Save Money on Your Money While Traveling Abroad

Trim the costs you pay when using plastic overseas and getting foreign currency.

Traveling abroad is rarely a cheap proposition. For a recent trip to Europe, I searched for bargain airfares and lodging online, which helped rack up some savings. But another area I found ripe for trimming: the fees on the money you use to pay for goods and services overseas. I'd rather put my money toward admission to a historic site, for instance, or to taste the local cuisine than waste it on obtaining the foreign currency I need to pay for those treats. Here's how you can save:

Go plastic. Credit cards offer some of the most favorable currency exchange rates. The exchange rate through Visa and MasterCard was recently 0.743 euros for one U.S. dollar, compared with 0.669 euros for a dollar from Travelex, one of the major exchange bureaus. "It's a noticeable difference," says Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for

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Rachel L. Sheedy
Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report