Saturday, February 7, 2009

Handy Currency Converter

Getting cash when outside your home country is difficult. ATMs charge you substantial fees & then give you large denominations that cab drivers and bartenders hate or refuse to accept (can you break a 50€ note with a Paris cabbie? or a 500 Rupee note in a Bangalore lunch room?). Airports and hotels are notoriously insidious for skimming currency conversion rates and short changing you. The Bangalore airport and my hotel's front desk are no exception.

For the business traveller, it's less of a problem for the individual. Every time I have to get cash on a business trip, I check the international exchange rate Here, at XE's handy site, and whatever I am short changed, I turn it in as a business expense. The XE site even has a handy "calendar" option, where you can pull down past dates of conversion rates (back to 1995), for making expense accounting less onerous.

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