1. Call First to Make Sure They Stock What You Want
I was amazed how many currency exchange stores simply had no currency on hand. Most didn’t have Japanese Yen, Indonesian Rupiah or Thai Baht. Also, make sure they have the denominations you want. I found that 2 places didn’t even have US dollars in anything above small notes.
2. There is Room to Move
I got the best exchange rates only when I asked if they could do any better. If you are exchanging more than $2,000 Australian dollars worth of currency, I think it is a must. There is usually room to move.
3. Bank Exchange Rates Bite
The best exchange rates from a bank was 0.7018 which is a far cry from the best overall exchange rate of 0.7253
The average rate from the big 4 banks we looked at came in 1.66 cents or $33.16 worse for our amount of 1000 US dollars
4. Save Your Strength
Running around Melbourne for an hour is not worth the $59.90 I saved on my amount of 1000 US dollars. It is more worth the effort if you are buying bigger amounts above 2,000 Australian dollars. If you are buying more than $5000, save time and stress by letting a currency broker like The Currency Shop to do the running around for you.
5. Horses for Courses
Just because a currency exchange has a great US dollar rate, doesn’t mean they will be competitive on all currencies.
6. Options Outside of the City
The best places to exchange currency outside of the Melbourne CBD are in areas largely dominated by migrant communities. We found great exchange rates from smaller businesses in Dandenong and Sunshine.
7. Comparing Online Versus Hitting the Pavement
Promo Alert. The Currency Shop compares exchange rates of most of the banks and a few more options. It’s particularly useful if you want to order the currency online and arrange to pick it up at a set location.
8. Don’t transfer money overseas at the same time
Every place we visited also offered an international money transfer service. It was either through their company or they act as an agent for Moneygram. The exchange rates were awful, not to mention the fees. To compare some better options to transfer money overseas click here