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April 10, 2023 Currency Exchange
4 minutes, 56 seconds Read

Your Complete Guide to Buying Foreign Currency in India!


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Before we can give you few pointers on “Buying Foreign Currency in India”, let us answer a very important question first.

When should you buy foreign currency? Before your travel or in the country that you are visiting?

You should exchange currency anytime from 60 days before your travel date to the last date of your travel”. It is always good to get your currency at least 2–3 days before the date of travel to avoid any last minute hassle.

How should you carry your foreign currency?

Here is what a frequent traveler and a longtime BookMyForex customer, Mr. Awdesh Singh of Gwalior says:

–Carry 10-20% of your money in cash.(Local Currency)

–If you are going to a developed country then you should carry the local currency. But if you are going to countries like Thailand or the Middle-East or any other country whose currency isn’t popular then you should carry USD and then convert it there.

–You should carry the remaining 80-90% in the form of a traveler card(Forex Card). So if it gets lost, you don’t lose all the money and it works in most places around the world

Every country varies in terms of transactions you can do in those respective countries, so you’ll have to do the thorough research before visiting that country so as not to face any uncertainties. We have done this hard work for you and here are some points that you must consider before buying foreign currency in India

Points to Consider before buying foreign currency in India:

1) Currency Exchange in Advance: Always exchange your currency, at least 7 days prior to your departure. The early bird always catches the worm. Be an early bird and get the best deals.

2) Do Not Exchange at Airports: Airports are known to charge anywhere between 5-10% margin when you buy or sell currency. Only exchange currency at an airport if it is absolutely necessary.

3) Shop around and compare exchange rates: Currency exchange rates fluctuate and change every 3 seconds. So it is advisable to check around and see the rates. Buy it when it reaches a better rate.

4) Follow the practice of 20-80: Always carry 20% of your currency in cash and the rest, preferably, in a forex card. The cash in hand will help you to pay for any immediate expenses like cab fare, tips or a meal.

5) Do not use your debit or credit card abroad: Using your debit or credit abroad is very expensive. There are 3 charges levied on you when you do that. It is advisable to refrain from doing that unless you like to throw your money away. A forex card is a better option in comparison to debit/credit cards.

6) Avoid Traveller’s cheques: Traveller’s cheque belongs in the past. And precisely for this reason, you should avoid taking your forex in a TC. Not everyone will accept a traveler’s cheque. And the ones who do, they will charge anywhere between 3-5%

7) Authorised Dealer: Always do a currency exchange in India from a RBI authorised agent. Failure to do that can lead you to jail. And in case, you get fake notes or your forex card stops working abroad, you can’t even lodge a complaint. BookMyForex have exclusive bank tie-ups with best authorized money changers in the business to ensure your forex exchange is seamless and hassle-free

8) Sell your leftover currency: Sell or encash your leftover currency. It is illegal to hold on to large amounts of foreign currency in India. You can get penalized or even jailed. You can keep notes of low value as a souvenir. As a lot of countries these days keep banning some notes, you may end up in possession of a note that will be worthless.

9) Wire Transfer is better than a cash payment: Avoid carrying large cash amounts while travelling especially in large cities. Having a large amount of cash on you leaves you vulnerable to robbery etc. It is not safe. Do a wire transfer abroad instead as it is safe and fast.

Here is how you can carry your money overseas:

It is easier Buying Foreign Currency in India, carrying your foreign currency overseas isn’t. Here is why?

Debit & Credit cards –

Each cash withdrawal you make will usually be subject to currency conversion fees, foreign ATM fees or other charges from your bank and/or the local bank that maintains the ATM. Your Debit or Credit cards don’t have the same level of pro


It’s often a good idea to get some foreign currency before you leave home. So that you have cash on hand to pay for your immediate expenses — like buying a meal at the airport or taking a cab to your hotel. You typically won’t get a great conversion rate from your home bank, and you may also have to pay fees or commissions. In comparison to banks and local money changers, BookMyforex offers best forex exchange rates and doorstep delivery.

Forex cards 

A forex card is a prepaid card you use to make payment when travelling abroad. You can also use it when you’re studying abroad. Prepaid Card, Travel Card, Travel Money Card, Prepaid Travel Money Card are just other names of a forex card. Since they are preloaded with foreign currency, you can access money in local currency abroad. Forex travel cards are also equipped with a built-in insurance mechanism. This helps travellers claim a secondary card in case the primary one is lost or stolen.

Our Recommendation for Buying Foreign Currency in India –

Buy a multi-currency Forex card from BookMyForex and load it with your destination country’s currency. Ensure that you choose an online vendor which will let you reload easily, in case you run out of Forex when abroad. You can carry 3000 USD or its equivalent per person per trip as cash. Carry some cash, for tips and other miscellaneous charges.

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