Best Places to Exchange Money Abroad

7-Eleven Japan

7-Eleven Japan

You step foot of your overnight, red-eye flight and are immediately inundated with new sights, sounds, and a complete sensory overload. This quick guide will hopefully help you in how to find the best places to exchange money abroad without blowing your budget.

If your up for taking out a large amount of money or paying fees, the ATM is always your best best. Most banks are now stepping up to the plate with minimizing foreign transaction fees. Or in some cases, even refunding a certain amount of fees per month. Usually when traveling, I’ve found 7-Eleven’s are the best for providing no-fee services. They have over 52,000 locations! You can view their locations below:

When traveling internationally, always know what the exchange rate is prior to landing. Exchange rates won’t change too much while you’re in transit. So, this will give you a better idea of what to expect when you withdraw money from the ATM. There was one exchange in Budapest that would actually drop the rates (not good) as it neared the time when everyone would go out for a drink.

Your next best bet outside of ATMs are probably the actual currency exchange businesses. Keep away from the ones in the airports and always keep in mind that these are a business. Most of the “no-fee” exchanges will give you a lower exchange rate as compared to the daily rate.

If you’re not looking at exchanging money at a currency exchange, you can look into getting a debit or credit card that has no transaction fees and no international ATM fees.

I can’t speak to using traveller’s checks. I would be willing to bet that most places in off-the-beaten-path countries won’t be accepting traveller’s checks.

Finally, I always make sure to carry a little bit of United States Dollars just in case I ever need it in case of an emergency. This could be for anything from a taxi driving you around various suburbs in Tokyo to grabbing a snack from a convenient store.

Hopefully these tips will help you be better prepared for your next trip.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.