A currency exchange, also called by names “Bureau de Change” or “Casa de Cambio”, is a licensed business that offers the facility to the residents for exchanging their currency into foreign currency, or vice versa. These transactions are carried out by teller stations over the counter. You can find one such teller counter at some of the designated banks’ branches, hotels & resorts, and international airports. Some private agencies are also offering currency exchange services open on sunday. Some people get confused this term with foreign exchange but, that’s not the case as they are not the same.
Usually, you will not find easily a currency exchange counter on Sundays like weekdays but, there are a few options still left with you, if you need to exchange the money urgently on Sunday. Banks like Citizen’s Bank and T.D. Bank (East coast), Academy Bank in Walmart locations, and Fifth Third Bank in Kroger, Business agencies like CXI (Currency Exchange International) are open on Sunday for limited hours and provide the exchange service to around 80 major currencies. You can find ATMs of some of the major banks that provide this service. If nothing works for you then, hotels & airports are the last resort. Almost all international airports’ currency exchange kiosks are open 24X7.
What is the difference between currency exchange and foreign exchange (FOREX)?
Many of us might have thought them to be the same thing as these terms sound very similar. Although their purposes are the same as they both exchange currencies of one country to another, there is a minute difference between them. Let’s have a look at a few crucial differences: –
|Currency Exchange||Foreign Exchange|
|Main purpose is personal needs like saving or travelling.No third party is involved.|
The business dealing in it makes profit by charging a nominal fee or through difference b/w buy & sell prices.
|The sole purpose is trading in currencies & making profits.Financial institutions and the brokers are involved in the FOREX market.Profit is made by using different tactics such as currency arbitration, speculation, etc.|
Points that should be kept in mind before going to the currency exchange counter?
Think over your purpose –
Before going to the kiosk/counter, rethink the purpose for which you want to exchange your currencies. In case, you need them for travel purposes, then you can exchange them at an airport or any hotel. But, if you are working in a foreign country and want to save your hard-earned money then, it is advised not to do it at airports or hotels. Because airports used to charge very high transaction fees and offer low exchange rates. Better, go to the bank branch or credit union because they can offer the best possible rates.
Check Rates Before-Hand –
You should regularly keep an eye on the exchange rates prevailing in the market, a few days before your scheduled journey. If you have even the slightest idea about them, nobody can make you a fool by charging very high transaction fees. Many incidents of fraud are being heard these days, especially when you do currency exchange on a counter run by an individual person or private agency.
Ask your bank in advance –
You should get info from your bank about whether they have overseas ATMs or not in the country to which you are traveling. In that case, you should take the exchanged currency in cash with you.
Are there other alternatives that can satisfy the need for cash in a foreign country?
Yes, of course. If you don’t want to carry a large amount with you while traveling, there are other options too that can be used as a replacement for cash (exchanged currency) which are as follows: –
Traveler’s Check – It does look like any other normal check but, the only difference is that it can be encashed into a foreign currency while regular checks are encashed into the same (national) currency. It can be issued by the banks that deal in foreign exchange. It’s so easy to carry a single piece of paper (the check) with you rather than carrying a large stack of currency notes.
No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards – If you don’t want to pay any extra fees while exchanging your currency into another currency, you can go for these cards as they will not charge any transaction fee. Some of the best available credit cards include American Express Platinum Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, Discover It Cash Back Card, etc.
No Foreign Transaction Fee Debit Cards – Debit cards differ from credit cards in the cost terms, as no annual fee is charged to use their service, unlike credit cards. One of the main benefits of using credit or debit cards is that if you have lost them, they can be replaced by the sponsoring bank but, cash wouldn’t come back in the case, you lost it.
There are a few banks and some agencies that are open on Sunday for currency exchange business for limited hours but, don’t wait for the last moment. It’s always better to exchange the currencies in time as you wouldn’t have to rush to the airport a few minutes before your journey and spend an extra penny from your pocket to pay the high transaction fees. Exchange them at the bank a few days before your travel date & enjoy your journey in a relaxed mood.