Currency Conversion Rates - how to get the lowest fees


Hey guys!

I’m booked on the 27 day Summer Fun and Sailing on 3rd of June and just doing some research today am realising that I’ll need about 5 different currencies as the UK, France, Switzerland, Croatia and Czech Republic all take different currencies. I’m not really bothered about the 1.5 euro ATM fee’s I’ll be encountering throughout my trip as I’ll be getting bulk $$$ out every time I use an atm. And I realise, with NAB and Westpac, if you use their ATM’s or any arm’s with the MasterCard symbol on them worldwide, you shouldn’t be charged any ATM fee.

What I’m reaaaalllyyyyy worried about is the currency conversion fees as I can only estimate roughly how many GBP I’ll use in the UK before travelling around Europe and would not (hypothetically) want like 500 GBP on my travel card when it can’t be used in any of the other countries I’ll be travelling to…

Furthermore, I’ll be having to access atms and change over these currencies probably up to 10 times throughout my trip. Most of the currency conversion fees are 6% of the withdrawal amount which would equate to about $20-30 each bulk withdrawal I do, this essentially isn’t that much although if I’m doing 10 transactions of 500 each it’s going to add up to a couple of hundred dollars!

Could anyone shed some light on how to tackle this situation?

I think I’m looking into it probably waaaayyy too much but I really want to save my dollars haha

Thanks heaps guys!


If you can, get a little of each currency from your local bank before you leave. This saved my life once when my bank “forgot” I was still traveling and froze my accounts for suspicion of identity theft the night I was flying from Rome to London. If I hadn’t had some pounds on me I’m not sure how I would have gotten from the airport to the hotel to meet my tour.

As far as avoiding ATM fees, in my experience converting currency anywhere else is usually worse. If you don’t want to travel around with a ton of cash, which is understandable, maybe see if you can get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees? You will still need cash for some things but it could save you on fees if you could use that for most things and then pay off the balance regularly online to avoid interest charges.


Hey Holly!

It all varies overseas unfortunately in terms of rates.

I would definintely suggest have a chat with your bank or investing in a travel card where they have little fees.

Most travel cards will have some sort of fixed rate, so definintely check that out.

A lot of banks also do them as well - my travel card has no fees if i use it like a bank card, but has small fees if I take cash it. Mine is a NZ one with Airpoints but I’m sure there are many out there like it!

Hope you find the appropriate card :slight_smile:

Team Topdeck!