What You Need To Know When Buying Foreign Currency

5 October 2011

Buying foreign currency ahead of your travel date is the practical approach to avoid nightmarish experiences when travelling abroad. You avoid queuing up in long lines with other travelers just to get your money exchanged to the local currency. You won’t fall victim to excessive exchange rates and other fees in airports, hotels and local money changers. Best of all, you need not pay the 3% surcharge every time you use your credit card abroad.

There are important things though that you need to know too when buying it.

• The United States Treasury Department has put in place some restrictions as an aftermath of 911. They now require additional information from buyers of foreign currencies in any amount with more information required for purchases worth $10,000 and up. You need to fill up all the required information before you can push through with any foreign currency transaction.
• You also need to provide your Social Security Number for every transaction. Without it no transaction can be processed.
• Some banks or money changers may require additional identification cards from you to establish your identity

Buying it online from online money changers is the fastest way to secure those much needed foreign currency before you travel abroad. This may however entail some risks which are inherent with all online transactions involving money. Here are ways to avoid them

• Deal Only With Reputable Online Money Changers or Money Brokers. You should always check their “About Us” page to get their credentials. They will usually publish a list of some of their prestigious clients. Get feedback from their clients.
• Fast and Secured Processing & Shipping. Only choose brokers with a next-day delivery policy and uses a reliable courier service that can be tracked and traced.
• Make sure the site is secured. Check if they have reliable encryption technology employed and that their electronic check conversion process is FDIC and NACHA approved.
• Check if the broker has a refund policy. Choose a broker who will buy back your unused foreign currencies at the same rate you bought them. This way, you don’t worry about losing value for left over or unused currencies you may have.

Do not attempt to source out your requirements from the black market. Not only is it illegal, you may also get counterfeit currency instead. Buying foreign currency on line is always the better choice – just make sure it is with a reliable broker.


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