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A Guest Post by Thomas Quarry*
Canceled trips, traveling worldwide, and interacting with friends from different regions often leave you with a lot of currency from other countries. Unfortunately, there are limited ways you can spend it in your country; traveling is probably the most common one. If you don’t plan on going abroad soon, check alternative options below.
You can spend leftover currency in various ways. If it’s your foreign trip, you can spend the money at the airport. This saves you from carrying around useless banknotes and heavy coins in your bag. Treat yourself to a fancy meal at airport restaurants and tip the waiters with the coins. You can also purchase various items from airport shops as souvenirs for your family.
Secondly, you can use it to pay for your hotel. This is probably the best way for overseas travelers to get rid of their leftover cash. With this option, you can ask the hotel to pay part of your pending bill using the remaining money. Most hotels will accept your request. Additionally, you can pay for your taxi or purchase other essentials before heading home.
A third option is reloading your Starbucks card. If you live close to a Starbucks, you can refill your card using leftover money, especially if you are in the US, before leaving. With this, you can spend your leftover currency once you get back without losing on dynamic exchange rates.
Whether it is a sentimental value or for future use, you can keep foreign leftover money. This is a good option if you visit the same country after some time. However, keep in mind that the government can withdraw it. For instance, many people incurred losses of their leftover foreign currency when EU countries switched to the Euro. Fortunately, those who were close to Europe had a grace period of exchanging the old money.
That aside, countries can also start using new materials. This is what happened to the UK’s £5 notes. In this case, you risk possessing obsolete or outdated leftover currency. Nevertheless, keeping it is a great way to reminiscence about your trips abroad.
Exchanging leftover currency is definitely reasonable, but the multiple options can be confusing. You can exchange leftover currency at the airport exchange booth to your local currency. However, this may not be a good idea if exchange rates are unfavorable. Booths also charge conversion fees, which can leave you with a lower total amount.
Another option is exchanging the leftover currency in a bank. However, most banks accept specific currencies only and don’t deal with coins. Besides, they have a minimum amount and also charge conversion fees. Therefore, unless your extra currency is in notes, this is not the best deal.
Gambling, entertainment, and gaming sites such as Sweet Bonanza are another great option to dispose of leftover currency. They accept various currencies at prevailing market rates. You can also sell leftover currency through different service providers. This is an easier way since all you need to do is fill an exchange form and mail the money. The providers will send back your local currency through a bank transfer, check, or PayPal.
Donating is another excellent option for leftover currency disposal. Most airports and airlines have charitable collection globes that collect donations for humanitarian aid programs such as UNICEF’s Change for Food. If you are already at home, you can donate it to local schools, as they can help kids learn new currencies and geography.
- Make Jewelry and Decorations
If you have several leftover coins, you can convert them into aesthetic jewelry. For instance, you can turn two matching coins into earrings or a pendant for your precious necklace. The coins will be perfect as gifts that can save you the cost of purchasing birthday presents or gifts for your friends or relatives. That aside, you can as well go the extra mile and make a jingly bracelet — a great reminder of the holiday never to forget.
Apart from jewelry, you can decorate your home. Most people want souvenirs from their holiday travels. Your leftover currency can become great home decorations while reminding you of the countries you have visited. You can put them in a container or glass bottle and hang it up on your windows.
- Sell Leftover Currency Online
Selling your leftover currency is a top recommended method by most travel forums. While this is legal, it is quite complicated, especially when it comes to proving exchange amounts and rates. Nonetheless, you can try selling them on reputable websites, such as eBay.
- Load Into a Prepaid Card
You can load your leftover currency onto a prepaid card, which allows travelers and holiday enthusiasts to lock the money in the current exchange rates. This is a good option if the value of your leftover currency is high. Prepaid cards also have better exchange rates compared to bureaus. Besides, you don’t have to load the money all at once but split it into small sums to minimize losing on low rates. Additionally, prepaid cards enable travelers to budget on their expenditure.
The Bottom Line
According to a recent study, approximately 87% of foreign travelers have leftover currency. Out of this percentage, only 29% manage to exchange it into the local one. As for the rest, they don’t know what to do with leftover foreign currency. If this is about you, consider one of the options mentioned above. Regardless of your choice, don’t throw your leftover currency away.
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Thomas is a data scientist and an aspiring creative Content Writer. In his limited spare time, he is building an online magazine, and most of all, he enjoys quality time with his family.