Bank of Queensland Foreign Currency Account Review

The world of business grows smaller and more interconnected each day. Australians who regularly deal with foreign currency often prefer the ease and security of a foreign currency account. Is the Bank of Queensland Foreign Currency Account the best option for your needs?

Our complete Bank of Queensland Foreign Currency Account review details the pluses and minuses as well as the major features.

Pros
  • No minimum account balance
  • Avoid many conversion and transfer fees
  • Specialized accounts based on profession
  • Trusted bank with over 200 locations across the country
Cons
  • $25 monthly maintenance fee
  • Fees vary based on transfer method
  • Exchange rates must be requested

Features of Bank of Queensland BOQ Foreign Currency Account

Founded in 1874, the BOQ operated under the name the Brisbane Permanent Benefit Building and Investment Society. Just 10 years later, they changed from a building society into a bank. In 1970, the bank became computerized and changed their name to the Bank of Queensland.

 

Although not one of the Big Four (the four largest banks in Australia), the Bank of Queensland is still a major regional bank. They have over 190 locations across the country. Here are some of the features found in their foreign currency accounts:

 

Occupation-Based Specialisation: Most banks simply offer “one size fits all” foreign currency accounts. The Bank of Queensland actually offers a bit more. They tailor their foreign currency accounts towards the needs of different professional situations.

 

You can select accounts created for doctors, dentists, veterinarians and students. Features are designed to help with the type of foreign financial transactions commonly required in each profession. Of course, standard foreign currency accounts are also available.

 

Save on Conversion Costs: If you frequently send or receive foreign funds, bank fees, conversions and other transfer fees can add up if applied for every transaction. With a foreign currency account, you can reduce those fees and save up to 10% each year.

 

Foreign Currency Term Deposit: If you don’t need your funds right away, this is an effective way to still gain interest on deposits. This is a fixed term, fixed rate investment available in any major currency. Often a great choice if you receive more foreign funds than you pay out.

 

Quick, Easy and Secure: Receiving foreign currency can sometimes be a hassle, especially if you’re receiving amounts over $10,000. However, the process can often be faster and simpler if you’re transferring money into an existing foreign currency account.

 

Plus, the Bank of Queensland is able to provide protection against fraud and other potential issues. You’re not always able to verify people and organizations in other countries as thoroughly as you like. If any problems should occur during an international financial transaction, BOQ help is available.

Currencies Available with a Bank of Queensland Foreign Currency Account

The BOQ offers accounts in seven currencies. The U.S. dollar (USD), Australian dollar (AUD), Euro, Yen, New Zealand dollar, Sterling and South African Rand are all available.

 

They’re also open to accepting other currencies. Contact a BOQ customer service agent to learn if you can open a foreign currency account in a currency other than the one listed above.

Fees

Fees depend on the method used to transfer funds. What’s interesting about the Bank of Queensland is they charge a flat fee for all international transfers. The amount you’re sending, and the country you’re sending it to, doesn’t influence the fees. This makes the BOQ a great choice if you send multiple amounts to many different countries on a regular basis.

 

Online transfers have a fee of $20. Fees for international drafts are $15. Finally, in-branch transfers are $35. You’ll want to determine which methods you’ll likely use the most and decide if the fees make financial sense for your situation.

Exchange Rates

Exchange rates are based on the economic activity of each country. These rates change frequently. When transferring money from one currency to another, the exchange rate will need to be calculated beforehand.

 

You can calculate this rank yourself through any number of independent exchange rate calculators available online. Additionally, BOQ customer support is available to help you determine an up-to-date exchange rate either over the phone or in person at a local branch.

 

Due to the ever-changing nature of exchange rates, the BOQ doesn’t publish exchange rates on their site. However, they do post exchange rates for selling drafts, notes and travel cards. They also list the price of buying notes and cheques.

How to Apply for a BOQ Foreign Currency Account

Applying for a Bank of Queensland foreign currency account is fast and simple, similar to applying for any other BOQ account. You can apply in-person at any of the 190 branches located throughout the country.

 

Looking to apply during closed hours? You can also apply over the phone or online. The online application is a standard form which requests some basic information in order to receive a callback, so you might want to try in-person or phone application first.

A better multi-currency account with lower fees

TransferWise released the Borderless Account in Australia. At first glance, it is significantly easier to set-up, receive and send foreign currency. The fee structure is also better than any of the other foreign currency account we've reviewed in Australia.

The thing that makes it different to every other foreign currency account, is that it allows you to up a local bank account in AUD, GBP, EUR or USD. That means if you open up a USD account, you’ll have your own ABA and account number (think BSB and account number).

It’s a big deal. Why?

Having your own local bank account makes it significantly easier, faster and cheaper to receive money.

To read our full review of the TransferWise Borderless Account, click here or watch this video

Learn More About the Borderless Account