Currency exchange booths at airports and banks can be convenient, but a lot of your money goes towards exchange fees (e.g. $10 per exchange) and hidden commissions padded into poor exchange rates (especially the booths advertising “no commissions”). With a bit of research and planning, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in fees over the long-term!
(Sarah Page: When I applied for a Schwab Investor Checking Account I was in Argentina at the time. Due to the foreign IP address on the application, Schwab required that I bring in various forms of identification to a brick and mortar bank when I returned stateside before approving my application. I recommend not applying from abroad if you want to make the process as easy as possible.)
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The savviest international travelers carry with them both a no foreign transaction fee credit card and a debit card that also lacks foreign surcharges. The former allows them to take advantage of the low currency conversion rates that VISA and Mastercard are known for as well as the superior fraud protections that credit cards provide. A no foreign transaction fee debit card enables foreign travelers to access cash from ATMs on an as-needed basis, thereby minimizing the risk of carrying lots of cash more
If you travel abroad for a week or two per year, 3–5% in various fees and bad exchange rates for international card use is not really a big problem. But as a frequent traveler or digital nomad spending most of your time abroad, these fees add up quickly. In fact, you might be donating hundreds or even thousands of dollars yearly to your bank. I’m sure you could think of a better way to spend that money.
Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I've been quoted in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Business.com, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Moneyish, Zumper, IdeaMensch, Discover Bank, PrimeRates, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, Club Thrifty, Guru Focus, Rent Track, Fit Small Business, Coupon Chief, and more.
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Like virtual assistants, proofreaders can find jobs with almost any business that publishes content online. They provide a second set of eyes for publishers, and can help them create content that looks more polished and professional. Those with specialized skills, like transcript proofreading, can also find work proofreading transcripts for court reporters.
If you are interested in the idea of teaching English in a foreign country, but not sure yet if you want to commit to a semester or yearlong contract, then the Homestay Abroad program may be a good option for you. This volunteer position gives you the opportunity to live with a host family for one to three months, giving English language lessons 15 hours per week.
The jury is still out on whether it’s safe to rely on car and travel insurance that is sometimes provided by credit cards, and unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to file a claim after the accident has happened. If you’re concerned about insurance, its best to be safe and purchase it from the car rental company, but if not, you might as well pay with a credit card that offers car insurance and hope for the best if you do end up in an accident. We generally try to use American Express cards when thinking about insurance, as they are managing the insurance on the cards worldwide, whereas Visa/Mastercard insurance is often handled by the card’s issuing bank, and may not be as straightforward to redeem.
Just one piece of partial contention about your Sapphire post. While you are correct that the sign up bonus would get you $500 in travel…there is a much more lucrative aspect to that sign-up bonus. The beauty of the Ultimate Rewards program is in the ability to transfer points 1:1 to frequent flyer/hotel programs for an extremely higher $ value. For example. 100,000 UR points would get you $1000 in travel using the Chase travel portal…OR…you could transfer those 100,000 points to 100,000 United Miles and book a round-trip business class ticket to Europe…this ticket would be valued at between $5,000 and $10,000…a much higher payout!