It’s the end of the year again, and for most of us that means getting ready to unwind as the year comes to a close. At this time of the year, its often you find more and more people getting ready for those end of year trips. Whether you’re going to Thailand, Japan, Europe or America, chances are you’re going to be making card transactions at one point or another, and with this comes the infamous bank exchange rate, as well as the additional service fee for foreign transactions.
If you’re going to be using your debit card (or credit card) to pay and make purchases abroad, these small fees will quickly add up and soon you’d be paying possibly hundreds of dollars extra for your trip! So how exactly can you avoid these scary rates and pitfalls? Well we have a few suggestions to help you enjoy your next overseas trip in peace.
Starting with a multicurrency account, this is probably the easiest and quickest way for you to exchange currencies and avoid additional bank charges. Many banks now offer multicurrency accounts, meaning you can keep the same debit cards and bank details, but open a separate multicurrency account which lets you exchange and spend from.
For DBS, this multicurrency account can be opened immediately though their internet banking, and you can seamlessly link your existing debit card to this multicurrency account. With no foreign exchange conversion fees and extra charges (which are normally the case), there’s a ton of money to be saved here. Plus, since you can easily move funds and exchange them right from the app or ibanking, you’ll find that preparing for your trip becomes a breeze. Make use of the most advantageous exchange rates at other times of the year too, whether you want to do easy forex trading, or you want to make use of this multicurrency account to avoid bank exchange fees when shopping online, this is the choice for you!
Similar to a multicurrency account, Youtrip offers a virtual digital wallet with a physical card. This local enterprise has grown by leaps and bounds since it first started up and is meant for the everyday Singaporean to use locally and abroad. The virtual wallet allows you to transact in over 150 different foreign currencies with no additional fees. You can even exchange and keep 10 different currencies in your digital wallet to make use of competitive exchange rates before your trip.
Youtrip is different from other multicurrency accounts as it does not have an established bank, hence you’ll have to apply for a separate account and an additional card. The top-up process while simple is a little trickier than a regular bank since they have a minimum top up amount and you are not able to withdraw any remaining money without closing the account.
What’s good about the card is that you can have peace of mind with their fully integrated application, allowing you to immediately lock and disable any lost cards, without having to wait on the line to speak to a customer service operator. Plus, Youtrip advertises that it has the closest exchange rates to those on Google and XE, giving you the best wholesale rate, you can find on the market.
Revoult is another service provider similar to Youtrip, offering foreign exchange in over 150 different currencies. While the rates are sometimes less competitive than Youtrip, the benefit of using Revoult is that even at the basic level of membership, you will be able to make cash withdrawals from foreign ATMs without any additional fees! This is great news for those of you who don’t have time to change money before a trip, or if you realise you need to withdraw cash during the trip itself.
Revoult also differentiates itself from the crowd by offering 3 different tiers of membership. While the most basic tier has no membership fee, similar to YouTrip, the higher tiers do unlock additional benefits and perks which you wouldn’t get with other cards.
For $9.90/month you can get the following benefits:
- No fee International ATM withdrawals up to S$700 per month
- Global express delivery
- Priority customer support
- Premium card with exclusive designs
- Disposable virtual cards
- LoungeKey Pass access
And for $19.90/month, you can join the even more exclusive tier of Revoult Metal and receive even greater benefits in addition to those offered to Premium members, including:
- No fee International ATM withdrawals up to S$1,050 per month
- 1% cashback in any supported currency on all your spending abroad
Revoult’s membership is probably better for those who do travel frequently as it offers even more safety and data protection with their disposable virtual cards, and increased no fee ATM withdrawals when overseas.