How to Get the Best Exchange Rate for Your Travel Money

Coins, dollar notes and passport travel money

You’ve booked your ticket and sorted out your air b&b accommodation. Now what? To get the most bang from your holiday buck, you need to know how to get the best exchange rate for your currency conversion.
Here are some helpful tips:

10 Ways to Get the Best Exchange Rate

1. Understand the jargon

The world of foreign exchange rates and international currency conversion has its own unique language and jargon. Understand it and you’re in a better position to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

Sell rate:

This refers to the rate you get when you exchange your Australian dollars to buy foreign currency like US dollars or Euro dollars. It is always going to be lower than the Buy rate or the Interbank rate.

Buy rate:

So, this, of course, is the rate on offer to you when you exchange leftover foreign currency.

Interbank (or Bank-to-bank) rate:

When banks exchange money between their own institutions they use this wholesale rate. It is also the rate you will see on websites like or yahoo finance. When you hear the exchange rate on the radio or see it on the news, they are quoting the Interbank rate.


How to get the best exchange rate for travel

2. Do some research

If we’re talking mainstream currency, like the US dollar or the Euro, it doesn’t matter so much but if you are heading to more exotic locations, it pays to research the currency quirks relevant to your destination.

For example, did you know that the Moroccan Dirham can’t be exchanged internationally?

And did you realise that Cuba actually has two currencies – one for locals and another for tourists.

A little bit of research about the currency of your destination can save you money, time and stress.


3. Monitor exchange rates

Keep an eye on the daily interbank rates of your chosen currency. That way, you’ll recognise a good exchange rate. Because currency is always going up and down, the price you can get in exchange fluctuates on a daily basis.

Everything from local employment figures to interest rates, conflict and economic forecasts can make currency topple, so watch your rate and look for the best possible currency exchange rate.

Research travel money options

 4. Compare Exchange Rates

Not only do currency rates change from day to day – they also vary from provider to provider. Be sure to shop around and compare prices for exchange rates before you buy. A quick phone call to our experts at The Currency Shop can give you all the information you need.

To compare Australian Travel Money Exchange Rates, click here

5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Just like interest rates on home loans, it’s possible to negotiate foreign exchange rate discounts too – especially when exchanging  a large amount.

You might be lucky enough to score an extra 0.5% on the advertised rate if you ask – definitely worth a try.

Monitor currency exchange

6. Don’t believe the hype

0% commission offers might sound great but when you explore the reality behind the specials touted by some currency providers, you might find a poorer rate because they have actually hidden their commission in the margin of their exchange rate. The best advice? It’s all about knowing your currency – and shopping around.


 7. Beware of fees

Walking into a foreign exchange office and whipping out your transaction card can make currency conversion exchanges easy but there is usually a hidden fee or two that will show  up on your statement later – so be warned and make sure you ask about all the associated fees.

Negotiate best exchange rate

8. Pre-paid Travel cards

These can be used an alternative to a debit card and stocked up with money before you leave. They do have some limitations and make sure you read the small-print before you buy to avoid hidden fees and charges.

To compare Australian Prepaid Travel Cards, click here


9. Travellers’ cheques

Travellers’ cheques can be easily replaced if you lose them, or if they are stolen stolen and they are more secure than cash. The most widely recognised travellers’ cheques are American Express. Be aware of the limitations – only six major currencies are available.


10. Storefront versus Online

The online world often has great deals – much better than the teller at the bank says they have on offer. By ordering cash online to pick-up from a store or have delivered through the post, you do often get a better rate but there is a wait time involved so do what suits you.

Once you’ve got that sorted – make sure you have a safe and secure way to transport your money while you see the sights. Dealing with small bills is always best in public. For any questions about your next overseas trip and how to make sure you are accessing the best possible foreign exchange rate for your holiday, talk to our currency specialists at The Currency Shop.



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Helping You Save Money on Currency

Buying travel money or transferring money overseas can be expensive and confusing. So how do you make the best choice and get the most out of your money?

An easy way is to use a comparison table for either international money transfers or currency exchange. These tables list and compare the banks with other large foreign exchange companies.

We’ve also put together tons of helpful videosguides and reviews that will help you make the right decision. You can work out a cheaper way of converting currency while still keeping your money safe.