Why You Should Pay in Local Currency When Traveling

If you travel often and pay using credit or debit cards, you've probably been asked: "Would you like to pay in your own currency or the local currency? And the answer differs for each traveler. To each his own, right? However, most people don't know that the answer to this question is a fairly simple response: pay in the local currency.

While it's almost easy to revert to using your home currency, that's not the most beneficial option. Maybe it is for banks, but not for you. Here are three compelling reasons as to you should opt to pay in local currencies.

Better exchange rates.

The exchange rate that reflects on your card charge applies to the wholesale conversion rate. While this seems like a better option, the rate is actually less as compared to doing ATM withdrawals overseas. The exchange rate also makes a big difference when you convert your cash to local currencies at stores that offer foreign exchange services. By paying in local currencies through your credit or debit cards, you're ultimately getting a better deal on the exchange rates.

Saving Tip: Consider charging to your card instead of withdrawing from ATMs. The latter applies varying transaction fee charges that would come out as a bigger expense (or loss). If you are opting for withdrawing via ATMs, make sure that it's with a bank or institution that's more well-known. As a matter of fact, in most cases, debit cards have lower charges as compared to credit cards.

Reduce the risk of getting charged for additional fees.

Most of the time, when you charge via credit or debit card, you end up having to pay an additional fee for conversions. And that's on top of an international fee that you'd already been charged with. In this sense, you end up getting charged double for fees if you pay in your home currency. 

Saving Tip: Before anything else, double check with your bank. Some issuing banks don't charge an extra fee for international charges on your credit or debit card. At least that way, you won't be shocked and can have a better idea of any further charges that might incur.

If you're on a budget, consider using your debit or credit card to avoid overspending. Currency converter tools like XE (they also have an app for easier use) helps you find out the value of exchange rates in real time. This way, you can avoid being duped or fooled into thinking you're getting a great exchange rate, especially when you're trying to currency exchanges in cash. 

More convenient way to track expenses.

Since you're traveling and are keeping tabs on spending via local currency, it's still easier to keep track of them all when they're consistent. Foreign exchanges rates don't fluctuate as much in a matter of days or weeks. So when you're actually doing the accounting of your travel spend, it's much easier to get a total number and convert that to your home currency. It might not be an exact amount, but it's an estimate that generally more or less equivalent to the amount you actually spent in the local currency.

Use an app to help you keep track of expenses. There are plenty apps that help you stay on top of these easily -- and are able to show visibility in varying currencies. Like the expense assistant on the TravelerBuddy app, expense tracking is made much easier. You can easily take photos of receipts to keep records of expenditures -- and you get to stay paperless! No more collecting receipts to bulk up your wallet.


Did you know that with TravelerBuddy, you can easily check-in to over 400 airlines, manage expenses with automated expense reimbursement reports (perfect for those who travel for business), and easily check your passport, visa and health requirements & customs regulations for your destination country with its unique Pre-Travel Check service.

There are so many ways to keep your traveling life much more hassle-free with a digital travel assistant like TravelerBuddy. Let the app do the hard work for you so that you have more time to enjoy your travels without the worry. To find out more about the app, visit the TravelerBuddy website or watch the Get Started video below.