Stupid Tip of the Day: An Easy Way to Get Rid of Excess Foreign Currency

Your trip was a success; and as it comes to a close, you once again find yourself with excess currency — and you wonder what is the best way to get rid of it: spend it on something you do not want or need? Exchange it back into the currency you will use when you travel home and take a loss? Donate it to a worthwhile organization or to someone who is in need? Keep it as a souvenir or give it as a gift to a family member?

Stupid Tip of the Day: An Easy Way to Get Rid of Excess Foreign Currency

While the aforementioned solutions are all viable — and although there are certainly other legitimate alternatives — an easy way to get rid of excess foreign currency is to use it to help pay the bill at the last hotel or resort property at which you are staying on your trip.

Simply ask the person behind the front desk if he or she will take the currency as partial payment for the final bill and use the credit card for the remaining balance on your folio. I have never been denied this request; and fulfilling it only takes a few extra minutes.


Obviously, using your excess foreign currency to help pay for your lodging will not work if you already paid in full in advance on a restricted reservation which cannot be modified without a penalty — and if the currency is different than that officially used in the country in which the hotel or resort property is located, that usually will not work either — but I have used this method successfully with no issues a number of times; and I usually have no foreign currency left by the time I am homeward bound…

…and the best part is that it costs nothing to accomplish.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Stupid Tip of the Day: An Easy Way to Get Rid of Excess Foreign Currency”

  1. Danny says:

    A better idea is to use it for some Duty Free item as a gift for yourself or someone else. You might need the cash after the hotel for transportation costs to the airport.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Sometimes I will leave over the equivalent of five dollars or ten dollars just in case, Danny

      …but I have been quite adept at taking into account costs after leaving the hotel but before boarding the airplane on my trips; and I have had very little money left over — and many times, no money left over — after my calculations.

      Obviously, if the flight is scheduled late in the evening, more money needs to be allocated — especially in case an establishment will not accept credit cards — than a flight which is scheduled to leave early in the morning.

  2. DaninMCI says:

    This is fine but I usually want some at the departure airport as well.
    I have seen people sell foreign currency on eBay also.

  3. ptahcha says:

    I’ve been doing this for years, and it’s a great idea.

    Duty free is also a great idea to used up local currency.

    Finally, certain US banks (my bank Bank of America comes to mind) will purchase foreign currency from you with a minimal fee – much better than the exchange rate at the airport currency exchange booth.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did not know that, ptahcha. Thank you.

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