How to Find a Better Exchange Rate at Canberra Airport

If you are heading overseas and want to purchase currency exchange in Canberra Airport, this guide is for you.

We compare the different ways you can buy currency and give you some practical tips to get more out of your money.

Currency Exchange Canberra Airport Explained

There are two ways of exchanging money at Canberra Airport:

1. Buy online ahead of time and pick it up at the airport

This is by far, the more cost-effective method of getting your currency. This is largely because the exchange rates online are significantly better than over the counter.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Order your currency online and choose a pick up location as Departures at Canberra Airport
  2. Pay for it using BPAY (and avoid the card fee!)
  3. Pick up your ordered currency

Please keep in mind, you’ll avoid the card fee if you choose BPAY. The rate is locked in on the day you book the transaction. You can choose your pick up date but if you use BPAY, you’ll need to allow at least 3 business days. Also, they offer a better rate for amounts above $2000 but have a maximum transaction size of $5000.

Order Currency

2. In person at Canberra airport

Travelex has 2 stores and a couple of FX ATM’s you can use to purchase your travel money.

The store in arrivals is open from 7am to 4pm while the store in departures is open from 5.30am to 6.30pm

Related: How to Buy Currency: Online Versus In-Store

Pre Order Currency & Pick Up at the Airport

3 Practical tips To make the most of your money

Don’t wait until the last minute

If you work out the best way the week before you travel, you can compare exchange rates online or over the phone, find the best deal and arrange to either buy it in person or online (picking it up later).

Buying currency over the counter at Canberra airport or at an airport overseas can cost you a lot more if you don’t plan ahead.

The Avoidable fees

Travelex don’t charge commission over the counter however their exchange rates are considerably worse than outside the airport. Online, they have a 0.8% card fee that Travelex apply to online transactions.

If you are buying currency online, choose to pay through BPAY to avoid the card fee. Please note that if you are going to use this option you need to allow 3-4 business days before your trip to allow time to pick it up in time.

Should you wait until you are overseas?

In some cases, it is cheaper to buy your currency in the country you are going to rather than converting it before you leave. Good examples are Bali, Singapore and New Zealand (depending on where you go). Of course, it is a lot harder to find the best exchange rate when you are outside of Australia and you are running a higher risk of being scammed.

As a rule of thumb, the further away you are travelling, the less likely you’ll find better exchange rates overseas. This is because the further away from Australia you go, the less common Australian notes and coins are. As a result, they are also less likely to give you a good exchange rate.

Related: Is It Cheaper to Buy Currency Abroad?