How To Save Foreign Exchange While Studying Abroad
● Watch forex rates, compare them and choose the right channel If you’re yet to fly out, a basic yet significant step is to keep an eye on currency rates and compare them. Many vendors provide currency conversion services, and you must monitor the rates they offer. We know that forex exchange rates change quickly, and they usually also differ among banks and money changers. So keep yourself fully aware of the fluctuation and buy foreign currency when the rate is low. Not to forget, online forex marketplaces give you better value for money as they are constantly competing with each other. ● Open a bank account abroad An overseas bank account will help you save money on forex exchange, especially if you will be abroad for more than a year. Several universities have designated staff who help international students open a bank account locally. Typically, here are some things that you would need to open an account as a student in another country: - Passport with relevant student visa - A photo ID other than the passport - Proof of residence - Proof of enrollment in a university - A certain amount of money, or minimum balance (this varies from bank to bank) Opening a local bank account will not only help you save on frequent conversion fees you pay every time you use your account from back home, it also helps you get your paychecks quickly if you decide to start a part-time job. ● Look for the high remittance charges Whether you choose to transfer money through a bank, an Authorised Dealer II (institutions authorized by the Reserve Bank of India to sell and buy foreign currencies), or an online marketplace, a remittance charge will be involved. This can vary from Rs 250 to Rs 2000. So, keep an eye on the fee and choose the channel that offers you the best rates. You can also transfer your money via neobanks (digital banks that are creating a buzz in the FinTech community), which might offer you the best exchange rate and zero transfer charges. Not only are they convenient to use, but the transactions are also easier and transparent. ● Use a Forex Card and look out for hidden costs Another way of saving money while making transfers or exchanging currency is to use a Forex Card. Not only are these pin-protected prepaid cards among the safest ways to carry foreign currency, but they are also accepted at almost all the places that accept Visa/Mastercard. One of the best things about a Forex Card is that you don’t have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates. Why? Because the foreign exchange rate prevalent during the time of your purchase will be locked. So, buy it when the rates are low. Forex cards are convenient and flexible as you can reload them at any time. All you need is a laptop or a smartphone and money in your account to make the transaction. But, although they come with an insurance cover, you can lose a lot of money under the label of hidden charges like ATM withdrawal charges and balance enquiry charges, to name a few. So, keep an eye on the fine print. Even though all of this can sound overwhelming at first, remember that even a slight change in the currency rate can impact the final output to a great deal. So, make sure to keep the pointers mentioned above in mind, and you’ll be good to go.