Have you heard of it? Well if you hate paying the stupid exchange rate fees at the airport in order to get cash out in the local currency or you go to ATMS and pay exorbitant fees, this might be for you.
For my upcoming trip abroad I will be visiting two countries with different forms of currency. The pound and the euro. I recently reached out to a friend who lives in london and asked the best advice on how to deal with this money change. Should I pre-order here direct from my bank and pay an upcharge on the exchange rate, or should I do it at the airport and pay a service fee and an upcharge?
She suggested I get a travel card. My immediate thought was I have travel credit cards, you can't use them at ATMs and I am pretty sure charge a hefty fee if you do. And I don't have a debit card that works there since my bank is in the US. She said no its a travel card that you load up with the local currency and you can go to ATMS to take cash out. If you need more money you just transfer more from your bank (which its hooked up to) and then convert more at the current rate, which is $1.05 for the euro.
So I immediately looked into because I had no idea this existed. Turns out there are a couple different companies that offer this. I researched the US based ones and decided to go with Wise.
The thing I liked about this card was that they are upfront about the fees, and they transfer the currency at the current exchange rate rather than the upcharge ones at the airport or with your bank. They also don't charge a fee for the first two withdrawals. You can also use it to send people money or as a regular card. For me, I will only be using it for cash withdrawals from the ATM as I intend to use my credit card for all other purchases. Why? Well the points duh! But in the event I do need some cash, this is how I will do it. Best part? The card works at thousands of different ATMS.
I will do a recap after my trip to let you know my thoughts in using it but I already have a feeling that this definitely could have improved my currency exchange experience in Ireland.