How to Exchange Foreign Money in the USA
For many people, one of the most exciting parts of traveling to a new country is the opportunity to use foreign currency. Only a few other countries in the world accept U.S. dollars, so before you go abroad, exchange your currency to that of the country you’re going to. Of course, upon your arrival back in the United States, you may still have some of that foreign currency left if you weren’t able to spend all of it while traveling. If you need to change foreign currency back into U.S. dollars, you have several ways to do so.
Visit a Currency Exchange Booth at the Airport
The easiest way to exchange foreign currency back into USD is at the airport. When you arrive in the U.S. at an international airport, you will probably see several currency exchange booths before you exit. However, when you exchange foreign currency at the airport, the rates are typically higher than other places. Plus, you also may be charged a commission. But if you need money and need it quickly, it’s probably your fasted option.
However, some currency exchange booths at the airport may not exchange your foreign currency if your money is from a country that’s not frequented by many travelers. If you’re worried this might happen, then try to exchange your money back into another widely accepted currency, such as euros or Canadian dollars, before your flight to the U.S.
Visit a Bank
Most banks have foreign currency exchange services, and they will often exchange it for free, especially if you’re a customer. Typically, these are larger banks, not local banks or small branches. Bank of America is one of the largest institutions that will exchange foreign currency into USD.
Other banks also may allow you to deposit foreign currency directly into your bank account. First, you should call your bank to find out if they will do this. If they do, take your foreign currency to the bank, and they will convert it for you before it gets deposited into your account.
Utilize Travelex Services
Travelex offers services for people with money concerns when traveling. Not only do they provide easy ways to convert your USD into foreign currency before your trip abroad, but they also help you exchange it back into USD when you return.
Travelex offers a few different options to exchange your foreign currency. One, you can either sell the currency back to them for USD as soon as you return home, or two, hold onto the currency and track the exchange rates on their website and exchange it when rates are highest. When you decide to exchange it, either mail it in by following the instructions on their website, or you can visit one of their 200 physical locations across the U.S. to exchange it in person.
Save It for Another Trip
If you don’t have that much money left to exchange or you’re not happy with the rates, you can always save it for another trip. Keep it in a safe place in case you ever return to that country, pass it down to a friend or relative who may have travel plans in the future, or place it in a scrapbook with photos from your trip.