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Thread: Exchange Rates

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Exchange Rates

    Note: This is a continuation of a conversation that started here.

    I am not an expert on exchange rates, though I have been keeping a close watch on them in anticipation of my next trip. And I don't know which site you use to check.

    It certainly was not the case when I was at the main exchange at the airport a week or two ago. (It is pretty well where the best rates are always available for cash conversions.) By taking only US dollars, I got considerably more than I would have got in Canadian dollars.

    I have heard anicdotally, from travellers, that by not changing the money here, you won't get the same rates when overseas. Not sure how all that works. All I know is, that here we are still getting more US dollars for our buck, than we do Canadian $$.

    And I am not surprised that the price of the gps has come down. Good ones are well below $250 here also.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-18-2011 at 06:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    I've never known an airport to be a good place to get a fair exchange rate. In your case, specifically, I'm sure they simply do a lot more business in US$ compared to CAN$, and that's why you're getting a better rate for US$. I suspect your airport gets a lot of US travelers who change their money there, and it is easier/cheaper for them to sell those US$ to you, rather than to take them to their bank to convert them back.

    I was using the calculations based on market rate information provided by Google. If you are exchanging money at a bank, you should get a return that is similar to the market rate. That's also a reason why using Credit Cards/ATMs are a great way to buy things in a foreign country. There will typically be some sort of percentage fee, but you'll get the most accurate exchange rate, and the fees you get charged from a bank/card transaction are typically similar to, or less than you'd get from changing cash.

  3. #3
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    The largest money exchange at Tullamarine airport, is actually the money exchange from the bank with which I hold my accounts - and not one of those commercial exchange places. And they do not charge a commission, and if you keep the receipt, will buy back any unused cash.

    It was actually the teller at my local bank who sent me up there, as she said it is the best and the cheapest.

  4. #4
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    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    They might not charge a commission, but I'll bet they simply take their cut by adjusting the exchange rate appropriately (which is very common).

    Out of curiosity, what are you getting for an exchange rate there?

  5. #5
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    Default As at today

    I think I heard this morning that the 'official' rate was US$1.06 for AU$1.

    When doing electronic transfers, that is, transferring from my account to a US account, you get pretty close to the 'official' rate, with a flat charge. So the more you transfer, the less the charge. $25 May be a lot on $200, but is peanuts on $10.000.

    The best I got in the several cash exchanges I have done so far was $1.08 for $1, when the official rate was $1.10.

    The 'in bank' rates are usually one or one and a half cents below what I got, and the commercial places can be even a full cent below that again. The latter two charge both a commission and conversion fees.

    For transactions up to, I think about AU$600, the large bank exchange at the airport charges neither, and gives a better 'cash' rate, to boot! That is why I have been there several times. Neither do they charge fees or commission when you want to sell the leftovers back to them (with your receipt).

    But I don't think I will be doing that. I just hang on to it, and send suprise presents to my grandchildren. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    I use XE for the current rates. At this time it's 1 AUD = 1.06010 USD and 1 AUD = 1.03187 CAD. These are not the "buy" or "sell" rates, they are "mid-market" rates from global currency markets.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia.
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    Default

    Interesting read here.

    We locked in a good rate a few weeks back and did the bolt! After a friends recommendation we purchased ANZ (AU bank) visa cards - one for US another for CA - and it only cost us $11 per card.

    Both are in local currency and doesn't cost anything to use (except cash out ~ $2.20 USD). You also get a backup card for each in case one is lost. You can check balance on-line and top up if required.

    I think we got it at about $1AU - $1.035USD. Like Lifey said, it was about 1.5c under the official rate at the time.

    Little did we know then how things would improve for the $AUD in the coming 3 weeks!! Oh well - it could have been much worse too...

  8. #8
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    Matty, that is a new one for me... and yes, I am with the ANZ. Not that I ever go near a bank, just do everything online.

    So tell me, how does it work. Do you put money into it now, and withdraw as you use it, or has it given you a guaranteed rate of 1.03 for the complete time of your trip?

    Lifey

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Brisbane, Australia.
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    Yes - you put money on it now, then just use it as a local visa or eftpos everywhere you go. Great for hotels / restaurants and petrol.

    When you bring it back you can basically wait for a good time to exchange it back to $AUD.

    We don't bank with ANZ, but St George didn't have anything like it. You don't need to be an ANZ a/c holder to get the card either.

    Matt

  10. #10
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    Default

    Wow!!

    Beats carrying cash!

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