Exchanging currency at the airport is something you should avoid as it hardly holds any advantages. The only good thing about buying foreign currency at the airport is that it allows you the opportunity to do so at the last minute when you really have no choice. Your first option should be to buy it online before you go. This way, with some time and careful planning, you have the opportunity to save some money.
Here are some of the main reasons why you should never buy foreign currency at an airport.
1. Airports Charge A Lot
Airports have service fees and all kinds of other fees and as a result, they will charge you a lot more money. You will pay a lot less if you were to buy foreign currency at a local currency exchange service or even an online service. Another problem is also closing times and long queues. You may not even get the opportunity. The best thing to do is to use a currency exchange service away from the airport, because you will save a lot more money.
The money that you save can be used for other things on your trip abroad. Using an airport currency service, you will never save on anything, no matter what currency you purchase.
2. Timing A Purchase For Best Results
One strategy that many savvy customers use is to try and time the purchase. This is something that may take days though, but with the money saved, it is certainly a viable option for many people. You need to time it so that your currency is favourable when compared to the foreign currency you wish to purchase.
To do this, you need to go to a reputable website that will constantly update the exchange rates regularly and to keep a close watch. Once you get a rough idea on how these fluctuations work, you will feel a little more confident. This is where the timing comes in.
If you know that your currency is strong on a particular given day, then you can get a great deal. If you don’t feel confident, you can always call a currency expert who can offer you some useful advice.
3. Lack Of Competition
Airport currency exchanges know what they are doing! They realize that there is very little competition because travellers have very, very few options. This is one of the main reasons airport exchanges don’t offer competitive rates. In fact, you could also consider them to be a little sneaky in the way they do business.
Remember that currency exchange companies can set their own rates and can update them at their discretion. What many airport currency exchanges do is to update rates only when it is beneficial for them and not the customer. If you have no choice, then you’re pretty much stuck and have to accept it.
4. Additional Fees
One of the reasons an airport currency exchange charges all kinds of fees is because the airport is charging them as well. They would go bust if they did not counter this in any way, so the money they pay to the airport for operating fees and such is recuperated from travellers in the form of higher fees.
Using an airport currency exchange is convenient at the last minute or if you have no choice. These places operate knowing this. If you can spend a little time and effort in other ways, you will save yourself a lot of hassle and money. If you can, try to avoid an airport currency exchange and you will have more money in your wallet.