in this Material World as Madonna sang : it is all about money, AND “greed is good” even according to the newly digitally re-mastered classic movie Wall Street . further-more is makes a difference for casual travelers as well as foreigners living here who have to regularly take or send money abroad, and vice-versa . Yes today’s exchange rate on your smart-phone or iPhone is set, but most banks as well as exchange office render it differently and depending whether you are buying OR selling certain country’s money currency . so here are some of the facts holding true at least throughout South Korea :
- the best way to transfer money between countries, although much less secure : would be to exchange into CASH and bring it yourself across borders instead of wire-transfering from bank to bank .
- the best rate could be had at your main bank where you have done most of your business for a while, where they will offer you discounts .
- banks follow the law and record every exchange and wire-transfer you make, while independent exchange office are quite lenient : seldom verifying your ID .
- even among independent exchange offices : those in the most tourist shopping district offer the best rate due to competition . to-date : iTaewon has the best rate with MyeongDong close behind //
- then in those popular areas : those situated just off main streets – but NOT too far deep – have the best rate, than those right ON the main roads .
- even then, make sure to inquire in advance when exchanging large sums : for more discount AND so that they will have the sum ready when you arrive .
- aside from international banks in crowded business areas : currency available would be usually limited to Korean Won, U.S.Dollars, Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen . any other currency should be inquired before-hand including travelers’ checks and banks, and also at independent exchange offices .
- if you don’t have time to compare between local banks or independent exchange offices : SEOUL Train Station has better rates than inCheon Airport, to take the (direct non-stop) Airport Express Train between the two points //
– iTaewon BLog –