There are few things you should take care of before buying foreign exchange in India. Here are ten of the most important ones.
1. Buy your Foreign exchange well before your travel date
It is advisable to get your foreign exchange ready before a week, or in the worst case at least three days before your travel date. Currency rates can fluctuate highly. If the rates are on the higher side, you can have the luxury of waiting two or three days to see if the rates are falling. More over, why make a last minute hurry?
2. Don’t even think of exchanging from Airport Outlets
Exchanging currency from foreign exchange outlets at airport is an expensive option. You will be charged a commission of around 10 to 15 percent. Since you are left with no other choice, you can not bargain either. You loose some good amount of money, and your plans change even before you leave!
3. The 30/70 best practice
Get a vague idea of how much you would require for the entire trip. Carry 30% of amount in Cash Currency which you can use to pay your taxi guy and keep the reaming 70% in your Forex travel card. You would always get a better rate on forex card than cash currency and it is safer too. Now you can also order a prepaid Forex card online.
4. Compare exchange rates before you buy
Exchange rates for each currency would vary from vendor to vendor. Compare the exchange rates offered by at least 3 vendors before buying. Extravelmoney.com lets you to compare exchange rates rates quoted by authorized money changers in your area. You can also place the order online and can avail in a day home delivery from your preferred vendor.
5. Your international debit card is not your travel card
Your debit/credit card issued in India carries currency in INR. When you swipe it some where out of India, the transaction happens in the foreign currency which includes with it a currency conversion mark up ranging up to 5 percent. While your forex card carries the local currency and is devoid of this mark up.
6. Avoid Travelers cheques
Travelers cheque are now a thing of the past. They are now replaced by Forex Travel Cards and are not preferred in most places. Most of the overseas merchants/banks charge nearly 4 to 6 percent commission on en-cashing travelers cheques.
7. Keep a spare Forex Travel Card with you
You can avail a spare Forex card along with your original one. Most money changers do not charge anything extra for the spare one. Even if it costs, it is better to pay the minimal charge and get the spare one so as to be on the safe side.
8. Make sure that your Forex dealer is RBI authorized
Always be careful about dealing with unfamiliar forex dealers. There are many fraudulent outlets, especially in tourist centers. Make sure that the vendor has money changing License issued by Reserve Bank of India. Always insist bill on all transactions so that you don’t get into any trouble later on.
9. Prefer fund transfer over cash Payment
Cash payments is limited to Rs 50,000 while buying foreign exchange in India. You can transfer funds via NEFT/RTGS payment directly to the money changers Bank account. Preferring fund transfer over cash payment would make your transaction more transparent and traceable.
10. Encash Leftover foreign currency
You can encash leftover foreign currency or amount remaining in your forex card cards easily via extravelmoney.com. You can also let the balance remain in your Card so that you can use it for your next international trip. However you are not allowed to keep foreign exchange worth more than USD 2000, after six months from the date of return of your last foreign trip.