Currently is June Holiday and many including me went overseas for the past few days. It is literally overseas as I went to Legoland Malaysia for the past few days. I did what most people did, went to money exchanger and swap SGD for Ringgit when the news articles post great rates of 3.43 during the last weekend! But there is better option out there!
However, to my disappointment. The money exchanger gave me the rate of 3.395 last Saturday on 10 Jun 2023 although many news articles everywhere posted that the rate is 3.43! Why! As a backup, usually I would also bring along some credit cards + ATM that allowed me to withdraw money overseas! This prompted me to do some research.
Spending in Foreign Currency
With this, this came to the next questions of:
“What are the fees involved when transacting in overseas currency?”
Two things that came to my mind:
- A foreign currency (FX) spread – “hidden” fee in addition to the underlying exchange rate. It’s the spread that the financial institutions will earn from you, in another word, a lousy exchange rate.
- Foreign Currency Conversion (FCY) fees – whereby we are charged a percentage of the value we intend to exchange by the financial institution.
After some research, it came to my attention that most of your favourite banks, like OCBC, UOB, DBS, Standard Chartered, Citibank, HSBC, Maybank, CIMB etc all charge a hefty fee of 3% to 3.5%. This means that if you spend $100, you need to pay additional $3 in addition to the hidden spread that I have mentioned above.
What other options are there?
If one did their proper research, most would resort to Youtrip, Revolut etc. But all these cards are pre-paid card which means that one need to top up the cards using your cash/other cards in advance first. The exchange rates are quite decent, better than banks – which addresses point 1 above. There is no issue for point 2 too since there wouldn’t be additional charges. However, if you withdraw money from overseas, there is ATM withdrawal fees which is not ideal.
I am not sure about others. But for me safety and contingency plan is utmost important to me when I go overseas. This means that I need to have access to fund via ATM withdrawal or by means of credit cards. Additionally, I would like to activate as little number of cards as possible when overseas to reduce the chance of lost card or fraud! Hence, I need only ONE Card that will serve me well.
After more research, the solution is from a card/digital bank that I already owned! – TRUST BANK, TRUST CARD!
Trust Bank/Trust Card
If you go to the Trust Bank website, it directly solved point 1 above! Look at the screenshots that I have taken from Trust Bank website, I thought this card is great but I am still suspicious how true the claim that the exchange rates are near what you see on Google.
Furthermore, there is no foreign currency conversion fee. But strangely, this is a digital bank by FairPrice Group with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). SCB definitely charge your foreign currency exchange rate and they will give poor exchange rate to earn from the spread. But why their digital Trust Bank can give such good things?
Furthermore, this is a numberless card and you can easily lock the card to prevent fraud. Is it really such good card?
Doing is more Real rather than seeing
As a result, I decided to give it a try and let me show you – Pictures speak a thousand words! Let me show you the real transactions which I did.
Look at the rate and transaction above! The rate that I was given was 3.42 to 3.43! Better than money exchanger with no foreign currency transaction fee! The rate is really near Google exchange rate…I can also lock the card after each transaction overseas to prevent possibility of any fraud.
Withdrawal of Money in overseas ATM
Usually, I don’t like to give review for the sake of review. Instead, I like to provide value and show what I really did (such as the true screenshot of my transactions above). But when I was in Legoland, everything can be paid by Visa (very tourist area nowadays) and I have enough ringgit too since I have exchanged it earlier at 339.5 🙁 Hence, I didn’t get the chance to withdraw the money to really test it out!
However, based on what I have researched online, there is no withdrawal fee but please paired it with Debit Card such that the funds withdrawn in foreign currency is from your deposit account with Trust (of course make sure you put some money inside). If you withdraw your fund from overseas ATM in credit card mode, there will be the usual cash advance fee for credit card! Please take note!
But one negative point about this card is that you won’t earn points/rewards if you spend in foreign currency as compared to using other credit cards. However, the points/rewards that you have earned from these transactions from your usual credit card likely won’t be able to offset the extra amount (foreign currency conversion fee + spread) that you have paid.
Update on Oct 2023:
I did an atm withdrawal using Debit Card in Bukit Indah Aeon Mall during my short trip. There is no withdrawal fee, and the rate is better than those money exchanger in Singapore.
For those that don’t have Trust bank/Trust Card and will be going overseas, do consider signing up.
Simply download the Trust Bank SG App on the App Store or Google Play Store. Tap on “Use referral code” immediately after you start the app and key in my referral code: KNDBPEPT. You will earn $10 NTUC voucher too! Free Money why not?
Good articles that you should read!
People are drawn to dividend investing.
Why? Firstly, dividends provide a regular stream of income, allowing investors to receive a portion of the company’s profits on a periodic basis. This can be particularly attractive for individuals seeking consistent cash flow or looking to supplement their existing income. Additionally, dividend investing is often viewed as a more stable and predictable investment strategy compared to relying solely on capital appreciation.
I always write and share articles, especially on dividends which many people love them. Do read them!
- Simplified Guide to the Key Gist of Grant of Probate and Estate Planning
- Cheapest and best way to trade Singapore Stocks with CDP
- Mastering Dividend Investing: 5 Evergreen Investment Principles
- Unlock Lucrative Returns with IAPD: A High-Yield ETF Providing 7% Annual Yield and Quarterly Payouts
- Unlock Lucrative Returns with SDIV: A High-Yield ETF Providing 11% Annual Yield and Monthly Payouts
- If I am a dividend investor, this is what I would do….
- 7 Things to consider before buy a dividend stock
- 4 Dividend ETFs that can let you sleep well even in the scary bear market
- 5 Best Counters for Passive Dividend Investing
- The Three MOST Important Traits of an Investor
- What is the best investment strategy in the world?
- Ultimate Strategy of buying REITS: XXX instead of X000?
- Ultimate Free 2 Days Reit MasterClass: Exclusive at Careyourpresent.com only!
Alternatively, you can go the right side of my page, there is a search bar where you can simply search “dividend” to see all my articles related to dividends!
Of course, you can search for other things that would interest you such as “Careyourpresent”, “Reits”, “Side Hustles”, “Fixed Incomes”, “Savings” etc.
Money just buy you the chance of freedom.
When you are young and working, you exchange time for money. When you are old, you can have lots of money but you can’t buy time back, especially the things that you have missed while busying striking out in career. Of course, if you love your career, and consciously know that you are missing out the first time your child walk or talk, that’s ok, but if you are the other spectrum, please do something about it.
Your kids grew up and they no longer need you to accompany them. They no longer want to sit on your lap to share/do things with you…all these time you spent in your 9 to 6 or even longer cubicles…can the money that you have earned by you back these?
We always thought we have more time with our old parents, but we are wrong. Time with them is ticking away every day. One day it will suddenly be gone. There is no regret medicine, no reset in time. Gone is gone and cannot come back. No matter you are billionaires or millionaires, you cannot reset this.
We always thought that we have more time with our spouse every day, but we are wrong. One day they will be gone too. When you read this, please go tell your spouse that you love him/her and he or she is the best thing that you ever had in your life.
I have picked out some of the more life reflecting articles of the CAREYOURPRESENT series. Do read them:
- The Best Advice to Parents and Child
- What if Later never come?
- What will you bring with you on your last day on Earth?
- Time is the ultimate currency, not money
- Our Life only have 5 short Days – we should live the best for every day
- Truly understand Living in the Moment now
- 11 Important Unexpected Life and Money lessons to learn from Your Children
- The days are long but the years are short
- Ditch your mobile phone to build real life
- Careyourpresent: Time is the most important
- Careyourpresent: What is your purpose of life?
- Careyourpresent : Greatest Regrets in life
- Careyourpresent : You might not believe it. It’s little unexpected things that make up a real life
- Careyourpresent: Something only happen once in life, if you missed it, it’s gone forever…
- Careyourpresent : Why is Gold useful?
- Careyourpresent: Frozen. Let it go!
Love your life daily.
You have one less day with your spouse, parents, children and yourself.
Time is ticking away.
For each passing day,
Enjoy and Treasure your Life!
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- Ebooks and other useful resources on enhancing productivity (Investment, Excel, Notion etc). Currently most of it are free at this moment (subject to change).
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- Trust Bank – You will enjoy free FairPrice E-Voucher referral if you sign up via my referral code KNDBPEPT. Simply download the Trust Bank SG App on the App Store or Google Play Store. Tap on “Use referral code” immediately after you start the app and key in: KNDBPEPT
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