yuan) Now it is 1AUD = 5.5CNY And still dropping. I wonder what is the best approach to this. Should I buy as much CNY cash as I can now? Should I trade in a third currency such as USD? Since my bank doesn't allow me to store CNY on my 'travel-money card' (overseas ATM card). Is Western Union a useful place?? AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH
Jae Lee (5 years ago)
I believe Capital One doesn't have any exchange fees. Also, your bank may have a partnership with a local bank to where ever you're going which will allow you to draw money without paying fees. For example, BofA has a partnership with Deutsche Bank, in which case drawing money from a DB ATM will be cheapest for someone with a BofA account. I've also been told that a European ATM card with the chip may not work in certain Asian countries. I guess I'll find out when I go to Korea tomorrow.
kamjc (5 years ago)
Never been asked that third question before.
kamjc (5 years ago)
Huh. Never asked
ajs (5 years ago)
Just saved me i was planing to go to japan and i was wandering how to exchange dollars for yen THANK YOU
coplini (5 years ago)
Can you help with some sort of information on out of country medical coverage?
soniastravels (5 years ago)
Thank you!! :)
hBeix (5 years ago)
love thia video. and for all the Australians watching and looking for a great travel credit card, defs check out 28 degrees mastercard (GE Money). going to use it on my holiday in vietnam and thailand! no conversion or international fees! woohoo
soniastravels (6 years ago)
Thanks for sharing!
raeesmerelda (6 years ago)
Be careful if you're going to Japan though; not everywhere will accept credit cards (read: the mall and big stores, and that's about it), and most people deal entirely in cash.
saad chalya (6 years ago)
how can i enjoy a week with my wife this winter in Amsterdam? i mean vacation in winter and summer changes every thing, oh yeh and what to wear in really gold weather. I'm living in Qatar so you know.
saad chalya (6 years ago)
you are very good in this ,,,,,,you gona make money girl.
sasitharan thambirajah (6 years ago)
good action
sasitharan thambirajah (6 years ago)
i love you!
thursday315 (6 years ago)
I actually was able to exchange money in many places while in Sofia Bulgaria at the EXACT rates as posted on xe.com! I was greatly surprised! It's not impossible the get the exact rate!
Sharon S (6 years ago)
I totally agree with you, Sonia! My credit card stopped working after I made an expensive purchase aboard and I had no idea about that. Well, not until I went into the next store only to find out that I could no longer purchase anything. Talk about embarrassing!! So everyone, definitely follow Sonia's tip on calling the bank, you'll thank her later!! x
sandyrachel49 (6 years ago)
So for the transaction, do we go to our bank before we leave to convert our dollars to Euros or do we go to a bank over there? I got confused, sorry.
evita4u (6 years ago)
Mmm very useful tips! thank u ;)
soniastravels (6 years ago)
SuperLizardBean (6 years ago)
that's a good idea, I think Sonia should go!
SuperLizardBean (6 years ago)
:) wow I got a very good new reason to look forward to mondays! :)
SuperLizardBean (6 years ago)
oh wow thank you :) but can you use a debt card instead of a credit? or should I ask my bank this :P anyway thank you again :) and please do a vlog on Packing like @LovisaTheLion said!
Sonia, you should post daily!
soniastravels (6 years ago)
Thanks :)
NormanVsNorman (6 years ago)
Very helpful Sonia! Great vid as always... Keep on!
jermz2 (6 years ago)
what about travelers cheques? i used them when i went to Thailand. what are your thoughts?

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