What to Do With Leftover Currency? | 7 Tips for Dealing with Unused Notes & Coins

Hey, it's Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, we're answering a common

question asked by almost all international travelers, "what do I do

with the leftover currency from my trip?"

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You know the drill. You come back from an international trip and you still have

some unused cash or coins. I feel like this happens all the time. I

think a lot of times too, I'll put my change in my backpack when going to the

airport only to find it days later. So today, we're talking about the best ways

to deal with leftover foreign currency. Before we get started, I just wanted to

mention to some of our new viewers that we are a travel channel that is focused on

sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable. Traveling

can be stressful and expensive, so we're looking for ways to help you maximize

your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative gear. As

many of you know, I'm a big advocate of using your credit cards whenever

possible, even when traveling. Of course, you want to make sure they use a credit

card with no foreign transaction fees and also pay in the local currency if

given the choice. But as you know, there are some places and situations

where you have to use cash. There's just no way around it. So, let's jump into some

ways to deal with your leftover currency. Number 1: Exchange it. It may seem

really logical to just exchange your foreign currency, but it can be tough. You

could try and use the foreign currency exchange booth at the airport, but just

know that you'll be getting an unfavorable exchange rate, and usually

charged a conversion fee. Also, you can try taking it to a bank, but most will only

accept certain currencies and they often won't accept coins. Many banks also have

a minimum amount and will charge a fee for the conversion. Unless you've got a

lot of cash left over, I don't recommend going this route.

There are other options when it comes to exchanging your money. Apparently, casinos

are a great place to exchange money as they tend to take a lot of different

currencies and we'll give you a great rate. I've personally never done it, but if

you live near a casino, it might be worth trying. The last way that I know is to

use a service like Leftover Currency. It seems like a lot of

travelers have used it and the reviews seem to be solid. You basically fill out

an exchange form, mail your currency, and then you receive your money

electronically through electronic transfer, PayPal, or check. The types of

currencies are limited, but it definitely seems like a great way to get a better

deal than the exchange booths. The company doesn't charge a fee either and

their exchange rates are competitive. Mailing currency does seem to be a bit

risky, but based on the reviews, people seem to rate the service highly. Number

2: Apply it to your final hotel bill. If you're ending your overseas trip, you

might want to ask the hotel whether you can pay part of your bill with your

remaining cash and coins. Most hotels will honor the request. You may still

need some currency if you're planning to take a taxi that doesn't accept credit

cards or you need to pay a departure fee. However, in most cases, this is probably

one of the easiest ways to get rid of your currency before heading home.

Number 3: Donate it. A great way to get rid of your leftover currency is to

donate it. Many airlines and airport lounges will collect donations,

specifically for programs like UNICEF's "Change for Good". Another great option is

to donate it to your local school district. Currency can often be used to

help kids learn about geography. Anything that we can do to help teachers inspire

and engage kids seems like a worthy cause. Especially in the US, our

teachers tend to be underpaid and under-appreciated, so finding ways to help

them, even through donating, is an excellent option. Number 4: Load money

on your Starbucks card. This is a great tip that I got from Frugal Travel Guy.

Most airports around the world have a Starbucks, so you can usually ask the

store to load up your Starbucks card. Starbucks states that there are no

transaction or conversion fees and that the credit occurs in the original

currency of the card. Assuming that there aren't any language or technical

barriers, this could be an easy way to exchange some of your currency. Number

5: Sell it on eBay. This is one method that I saw recommended on some travel

forums. It's definitely legal but it seems rather complicated in terms of

proving the amounts and dealing with any discrepancies. I personally don't know

that I would go this route, but I decided to include it since I know people are

doing it. Number 6: Give it as a gift. When I was

a kid, one of my uncles traveled around the world for his job, and actually gave

me a ton of his leftover currency. I loved collecting them and it honestly

made me curious about traveling to a lot of countries. If there's a young person

in your life consider giving it to them as a gift. It makes a great souvenir and

may even inspire them in the future to travel abroad to the same place. Number

7: Keep it! Whether it's for sentimental value or just in case you

decide to visit a place again, it might just make sense to keep it. There's

always a risk that your currency might become outdated. For example, in many

European countries that adopted the Euro, there was a grace period to exchange the

old currencies. Also, sometimes countries will transition to new materials, which

is what happened in the UK with their 20 pound notes. So, your currency might

become outdated or obsolete, but for most people, having some old currency is a

good way to remember a trip and hopefully encourage you to book another

vacation. What do you do with your leftover currency? Do you have any

additional tips? Please let us know in the comment section below. Thank you for

watching this video. If you enjoyed it, please give us a thumbs up and consider

sharing our videos or channel with others that might also benefit from our

content. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.