Thinking about going on a vacation overseas? It seems simple, right? Just pick a destination, sort out your travel itinerary, book your tickets, apply for visa online, find a hotel, and you’re ready to go! But in reality, it’s not always that easy. If it were, we wouldn’t be here writing this, and you’d probably be lounging by a pool with a drink instead of reading this! Purchasing forex for your trip is an essential part of trip planning. This article will tell you about all the dos and don’ts for buying foreign currency in India that you need to comply with before you initiate your foreign currency exchange process. Take a look!

Do’s for buying Foreign Currency in India

  • Buy foreign currency online
a man buying forex online
Buying foreign currency online is quite easy
Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash

Buying foreign currency online is quite easy and convenient. Majority of the travel companies provide forex services online. The process is simple. After checking the forex rates, you will be required to share your documents online via email or WhatsApp. And here’s a bonus: with buying forex online, you can lock in an exchange rate ahead of time.

  • Compare the foreign currency exchange rates
a man comparing forex rates
Always compare the rates before buying
Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash

When you’re choosing insurance, it’s wise to shop around and compare different policies, right? Well, the same goes for exchange rates. The rate for converting money from one currency to another can differ depending on where you look, like different banks or money changers. Hence, always check and compare the foreign currency exchange rates.

  • Pick the best way to exchange your money
a tick on the phone
Choose the correct medium
Photo by Franck on Unsplash

Foreign currency exchange rates can vary slightly between different methods. It’s vital to choose the right one for your needs. For instance, if you’re sending money to a family member overseas, wire transfers are usually best. When traveling abroad, it’s often better to use a forex card instead of traveler’s checks. Also, banks may charge high commissions (around 5 to 6 percent) for traveler’s checks.

  • Pick a money changer authorized by the RBI
Indian currency
Always check if it is RBI approved
Photo by rupixen on Unsplash

There are many scams and fraudsters out there. So, when you’re checking foreign currency exchange rates or buying or selling foreign currency through a money changer, always check if they’re approved by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India).

  • Always negotiate
two people shaking hands
Do not foreget to negotiate
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

You might believe that foreign currency exchange rates are fixed, but many providers competing for your business are flexible. It’s worth trying to negotiate a better rate, especially for larger sums of money. If you’re exchanging less than $500, negotiating might not work. But for larger amounts or if you’re given a bad rate, it’s worth asking for a better deal, even at local banks.

Don’ts for buying Foreign Currency in India

  • Don’t buy too much
too much money on the table
Don’t buy a lot
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

When you see a great exchange rate, you might want to exchange a lot of money. But carrying a large sum of cash while traveling can be risky. If needed, you can always get more currency exchanged in the destination.

  • Avoid converting last moment
a stop watch in the hand
Avoid last minute buying
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Think about it: when you do last minute international flight ticket bookings online, it costs you a lot more. So, why would you do the same with exchanging currency? Exchanging money at the airport can be super expensive. They charge a big commission, usually around 10% to 15% of what you’re exchanging. Instead, do some research and plan ahead and purchase your foreign exchange well in advance.

  • Avoid falling for tricky deals
Special deal offer hoarding
Do not get tempted by offers
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Just like when a bank says they have no account fees or hotel offers up to 50% on hotel bookings, there’s usually a catch with deals that seem too good to be true. The same goes for currency exchange providers who advertise “no commission” services. Always check the details and do your research to find the best deal.

  • Stay away from traveler’s checks
Traveller's cheques on table
Traveller’s Cheques are outdates
Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash

They’re outdated. That’s why it’s best to avoid using them for your currency needs. Not all places accept them, and those that do may charge you anywhere from 3-5%.

  • Don’t exchange all your money in one go
a person counting cash
Divide it up
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Don’t put all your money in one place. Instead, divide it up. Exchange some for local currency, keep some in US dollars, and leave some in your bank account. This way, if something happens and you lose your cash, you’ll still have something to fall back on and won’t be left with nothing. Plus, in some countries, you might get better deals while booking international tour packages or when making purchases with US dollars.

Exchanging foreign currency in India might seem scary if you’re new to it. But with the right help and knowing what to do, you can do it well. Also, Akbar Travels provide complete foreign exchange services online.

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