Use Up Foreign Currency By Paying Down Your Hotel Bill

Photo: Christian Dubovan, Unsplash

On a recent trip to Mexico, just as I was about to check out of my hotel and head to the airport, I realised that I had about 1000 extra pesos in cash.

I first walked right over to my bank’s partner ATM (the same trusty machine where I had withdrawn thousands of pesos only days prior), to find out that this global ATM alliance allowed me to withdraw local currency, but not deposit it back to my account.

So what was I to do with this extra cash? I could exchange it before leaving (surely at an unfavourable rate), or do the same when I returned home (probably the same scenario). I thought about buying duty free liquor or lollies at the airport, but was carrying so much luggage already. What about leaving tips for the staff of the hotel? Even after that, I still had 700 pesos left.

Then it dawned on me as I signed the final forms upon check out: You can pay the hotel with your remaining cash, and have them charge your card on file for the balance.

So simple! No bad conversion rates! Easily use up everything at the last possible minute! They just handed me a folio with 700 pesos deducted from the total, and I headed right on over to the airport.

Similarly, if you’re staying with a friend, just give them all your extra cash and have them transfer you back for it, if they’re comfortable with that. And if you’re staying in an Airbnb, well, this tactic is moot, though you could potentially ask your host to do the cash/transfer method mentioned above.

In my mind, however, this will now count as one of the benefits of choosing a hotel for an international trip. That, and the plush bathrobes.


Comments

    Except for the fact most hotels are paid upfront or at check-in, not at check-out.

    So let me see if I've got this right—you can use up local currency by spending it?

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