So you're done with the flights and trains, you’ve checked into your accommodation – maybe you’ve even managed to find your way to the beach already. And now you’ve got plenty of time to plan the rest of your trip at your leisure! This hopefully shouldn’t involve a great deal of financial planning, as long as you keep in mind just a few handy tips.
Be aware of hidden exchange fees
Spending money abroad can be expensive, as traditional banks may charge you a much higher cost for using your card abroad, including foreign exchange transaction fees and less-than-great exchange rates. With a Monese account you get access to your money wherever you are, without being charged an extortionate fee. You can spend on your contactless Monese card and withdraw your cash without the worry of paying excess charges, within the allowance your pricing plan comes with. And you can always switch your plan whenever you need to – you can find more details on that here.
Pay in the local currency
We really recommend paying in the local currency wherever possible. Holidaymakers paying with their card are also subjected to unnecessary fees due to something called ‘dynamic currency conversion’ (DCC). These are alternative exchange rates offered by firms handling transactions in anything other than the local currency. You can read more about this right here.
Avoid fixed fee ATMs
Usually, people flock to these at airports – it's a very common way to get stung with much higher fees. When they see your card is issued in another country, many ATMs will try to offer you the option of using their own exchange rates (which is the dynamic currency conversion we were talking about earlier) or charge you a flat fee for letting your banking service do the conversion.
The best decision is to avoid these ATMs altogether – if you’re prompted to pay a flat fee (the machine has to warn you), just cancel the transaction and look for another machine that allows you to choose the currency and doesn’t charge you a fee to do so.
Lock and unlock your card
Another recommendation is to keep your Monese card locked whenever you’re not using it (while flying, exercising, commuting etc). Locking your card is an easy-to-use security feature accessible within the Card section of the app. One thing to remember, however, is that you will need data connectivity on your phone in order to unlock it again – so make sure to keep your phone charged.
Locking your card is also the first thing you should do if you lose it. That way, if someone tries to illicitly use it, they won’t be able to complete any transactions and the app will immediately let you know about any unsuccessful attempts by someone else.
Pay with your phone
With Monese, you can also pay with just a tap of your phone. By setting up your cards on Apple Pay or Google Pay, you can pay in-store anywhere in the world where the contactless symbol is displayed. It’s much more secure, too – because your phone will generate a code that’s unique for each transaction (it’s also called a token), so your card details won’t actually be exposed to the merchant.
And there you have it... Our top tips for making the most of your money abroad! If you have any of your own you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them – just let us know on social media via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.