Which bank offers the best exchange rate

Exchange money before the trip? How to find the best exchange rate!

Which is better: change money before vacation / travel at home or in the vacation country? How do you find the best exchange rate? Here you will find the best tips!

Table of Contents

How to get the best exchange rate when traveling:

Before traveling, you should first check the current exchange rate for the currency in the holiday country. Sites like oanda.com or xe.com provide an overview and orientation for exchanging money on site. Please note: exchange rates change daily.

Strong currencies, e.g. the Norwegian krone or the Swiss franc, should be exchanged at home to get the best rate. Weak currencies, e.g. Eastern Europeans, are best changed locally at the travel destination.

Where to change money Exchange offices, banks, etc.

When changing money at home in Germany or in the travel destination, whether at exchange offices or banks, you always pay fees. Sometimes more sometimes less. Even if money changers advertise not to charge them, the fees are then hidden in the exchange rate.

In Germany you can exchange money for foreign currencies at most banks such as Sparkasse or Postbank. Some banks such as the Reisebank or Travelex have specialized entirely in this business.

Changing money at foreign banks can be tricky. Depending on the country, time-consuming paperwork and often poor exchange rates make exchanging money there unattractive. (Serious) exchange offices are better.

Overview boards in exchange offices and banks show the current buying and selling rates (buy-sell). In most cases it is necessary to inquire whether a commission is required. So if you want to exchange euros for the local currency abroad, look at the buying rate. If you want to exchange the foreign currency back into euros, the selling rate counts.

Changing money on the street is usually not a good idea. It can go well, but it doesn't have to be. Professional scammers are always smarter than a tourist who has just arrived and does not know the local currency. Only in some countries with capital controls, such as Venezuela or Argentina, is the black market rate significantly better than the official exchange rate. Switching in this way is illegal, but it doesn't stop many from getting several 100% more for their money.

Withdraw money from the ATM

The best exchange rate when traveling is almost always obtained by withdrawing money from the local ATM. The exchange rates are based on the interbank rate and contain only minimal fees. Accounts with free international withdrawals are particularly recommended for this.

ATMs can be found almost everywhere around the world, e.g. at airports, train stations, shopping centers and, more generally, in cities and larger towns.

Not all credit cards are compatible with all ATMs. The most common machines are in the Visa network or Mastercard. If you want to be on the safe side, take a Visa card and a Mastercard with you. A cash reserve for the first few days completes this equipment as a backup.

Many products and services can be paid for abroad with credit cards. Credit card fees make this option more expensive than paying with cash.

What to do with too much foreign currency exchanged?

If there is foreign money left over at the end of the trip, it only makes sense to exchange it back for a certain amount; for small amounts, fees and commission make the change unattractive.

It is therefore best to spend the remaining money on site. The imagination knows no limits. A nice dinner, shopping to take home, snacks for the flight ...

And the rest? You can also get rid of small coins as a tip in the restaurant or as a donation to the local homeless.

You can pay with euros in these countries:

You don't always have to exchange money. Many countries have the euro as legal tender:

  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands (including Netherlands Antilles)
  • Austria
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Vatican city
  • Cyprus