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Local Banks vs. Specialised Foreign Exchange Providers: Where Should You Exchange Currency for Your Next Trip?

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Travelling worldwide is learning and experiencing different nations, enjoying cuisines, learning about cultures, and having much more fun. However, when you travel abroad, you can’t use Indian currency anywhere. These days, it is not difficult to get foreign currency. However, you must know where to exchange foreign currency in India for the best deals. It is significantly more probable that you won’t wind up in the worst spot if you know where to convert currencies.

Where Do I Get Foreign Currency?

Foreign exchange has advanced significantly in India, and new platforms are on the market. Converting foreign cash might vary greatly depending on where you are in India. Local market communities in urban regions are home to money changers. These days, online forex platforms also allow you to schedule a forex order. However, weighing each choice and selecting the finest one out of them is crucial.

Let’s look at the different options available for currency exchange in India:


Which bank exchange foreign currency in India – the ones with RBI-approved AD-I license? People often prefer banks for their foreign exchange; however, you must have an account in that bank to complete your exchange. Besides, most banks do not have stock in the form of notes, which may not solve your purpose. Instead, you may find forex cards with the banks as they generate more profit.

RBI-approved money changers

Money changers can give you a better deal than banks. Since their business only focuses on exchanging currencies, they offer better deals to their customers. You can easily find these money changers located everywhere in India. However, you must check if they are approved and licensed as per RBI. This will ensure you are doing safe and legitimate transactions.


You may have noticed money-changing counters placed at many international airports. However, one must refrain from getting currencies exchanged from there. These vendors know the situation and the urgent need for foreign currency. They charge between 10-15% more than you may get from banks or online platforms. Exchanging currencies at airports can be an expensive affair.

Online foreign exchange platforms

The best method of getting a foreign currency at your comfort is using a trust-worthy online foreign exchange platform , such as Thomas Cook. These platforms compare the exchange rates with different banks, platforms, and money changers and then offer you the best deal. These platforms provide a 24/7 platform, making it easier for the customers to get their exchange done.

You won’t have to stand in queues, not worrying about hidden charges, and it will not be a lengthy process to go through. Getting your currency exchanged is a hassle-free process using these platforms. You have to upload your documents, and the exchanged currency will be delivered to your doorsteps. Hence, these are probably the best options if you want to know how to obtain foreign currency.

How to Change Currency

Getting your foreign currency in India using online platforms, such as Thomas Cook, is a straightforward process. Thomas Cook offers the flexibility of choosing a card, cash, or both. You can quickly get your forex delivered right to your doorstep by following simple steps.

  1. Decide and select the currency and its denominators you will need on your trip.
  2. Login to Thomas Cook and enter your details and delivery option. You can choose between branch pick-up or doorstep delivery.
  3. Make the payment using one of the options – credit card, debit card, UPI, or net banking.
  4. Get your receipt for the forex confirmation at the blocked rate.
  5. Your forex will be delivered using your chosen method.

Tips on Buying or Exchanging Foreign Currency

Here are some tips that can come in handy when you start your foreign currency exchange process:

  1. To get the best deal, always compare rates offered by banks, money changers, airports, and online platforms.
  2. Never wait for the last moment. Instead, get your forex booked and delivered to your doorstep in advance.
  3. Remember to get your forex delivery using the right channel. Do not go with unauthorised or illegal money changers.
  4. Track the exchange rates and buy when the rates are favourable.
  5. Carry different denominators instead of going with a hefty bill note. Travelling with it will be convenient.
  6. For accounting purposes, keep your currency exchange receipts safe.
  7. Never keep all your forex cash in one place. Instead, keep them in different areas or bags to avoid misplacing or losing them.
  8. Do not forget to check the currency exchange limits set by the RBI.
  9. Ensure your identity documents are correctly verified by the forex provider before the transaction.
  10. Time your buy if you anticipate currency swings due to political or economic difficulties.

Mistakes to Avoid During Currency Exchange

First-time travellers can find it overwhelming to understand the process or keep track of so much information. Therefore, getting the correct information is necessary before planning your trip. Despite this, there are mistakes that first-time and frequent travellers often make. Let’s look at a list of them to ensure you are safe:

Currency exchange at airports

This may look like the most convenient option, but it is the most expensive of all. The exchange rates and fees charged at the airports are usually very high. Therefore, you must get your currency exchanged from a reliable source, such as Thomas Cook, in advance.

Currency exchange at hotels

Many big hotels offer this service to their customers. However, their rates may also be unfavourably compared to other methods. Besides, they won’t be available 24/7, and you may get stuck in an emergency.

Currency exchange at unfamiliar places

Do not go with the first provider you see for your currency exchange. You may not know whether they are legal and authorised and may even offer high rates. If you are unsure of the place, you may end up meeting an illegal money changer. Hence, verifying their credentials before initiating the process is a good practice. You must always prefer a reputable name, like Thomas Cook. You will be sure your money is in safe hands.

Not researching and checking exchange rates

One of the common mistakes is not researching the current exchange rate. The country you are visiting, the kind of money you are converting, and the exchange service you select can all significantly impact exchange rates. To obtain the greatest bargain, it is essential to research current exchange rates and compare them across several suppliers before converting currencies. There are many apps and websites that help compare exchange rates on different platforms.

Converting too much currency

People often convert too much cash to carry on their trip, which can be risky. Although carrying extra money with you is good, you can have a Forex card instead of taking notes. Moreover, when you carry too much cash, converting it again into Indian currency will potentially lead to losses. Thomas Cook’s Forex cards  are the best and offer multiple benefits. It will allow you to load the money as you need without worrying about unused cash notes after the trip.

Ignoring charges and fees

Most people forget about the additional charges and fees on the currency exchanges that can fluctuate the budget. There are various fees, such as transaction fees, commissions, service fees, etc, charged by the service providers for exchanging currencies. Hence, reading and understanding the terms and conditions is imperative before finalising the deal. Moreover, choosing a provider that offers transparent rates with no hidden costs or unnecessary fees is a great idea.

Banks or Specialised Foreign Exchange Providers – Where to Exchange Foreign Currency in India –  The Best Option

Converting currency in India has become very easy these days. However, the best option will depend on your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, going with a trusted and reliable forex provider, like Thomas Cook. With them, you can easily convert your money by checking the following exchange rate available for that particular day. They are one of the leading foreign exchange providers offering a transparent structure and a secure platform. You are guaranteed to get the best prices for your forex buying or selling purposes at Thomas Cook. You can choose from only cash notes, forex cards, or a mix of both for your travel. It helps reduce the risk and ensures you enjoy your time abroad without worrying about theft or losing money.

Wrap up

Several considerations, including price, convenience, and the variety of services provided, will determine whether you use local banks or specialist foreign exchange providers for your subsequent currency conversion. Your local banks may have higher fees and less favourable rates, but they also provide familiarity and dependability. Conversely, specialised foreign exchange companies like Thomas Cook might give better rates, cheaper costs, and a more comprehensive selection of currencies. When choosing where to convert your currency, take into account your itinerary, where you are going, and what matters most financially. By considering these variables, you may make an informed decision that best fits your travel schedule and price range, guaranteeing a more seamless and economical international trip.

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