That’s cause conversion rates are a bitch. – it’s a percentage you’re charged for withdrawing money from a foreign ATM because it has to convert your US dollars to the local currency.
Before you travel, sign up for a credit card that doesn’t charge conversion rates, often a travel rewards card. Otherwise you’ll get hit with 3-5% conversion fees each time you use your card.
That £7 latte and pumpkin bread you just bought?
Yeah. You just paid $12.82 for that (£7 x 3.5% conversion x 1.77 exchange rate to US dollars).
The exchange rate to euros and pounds still sucks, but any little bit helps.
Call your bank to find out what (if any) associate banks your home bank has in other countries.
Why? To avoid an ATM fee. You’ll still get hit with a conversion rate, but you don’t wanna get hit on both ends with a costly transaction fee.
Which reminds me, avoid multiple trips to the ATM unless you know for certain you’ll have access to an affiliate ATM. Otherwise you’ll pay the ATM fee multiple times.
Yup. Math can suck a fat one.