How to travel Smart and save with DBS Multi-Currency Account - - Singapore Wacky Digital Underground Outpost

How to travel Smart and save with DBS Multi-Currency Account

Carrying too much cash or paying too much when using credit cards overseas?

Travelling can be an expensive affair but we will show you how to make your holidays a tad more affordable than usual by using DBS Multi-Currency (MCA) , the smartest account to use for foreign currency expenditure.

When it comes to making travelling plans, our modus operandi was to book flights and attractions tickets online . For overseas expenditure, we tend to rely on mainly cash for expenses and credit card for hotel stay. If you are a frequent traveller, you would know that these would be the bulk of your budget for travelling. 

Cash is not always king

Carrying wads of cash in foreign countries may not be the safest way to travel. You either end up carrying   very bulky wallet or you risk misplacing them, or worse -be a potential target for thieves. We can attest to that, having been burgled during our trip to Bali and lost our money for holiday.

Furthermore, cash may not always be the cheapest option. You are subjected to the money changer's rate. We had encounters where we were quoted up to 5% difference in the exchange rate for the day. As a result, you lose money even before you start to travel.

Credit Cards are the most expensive way to pay 

If cash it not the option, what about credit cards. Many people are not aware that the use of credit cards for overseas use subjects you to a foreign transaction fee.

The foreign transaction fee is  a fee that comprises of 3 components.
1) Fees charge by credit card network
2) Fee charge by card issuer
3) FX Conversion Fee

Fees charges by the credit card network and card issuer can be as high as 3%. Add FX conversion fee and you would be paying a rate as high as 5-6%. This applies to your overseas online purchase too.

In some cases, you have the option to pay in SGD instead of 'local currency' using Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).  NEVER use this option as the FX rate is usually worse off than the FX conversion fee of banks AND you may be subjected to foreign transaction fee. This double whammy can easily skyrocket your expenses by as much as 15%!

DBS Multi Currency Account (MCA) -Pay Like a Local

Source : DBS

The smart way to pay if you are a frequent traveller would be opening a DBS MCA 

How does it works
  • Opening an account
Open a DBS MCA account online and apply for a DBS Visa Debit card and link your MCA as your primary account. And you're all set to start spending overseas and online! 

  • Buy and Save currencies at your preferred rate, 24/7
You could buy and save up to 12 foreign currencies at your preferred exchange rate 24/7 and enjoy no FX conversion fees with the MCA. The exchange rate spread is about 1-2% which is comparable, if not better than money changer.

Given the good rates, using the MCA is useful for online shopping, investments or overseas transfer and payments!

List of currencies as follows 
Australia Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Chinese Renminbi (Offshore -CNH), Euro (EUR), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), Japanese Yen (JPY), New Zealand Dollar(NZD), Norwegian Kroner(NOK), Sterling Pound(GBP) , Swedish Kroner(SEK), Thai Baht (THB) ,US Dollar (USD)
Use it for online shopping too 

  • Receive FX alerts on the rates you want
Too busy to monitor the market but have an FX rate in mind? DBS will send you a notification once your ideal FX rates are met. How convenient is that?

  • No FX Conversion fees or extra charges
With the MCA, you can avoid hidden costs such as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) and double conversion fees – all foreign currency transactions will be debited from the foreign currency funds in your MCA, All these with no extra fees.  Ease your mind AND time while shopping online and overseas. Say no to DCC and foreign transaction fees associated with credit card use. 
Source:  DBS 

  • Transfer Funds overseas at zero or lower fees
Same day transfers at zero or lower fees when you remit MCA funds online to countries such as Australia, China, Canada, Eurozone, Hong Kong, UK, USA and more. Great for parents who are remitting funds to their children studying overseas.

  • Avoid Bulky Cash when you travel
Be safe and go cashless while travelling. Link the MCA to your DBS Visa Debit Card and use it to pay for overseas expenses or even withdraw cash at overseas ATM (Overseas ATM charges may apply) When you spend 1,000 Yen in Japan with DBS Visa Card with MCA, that would mean you’d be paying 1,000 Yen, with no extra FX or administrative fees!  

The Bottom Line

So how much can you save with the DBS MCA?

Using our last trip to Japan, these are the expected savings if we use the DBS MCA

Hotel Stay for 2 weeks:  $5500
Attractions: $1500
Total $9000

Using credit card, the 'extra' expenses would work out to be 

$9000 x 5% (Foreign Transaction Fee) = $450

If we had used Dynamic Currency Conversion, the extra expenses would be

$9000 x 15% (DCC charges) = $1350
Source DBS

Using  DBS Multi Currency Account, we would only have to pay for the exchange rate. Looking at DBS FX rates, it would be about 1.2 % 

$9000 x 1.2% = $108

We would have save a whopping $342 to $1242 for one trip alone. Multiple it by the number of trips you make for a year, you could easily save a bundle.
Go cash free on travels!
The MCA is not only useful for overseas travel. You would save too if you use it to shop online that charges in foreign currencies. If you have children studying overseas, you could also save with zero or lower transfer fees. With such savings, it would be difficult to say no to the MCA. 

If you are keen to enjoy the savings too, head to DBS website to apply!

Terms & Conditions apply. 
SGD deposits are insured up to S$75k by SDIC.

This article is sponsored by DBS; all opinions are of my own.

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