Do you remember Travelex – you know the foreign currency exchange company located in most airport terminals? I was absolutely crushed when I heard they closed their locations in the United States. And yes, even though the clerk registered my personal information incorrectly when I first signed up, the benefits of the card far outweighed the inconvenience of always having to visit one of their locations to reload my card.
The funny thing is, I actually didn’t realize they closed their US locations until I was days away from boarding a flight to Italy – which also happened to be my first international trip since the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, I experienced a brief moment of anxiety trying to figure out if I needed to find an alternative or if I would be fine without one (I settled on the latter). Little did I know an online purchase would soon prove that decision wrong.
At the time, Florence was experiencing colder than usual temperatures (something which I didn’t plan for). I found myself popping in and out of stores desperately trying to find “tall girl” friendly winter clothing. After very little success, I turned to the one place online where I knew I might have a fighting chance – ASOS. As luck would have it, I wasn’t so successful with them either, and after returning a sizeable purchase of sweaters, jeans, joggers, and knit skirts that looked better online than they did in person (story of my life!), I had $50 less in my pocket. Why? Because of the “lovely” exchange rate fluctuation. It wasn’t so much the final cost of the item I kept, as it was being caught off guard and unable to do anything about it that annoyed me the most.
After swallowing the fact that the one item I kept, a pair of $25 black liquid tights, actually cost me $75, I went straight to Google and started researching ways I could avoid this happening again. Low and behold, I came across Wise (formerly TransferWise) – the solution to my problem! With Wise, I could pay for my online purchases in whatever currency I chose without worrying about exchange rates (happy dance and waving hands in the air)! Of course, Wise has additional features such as holding multiple currencies and converting currencies within your accounts, but they clearly had me sold with the multi-currency card. Although I discovered Wise after-the-fact, I took comfort in knowing that was the last time I would make an online purchase and unexpectedly pay more than its retail price!
So for all my international travelers out there…have you tried Wise before? Do you have any other recommendations? If so, we’d love for you to share them with us!