Here at Crown, we always recommend using foreign cash when travelling abroad.
Cash offers the best value, is quick, and using cash instead of cards means you are not at risk of identity theft and/or card fraud. You will pay no hidden usage fees: what you see is what you get.
Cash is accepted everywhere (you don’t need an ATM or an EFTPOS terminal), and the experience of learning about and using local currency brings a bit more of the local culture of your destination into your holiday.
Should the worst happen, a loss of cash is limited to the amount involved; there is no risk of your loss growing as your card details are stolen. And, cash does not bring with it the risk of identity theft and/or card fraud (meaning there are no lengthy phone calls to make and/or other challenges to endure which arise when a card is lost and/or suffers a security breach, and which can add to the burden of an already difficult situation).
Once you have decided how much currency you are comfortable with, here are our top tips for carrying and using it:
- Take the right currency for your destination(s). At Crown we can help with all destinations, from the familiar to the exotic.
- Make sure you buy current series/design currency.
- Familiarise yourself with the basic denominations and security features of the notes you take, and their approximate value in Australian dollars.
- Keep currency out of sight, and be discreet when paying.
- Make use of money belts and other discreet currency holders (e.g., hidden pocket), and use a separate wallet for your cash and cards – if the worst happens to one, you still have the other.
- Where reputable, make use of hotel safes and/or custody services. If you use a third-party and/or house custody service, count the currency you leave in the safe, and ask for a receipt. Treat the hotel safe and/or custody service as an ATM: it holds your bulk currency and you take what you need each morning.
- On a day to day basis, carry only what you need.
- Be sensible about how you handle your wallet or purse. For example: avoid the back pocket (wallet), be careful about jacket pockets (wallet), and the backs of restaurant chairs (purse/handbag).
- Always stay alert in crowded areas.
- When receiving change at your destination, be cautious about large denominations (counterfeiting). Request smaller denominations if you have any concerns.
- Ensure you understand your holiday insurance terms and conditions claiming for currency, and let your insurer know how much you are carrying.
In summary: be confident and observant, use common sense, and have a great trip!