Writer: Ogunfowoke Adeniyi (@sleeksavvy)
You arrive at your destination famished and dehydrated after several hours on a plane, you walk into one of the fancy restaurants at the airport but alas you are still with your Nigerian naira! At this point, you may become desperate because you do not have any legal tender on you.
As such, you will be predisposed to anyone willing to convert your hard-earned cash for you. If you do this, you may not get the best exchange rate or you may be offered fake currencies depending on where you exchange your cash. So, if you have to do any currency exchange when you travel abroad, these rules shared by Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, will help you get the best deal.
Know the currency exchange rate
The currency exchange rate tells you how much your money is worth in the local currency. Knowing the exchange rate will ensure that you get the correct amount in return.
You can find the exchange rate by using a currency converter, reading signs at local banks and currency exchange companies or by checking currency information website.
Use the ATM to get cash
Don’t buy foreign currency before you leave Nigeria. It will cost you a lot of extra money. Instead, when you arrive at your destination, use your debit card (you simply notify your bank) to withdraw cash from an ATM.
Even though you are likely to incur a fee for using an ATM, it will still be less than exchanging money at one of those exchange booths at the airport.
Don’t make purchases with your debit card
Use your debit/ATM card to make cash withdrawals and never use it to make purchases. If something goes wrong, your account will be debited immediately for the purchase; even if you return something for a refund, your account may not be credited for several days.
If you need a lot of cash, ask your bank to top your daily withdrawal limit
If you need to do something that involves a lot of cash, it is better to contact your bank to raise your daily limit instead of visiting a bureau de change.
ATMs may have smaller withdrawal limits and you can make multiple withdrawals from the same ATM as many times as you wish.
Avoid a bureau de change if you can
The exchange rate offered by bureau de changes is usually on the high side. So, try as much as you can to avoid them. This is why you should have your ATM card handy and ensure that it is activated for international transactions.