Best Ways to Pay Overseas

Don’t let fees and unfavorable exchange rates drive up the cost of your vacation.

Although The strong dollar is encouraging Americans to venture abroad in search of bargains, stealthy fees and bad deals on exchange rates could still drive up the cost of swapping dollars for foreign currency.

Credit cards. Use plastic whenever possible; you will get a better exchange rate than at an ATM or exchange bureau. Recently, for example, the exchange rate through Visa was 0.903 euros for one dollar, compared with 0.798 from Travelex, one of the largest currency-exchange bureaus. On $1,000, that’s a difference of 105 euros.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.