Smart spending tips for travelling abroad

Overseas spending guide to get financially prepared for a wonderful trip

Overseas spending tips

Everyone loves travelling. Whether you travel guided, self-guided or alone, check out our overseas spending guide to get financially prepared for a wonderful trip.

Before setting off: Travel checklist to get financially prepared

It is important to be well-prepared before departure if you wish to have an enjoyable trip. Remember to be financially prepared for a delightful spending experience.

  • Exchange foreign currency: Remember to prepare foreign currency in cash before departure. In addition to exchanging foreign currency at exchange shops or bank counters, foreign currency ATMs located at MTR stations and 24-hour Automated Banking Centres are also options for people with a busy schedule. You can directly withdraw cash in the desired foreign currency from your bank account without time constraints of the business hours of exchange shops and banks, and the need to queue up at the counter, which would provide you with higher flexibility. Besides, as exchange rate fluctuates, many banks would offer FX Order Watch for you to pre-set your target exchange rate and amount. The funds will be converted automatically once your target rate is reached, you can then directly withdraw cash in the foreign currency using a foreign currency ATM, saving you time and money.
  • Activate Overseas ATM cash withdrawal: Carrying large amounts of cash while travelling abroad is not recommended as it can make you more vulnerable to theft. Also, it will be difficult to retrieve once it is lost and some countries might even have restrictions on how much you are allowed to bring in and out of the country.  So, what can be done to have an enjoyable overseas spending experience while avoiding having too much cash in hand? Apart from using credit cards for overseas spending, we can also activate the overseas ATM cash withdrawal function to withdraw cash overseas via Personal e-Banking, mobile app, Phone Banking or ATMs before departure. Service fee will be charged for each withdrawal subject to the ATM networks.

While travelling: Play safe and pay safe

After all the preparations, you can finally enjoy your journey. But remember to spend wisely while having fun. Here are some tips for you:

  • Credit card for overseas spending: Besides paying in cash, credit cards are also commonly used for overseas spending. Apart from overseas transaction fees, overseas cash rebate, credit card exchange rates and regional restrictions should also be taken into consideration when choosing overseas credit cards as to lower the cost for overseas spending. A credit card with a high overseas cash rebate may even cover the overseas transaction fee. You can also keep an eye on the latest credit card offers where you may buy international SIM cards, book hotels or flights at a cheaper price.
  • Payment currency for overseas spending: Be aware of the payment currency when you are paying for overseas spending. Pay in the local currency if you can get a better exchange rate.

After the trip: Settling travel and overseas spending payment

After the trip, remember to check your spending records and settle the credit card payments on time.

  • Settling credit card payment: When you are paying for the bills related to this trip and overseas spending including flight tickets, accommodation and shopping, you can consider flexible payment choice like spending instalment. This will allow you to settle the card transactions by your preferred instalments based on your needs and repayment ability. Some banks may even offer handling fee rebates to provide more financial flexibility.

Exchange foreign currency in advance for your upcoming trip

Explore our products

Hang Seng Prestige World Mastercard

  • Worldwide airport lounge privilege
  • Global airport limousine service
  • Travel medical coverage
Terms and Conditions apply to the offers. To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow only if you can repay!

Foreign exchange

  • Comprehensive FX Trading Service covering up to 12 foreign currencies
  • Trade currencies at pre-set target exchange rate with FX Order Watch
  • Convenient FX ATM Service for both foreign exchange and note withdrawal

Spending Instalment (Monthly Handling Fee Plan)

  • Apply for Spending Instalment to split travel and overseas spending bills into 3 to 60 instalments
Terms and Conditions apply. To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow only if you can repay!

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Other point(s) to note

  1. To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow only if you can repay!
  2. Foreign exchange involves exchange rate risk. 
  3. Terms and Conditions apply. 

Risk Disclosures

  • Exchange rate risk
    Foreign exchange involves exchange rate risk. Fluctuations in the exchange rate of a foreign currency may result in gains or losses in the event that the customer converts HKD to foreign currency or vice versa.
  • RMB currency risk
    Renminbi ("RMB") is subject to exchange rate risk. Fluctuations in the exchange rate of RMB may result in losses in the event that the customer subsequently converts RMB into another currency (including Hong Kong Dollars). Exchange controls imposed by the relevant authorities may also adversely affect the applicable exchange rate. RMB is currently not freely convertible and conversion of RMB may be subject to certain policies, regulatory requirements and/or restrictions (which are subject to changes from time to time without notice). The actual conversion arrangement will depend on the policies, regulatory requirements and/or restrictions prevailing at the relevant time.


The information is provided by Hang Seng Bank Limited or its affiliates ("Hang Seng") for general information and reference only and does not constitute nor is it intended to be construed as any professional advice or recommendation. The information provided is based on sources which Hang Seng believes to be reliable but has not been independently verified. Any information provided herein are subject to changes without notice. No guarantee, representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correctness of any general information, projections and/or opinions ("Information") provided on this webpage and the basis upon which any such Information have been made, and no liability or responsibility is accepted by Hang Seng in relation to the use of or reliance on any such Information whatsoever provided on this webpage. Readers must make their own assessment of the relevance, accuracy and adequacy of the information provided on this webpage and make such independent research/investigations as they may consider necessary or appropriate for the purpose of such assessment. Hang Seng does not make any representation or recommendation or assessment as to whether or not any of the information mentioned herein is/are suitable or applicable to any persons and thus shall not be held responsible in this regard.