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How to Get the Best Exchange Rates While Traveling Abroad from the Philippines

How to Get the Best Exchange Rates While Traveling Abroad from the Philippines

23 Oct 2023

The experience of traveling overseas can be thrilling and enlightening, but it also demands careful financial planning for it to be feasible. Keeping track of currency exchange rates while traveling abroad is essential to the experience. Finding the best currency exchange rates can help you save money as a visitor from the Philippines and ensure you get the most out of your trip. In this blog, we will review some helpful tips on acquiring the most significant exchange rates outside the Philippines using Philippine pesos as our base currency. In this blog, we will also talk about how to get the best online exchange rates when you send money to Philippines. Keep on reading and find out.

How Exchange Rates Work

Exchange rates show how much one piece of money is worth to another. They change constantly and can differ from one money exchange to the next. If you want to get the best deal when exchanging Philippine Pesos (PHP) for other currencies, like US Dollars (USD) or Euros (EUR), you should pay attention to the exchange rate.

The "buy" rate and the "sell" rate are the two types of exchange rates. The "buy" rate is the rate at which a currency exchange service will buy foreign currency from you, and the "sell" rate is the rate at which they will sell foreign currency to you. The "buy" rate is usually lower than the "sell" rate, and the gap between the two is called the "spread." The money exchange service makes more money the more extensive the spread.

Now, let's talk about how to get the best exchange rates when going from the Philippines to another country.

Consider the Costs Associated with Converting Currencies

When exchanging one currency for another, there is always a fee associated with the transaction. This is referred to as the currency conversion fee, and the amount it costs might differ significantly from one currency exchange specialist to the next. Before you exchange your currency, it is essential to determine the cost because this will dramatically affect the total amount you receive.

Research Exchange Rates in Advance

It is a good idea to research the currency exchange rates of the country you will be traveling to before you leave on your trip. It is crucial to remember that the exchange rates might differ from one currency exchange provider to another, so it is essential to compare the rates offered by various sources, such as banks, money changers, and online currency converters. Find a source of currency exchange that is dependable and well-known in the industry and gives competitive rates.

Avoid Exchanging Currency at Airports or Tourist locations

You should avoid exchanging currency at airports or tourist locations to get the best exchange rate. This is because currency exchange providers at airports and tourist regions tend to have higher overhead costs and provide less favorable conversion rates. Avoid exchanging currency at any of these locations. Instead, it is recommended that you look for places that trade currencies in commercial districts or local markets because these places are more likely to offer competitive rates.

Use Credit Cards or Debit Cards with Low Fees for Using Them in Other Countries

When traveling overseas, paying for things with a credit or debit card can be easy. But be aware that some credit and debit cards may charge high foreign transaction fees for every transaction made in a foreign currency. These fees can quickly add up and take a big bite of your travel money. Find credit or debit cards with cheap or no foreign transaction fees for the best exchange rates. Also, it's a good idea to let your bank or credit card company know about your trip plans so that your card doesn't get blocked or a fraud alert goes off.

Choose the Local Currency 

When you shop abroad, you may have the choice of paying in your home or local currency. Most of the time, it's best to use local money because the exchange rate used by the store may not be the best. Some merchants may charge you a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fee to convert your buy amount to your home currency. This can add to your costs. Paying in local money is always the best way to get the best exchange rates.

Be Careful with Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is a service that some merchants give that lets you pay for a purchase in your home currency instead of the local currency. Even though it may seem easy, DCC can have high fees and alarming exchange rates. The transaction cost will increase if the merchant adds a markup to the exchange rate. So, it would help if you were careful with DCC and always paid in the local currency to avoid extra fees and get the best exchange rates.

Avoid Changing Your Money at Currency Exchange Booths Found at Tourist Attractions

Like currency exchange providers at airports or tourist regions, currency exchange booths at prominent tourist attractions may provide less advantageous exchange rates due to their position and the customers they are trying to attract. To obtain better exchange rates, it is in your best interest to avoid using these booths and instead choose currency exchange providers located in local markets or commercial locations.

Think About Using the ATMs Locally

Using the ATMs locally might be an easy option to withdraw cash while traveling overseas. This is because you will be able to receive the currency of the destination country at the exchange rate that is now in effect. However, you should be aware that the fees associated with using ATMs in other countries can differ from one bank to another and from one ATM operator to another. Withdrawal costs, fees associated with overseas transactions, and ATM operator fees are all examples of possible fees. Look for automated teller machines (ATMs) associated with big banks to receive the best exchange rates, and try to withdraw more significant amounts of cash to keep the fees to a minimum.

Avoid Carrying Too Much Cash

It is crucial to have enough cash on hand for your trips; however, carrying too much money can be unsafe and may result in extra fees for currency exchange or conversion. While having enough cash for your travels is important, it is also important to only carry a little cash. It is recommended that you take a sufficient quantity of money with you for your urgent expenses and rely on credit cards or debit cards for transactions that are higher in value. This way, you will have to carry less cash, lowering your chances of stealing or losing it.

Be Aware of Local Currency and Exchange Regulations

Different nations may have various currency regulations, so it is essential to be aware of them to avoid any problems. Some nations may require you to convert a particular amount of money when you enter or leave the country, or they may limit the amount of local currency are allowed to enter or leave the country with. It is in your best interest to become familiar with the local currency restrictions of the nation you will be visiting and make sure that you comply with those regulations to obtain the most favorable exchange rates and avoid any penalties.

Maintain a Keen Observation of Trends in Exchange Rates

Because exchange rates are subject to change throughout your trip, it is essential to observe trends in exchange rates to ensure that your decisions regarding whether to exchange or withdraw money are well-informed. You may keep track of changes in exchange rate trends through the use of online currency converters or websites that provide financial news. Then you can engage in currency exchange transactions at suitable times.

Currency exchange rates are an essential part of traveling internationally. As a Filipino tourist, getting the best exchange rates can help you save money and get the most out of your trip. You can increase your chances of getting the best exchange rates while traveling abroad by researching exchange rates ahead of time, avoiding currency exchange places at airports or in tourist areas, using credit cards or debit cards with low foreign transaction fees, choosing local currency, being careful with DCC, thinking about local ATMs, not carrying too much cash, knowing local currency and exchange rules, and keeping an eye on exchange rate trends. 

Wrap Up

Always be careful, research, and choose a good currency exchange company to ensure your currency exchange goes smoothly and saves you money when you travel. Additionally, when you send money to Philippines from abroad, you should compare different service providers. Compare the exchange rates of online vs offline service providers because online service providers give you a better rate than the market rate. As a bonus tip, use ACE Money Transfer for remittances to the Philippines. It is a free, swift, and secure online money transfer service.


1: What are exchange rates, and why do they matter when traveling abroad from the Philippines?

Answer: Exchange rates determine the value of one currency in terms of another. They matter because they affect the cost of your international transactions, making it essential to get the best rates to save money while traveling.

2: How can I get the best exchange rates when converting the Philippine Pesos (PHP) to another currency?

Answer: To get the best exchange rates, consider using reputable exchange services, compare rates at different providers, avoid airport or tourist area exchange kiosks, and time your currency exchange when rates are favorable.

3: Should I exchange currency before leaving the Philippines or at my destination abroad?

Answer: It's often better to exchange a small amount of currency before your trip for immediate expenses and then exchange the rest at your destination, where you may get more competitive rates and lower fees.

4: Are there any additional tips for getting the best exchange rates when using ATMs or credit/debit cards abroad?

Answer: When using ATMs or cards, select options that charge lower or no foreign transaction fees, withdraw larger amounts at once to minimize fees, and consider prepaid travel cards with favorable rates.

5: What precautions should I take to avoid scams or unfavorable rates when exchanging money abroad from the Philippines?

Answer: To avoid scams and unfavorable rates, research exchange providers, avoid unofficial or unregulated sources, double-check rates and fees, and be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true. Always count your money and confirm the exchange rate before completing a transaction.



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