Where to exchange AUD to US dollars

Discussion in 'Money Management & Banking' started by Martinez22, 12th Apr, 2019.

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  1. Martinez22

    Martinez22 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone recommend any good places to exchange AUS dollars into US dollars at a good rates, with least amount of fees?
     
  2. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Is this to take cash with you on a trip, or to send to somebody?
     
  3. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    Cash? Or in an account?
     
  4. Martinez22

    Martinez22 Well-Known Member

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    Cash for a holiday*
     
  5. Yann

    Yann Well-Known Member

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    I have used TransferWise a few times recently and it is quite good. I suspect many online currency converter would do just as well, but TransferWise has a concept of an "account" online where you can store money in the currency you wish. So if you have a contact where you go on holidays, you could fill up your TransferWise account in the right currency (there are lots) and make local bank transfers when you are on holidays.
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    If it’s for a holiday I would be inclined to open a Citibank everyday acct.
    put the required aud into there.

    Full account access overseas, no fees, and visa exchange rates (close to market leading for small transactions).
    Far less hassle/risk than taking cash.

    *note* I believe some other banks have come out with similar accounts which have much ‘friendlier’ Systems and processes. (ING maybe?). Worth checking.


    Blacky
     
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  7. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree. Especially the bit around carrying cash - which apart from the risk, is likely to cost you more. And then you lose again when you have to change foreign cash to AUD.

    Most banks have something like this, some better than others. You're far better to have a card, you can usually withdraw cash at a not unreasonable cost from most countries if the world. Check the costs though at your destination branch, some banks have much higher fees than others.

    They often give you two cards, which can be useful.
     
    Last edited: 15th Apr, 2019
  8. paulF

    paulF Well-Known Member

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    Adding to the above about citibank, they usually have some of the best aud/usd rates.
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    Of the banks. Yes.
    But the online transfer providers are getting better rates at present.

    I use TransferWise which is quick, cheap, reliable. And a much better rate than even Citibank is offering and thousands cheaper than the banks.
     
  10. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    The OP wanted cash for a holiday.

    Transferwise is good for sending money to somebody else's account (or in some circumstances, for somebody else to collect from a bank). I don't believe that it's set up to enable a person to be able to get cash as they need it - at least not easily.

    My wife had some money to send to another country recently. They gave her the third degree before they would accept the transfer - and she had used that service before.

    Transferwise is just one of a number who do something similar, though one of the better ones based on my limited experience. Some of them advertise low fees, and have a horrible exchange rate. If the aim is to send money rather than to have money OS, it's really worth while shopping around.
     
  11. mikey7

    mikey7 Well-Known Member

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    I just use my Macquarie debit card and withdraw at ATMs over there.
    No fees except for what the ATM charges (was $1.44AUD in Japan), and the exchange rates were the closest I've ever seen to the current rate.

    I intend on doing the same when we go to the US.
     
  12. Martinez22

    Martinez22 Well-Known Member

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    What about setting up prepaid currency cards through the post office or those exchange shops. Worth the hype ?
     
  13. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    We've used them in the past to give money to our daughters while travelling. They work OK, but probably with slightly less flexibility than having a card linked to an account. I'm not sure of the cost now.

    BTW, the bank travel cards mentioned are in their own accounts. They set them up so that you can transfer money on the internet into the account linked to the card. That means that if you lose the card and somebody successfully uses it, you're limited to the amount that's in that account, and not your linked accounts. I'd see them as more flexible, and possibly cheaper, than currency cards. But it would be worth checking out.
     
  14. FrivolousPanda

    FrivolousPanda Well-Known Member

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  15. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Never buy prepaid / bank or travel currency store currency cards unless you expect a currency crash and want to take a punt.

    Using a foreign ATM and bypassing fees will be at a far more competitive exchange rate. Currency cards are the modern version of rip off traveller cheques and the unfavourable hotel cashier scam. Many claim no fees and rip into the exchange rate. 5-8% loss is pretty normal. ATMs on the other hand typicall use the Cirrus etc exchange rate process and apply interbank rates with or without a international transaction fee....But that can also be avoided.

    Currency cards often also have separate wallets for each currency and if you spend all your EURO and only have UKP then they will convert the UKP to EURO taking another 5-8%. You cant win.

    I use a ING Orange Everyday fee free card. It also avoids foreign fees when buying online (saved $89 so far in three months and expect it will be closer to $200 once accom is paid) as well as world wide fee free ATM use. (Every ATM) If the machine operator charges a fee they reverse it usually in real time and sometimes within 24hrs. If the ATM bank imposes a international transaction fee that is also credited usually in real time. The card can also be locked through the app.
     
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