How Do I Cash in Foreign Currency?

How Do I Cash in Foreign Currency?
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Traveling to another country means converting U.S. dollars to the native form of currency. This process can save you high credit card fees and makes traveling much easier. However, when they return to the U.S., many people are not sure how to cash in foreign currency. This process is fairly simple, but comparing options can help save fees.

Check if your airport has a currency exchange center. When flying back into the country, contact your final destination airport to determine if they have a currency exchange center. This service is available at most large city airports. This makes it convenient to handle currency conversion so you don’t need to deal with it later.

Consider using a bank. Financial institutions also exchange foreign currency. Your bank may charge lower fees to its customers. Call before visiting the bank. The main bank branch is sometimes the only location that cashes in foreign currency.

Visit a U.S. Embassy. Most embassies will cash in foreign currency. To find an embassy near you, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Ask about fees. Some companies charge a fee to cash in foreign currency. Once you have selected a company to handle cashing in foreign currency, check out their fees. Airport fees are usually much higher because of the convenience. Also, don’t be fooled by a company that offers an attractive exchange rate and charges a high fee for the transaction (this will cost you more money).

Determine foreign currency rates. As the market changes, the value of foreign currency changes. Check out online currency converters before cashing in your money. This way, you’ll know how much to expect when you exchange your money.


  • Resist the urge to cash in your foreign currency before reaching your final destination. That way, if you need something at the last minute (snacks or a few small gifts at the airport, for example), you won’t be stuck with the wrong type of currency.


  • Check with your credit card company before visiting another country. Some credit card companies charge very high rates for using your credit card in another country (because they must do the currency conversion for you). Understanding these fees before you travel will help you plan how much paper currency you will need.