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5 Biggest overseas money headaches

Most travellers are familiar with the pains of managing money abroad. It's time to tackle this once and for all.

This article was first published on YouTrip

Are you a cash-and-carry tourist or a cashless traveller? Despite being common ways to transact overseas, they both come with a fair share of headaches.

Headache #1: Lugging Cash

carry cash
Image credit: YouTrip

If it’s just a weekend trip to Malaysia, carrying hundreds of dollars isn’t that big a deal. But when you’re going on a long trip to the US or Europe, you might have to carry thousands of dollars or even more – and losing your bag or wallet comes at a greater risk. Even with multiple wallets, you’ll always need to tally your cash to make sure you have it all together. When you’re travelling, the last thing you want is to double as a security guard AND an accountant.

YouTrip Fix: Simply top up sufficient amount in your mobile wallet and you’re ready to spend anywhere in the world.

Headache #2: Excess Cash

excess cash
Image credit: YouTrip

How often do you come to the end of a trip only to realise you still have excess foreign currency left? It’s definitely not worth converting your money back to SGD, so you store them in your “my next trip” wallet. However, you’ll be subjected to fluctuating exchange rates and your foreign currencies may just devalue when you finally take that next trip.

YouTrip Fix: If your Tokyo Disneyland is JPY ¥7,400, simply top up the SGD equivalent of JPY ¥7,400. What’s more, Wholesale Exchange Rates are better than the money changer’s. How’s that for a change?

Headache #3: Queueing and Opening Hours

Queueing up
Image credit: YouTrip

It’s only natural that the best rates in town have long queues. So if you want good rates, expect to wait. On top of that, you’ll have to make it before the money changer closes, so that means either crowding during lunch or rushing after work. Or worse, you could even risk getting fake money after all that effort.

It’s only natural that the best rates in town have long queues. So if you want good rates, expect to wait. On top of that, you’ll have to make it before the money changer closes, so that means either crowding during lunch or rushing after work.  Or worse, you could even risk getting fake money after all that effort.

YouTrip Fix: You’re given 24/7 access to currency exchange so that you can spend on the go, and even lock down a good rate whenever you see one (for 10 major currencies).

Headache #4: Hidden Card Fees

hidden card fees
Image credit: YouTrip

When you make card payments overseas in a foreign currency, the bank charges a 2.5% to 3.5% admin fee to convert your SGD to the merchant’s currency. You might also be offered to pay in SGD – a process called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), offered by merchants to display your transaction in SGD. It usually comes with a hefty markup up to 5%+.

YouTrip Fix: The JPY ¥7,400 ticket only costs SGD $90.21 when you pay with YouTrip, instead of $94.72 with bank-issued cards. (Rates accurate to 21 Oct 18 5:43pm)


Headache #5: Card Theft

card theft
Image credit: YouTrip

Card skimming is also not uncommon, where thieves install illegal devices on top of real card readers to steal card information for personal use. Dishonest merchants can also make fraudulent charges when you attempt to pay through bank-issued cards. Losing your card overseas is equally distressing – anyone who gets hold of your card can go on a shopping spree before you can even contact your bank in time.

YouTrip Fix: If you ever lose your YouTrip card or notice that something is amiss, the one-tap lock function instantly blocks it. Through instant notifications, you’ll also be able to see unauthorised transactions in real-time.

Whether you’re travelling for work or leisure, the last thing you need is money headaches tripping up your plans. Leave your money headaches to us and start planning for your next trip! Here’s 5 cheap getaways for June holidays this year.

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