Currency Exchange Options

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by cssaus, Aug 21, 2006.

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  1. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
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    Trying to determine what is the best option for exchanging foreign currency to Australian Dollars when returning from overseas.

    I had some Singapore Dollars & Hong Dollars and being a holder of an AMEX Platinum Credit Card I thought the local AMEX office would be the place to go.

    Apparently no-commission exchange fees only apply to holders of the Platinum Charge Card and not the Platinum Credit Card. Furthermore, there was an $A8 commission charge for each of the two currencies I was exchanging.

    I'm sure there must be better options that I can consider for the next time I need to exchange some foreign currency cash. It's just the case of trying to determine who screws you the least.
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I either spend them at the airport duty-free shops (most will take payment in a combination of currencies) or hold them until my next trip. Changing back to A$ is always going to lose lots of value.
     
  3. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
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    Sydney
    I tend to agree with you and I too hold currency back for when I next travel. However for any excess that I have I'd like to get idea as to ways to change it back to $A with the least loss in value.
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Find someone else who is travelling to that country soon and "sell" it to them. Obviously on receipts will exist if you need them for expense claims etc, but it can be a good win/win situation for both people.
     
  5. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
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    BNE
    What are you guys complaining about? I got stuck with 70 Egyptian Pounds. I tried to change them in the Cairo airport but they had no small hard currency notes-so they claim. :rolleyes: They're worth about $17. I couldn't find anything in the duty free I wanted at their inflated prices and I refused on principle to pay 70 pounds for a t-shirt that sells for 10 pounds in the souk! I'm probably stuck with them until the next time I go to Dubai-they'll change them there.
     
  6. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    #6 Mal, Aug 21, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
    I have 7 international currencies and increasing lying around my house - both coins and notes. Some are worth a bit, some are worth a lot less than a bit.

    As I'll be back to most of those countries sometime soon, I'm just keeping them. Always handy to have small notes/coins when first entering the country.

    As for recommendations as to what to do with excess currency - 1. Sell to friends/family (as discussed elsewhere), or 2. I've even seen currency for sale on Ebay!!
     
  7. bfmi

    bfmi Intern

    Feb 8, 2006
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    Don't exchange them when back in Australia. I find changing in Singapore (even at the airport) a much better deal compared to the crappy rate + FX fee charged in so many AU outlets.

    I have found some little private cash changes around Chinatown in Sydney offering reasonable rates but without the additional FX fee for their service.

    They only charge the additional FX fee because people are paying it. Walk away and find somewhere else or hold the cash until you travel next :D
     
  8. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
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    Sydney
    It had crossed my mind to change up the excess $S at SIngapore Airport but thought I could probably do better in Sydney. That's probably what I will do next time but the only problem is that you can't really tell if you're getting a better rate or not.
     
  9. one9

    one9 Active Member

    Sep 14, 2005
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    I am stuck with some Myanmar currency. It's not worth much, and with an annual inflation rate of something around 30-70%, it is decreasing in value fast!
     
  10. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
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    singapore is a great place to change money, with very small margin.
    sydney doesnt come close, unfortunately.
     
  11. bfmi

    bfmi Intern

    Feb 8, 2006
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    You need a pretty big variance in the rates to make much of a difference. I suspect we are not talking about large sums of money. That's why I won't pay a FX fee - they should make their money on the rate differences between buy/sell.
     
  12. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    And the SIN duty free shops will accept most currencies from countries that have direct flights to/from SIN. You can even pay for the duty free purchase using a combination of severak currencies. Its a great way to "sell" your remaining cash.
     
  13. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I have a collection of most notes and coins from 15 countries that I have visited. Can't see that I will ever get a chance to spend some of this money as it has been replaced by the Euro.

    As for exchanging any leftover foreign currency I find SIN airport the best. Just buy duty free with any leftover currency. No fx fee, competitive rates and you can combine multiple currencies in the same transaction.
     
  14. bfmi

    bfmi Intern

    Feb 8, 2006
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    #14 bfmi, Aug 22, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006
    Pop the loose unconvertible change into a "Change for Good" envelope. Charity providers still have mechanisms to exchange these useless notes/coins into useful tender. That way someone gets a little good instead of clogging up your draw.
     
  15. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    A few years ago, when I dropped by son at school for an excursion, the teacher asked if I was available to join them as they were desperately short of male teachers/parents for the outing. My time was flexible so I agreed to join them.

    The trip was to the docks at Fisherman's Bend and than to the airport for a quick tour of the facilities at the international terminal. When the class was walking through the terminal, the tour guide was explaining the purpose of the Travelex Currency Exchange booth, and of course the kids asked questions about different currencies. As I had just returned from an ATW trip the day before, I was able to open my wallet and pass around no less than 6 different currencies for the class to inspect. The tour guide and teachers were a amazed that someone would just happen to have US$, UK pounds, Euros, S$, HK$ and MYR in their wallet when not even planning to visit the airport when they left home.

    So just keep your spare foreign currency in you wallet for the next school excursion or show-and-tell opportunity.

    I got some more strange looks when we all traipsed down to the customs and quarantine area for a sniffer dog demo and the AQIS agent asked when was the last time any of the tour group had been inside the customs hall - my answer was "yesterday".
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    :D

    I recently had a big clean out of my wallet. I had a mixture of NZ$, AU$, US$, S$, C$, Euros, Indonesian Rupiahs, Indian Rupee, Japanese yen, Turkish old Lira (that no good any more), Iceland Kronor, Danish Kronur, Fiji $, french pacific francs (biggest coins I've ever seen), Mexican Pesos, GB Pounds, and some I've yet to identify. Wallet now much thinner & lighter (the new NZ coins make a big difference too) :D

    As for strange looks by customs - I get that too. Usually after asking for more room on the form where it asks to list the countries visited in past 30 days, or after a 2 day trip to Singapore (you didn't really just go there, have dinner, and come back did you? yes!).
     
  17. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
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    Hey Kiwi! We're going to Tahiti next year. Wanna trade your FPF for my EGP? :p
     
  18. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,478
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    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I must have forgotten to mention that I collect foreign notes/coins as a hobby. They are not useless notes/coins. I went to a lot of trouble to make sure that I had at least 1 note and coin of each denomination. There are some duplicate/triplicate coins and these will go to some friends who also collect coins.
     
  19. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    You can have them. They're worth less than the cost to send them to you.
     
  20. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I have a bunch of odd currencies (mostly coins) if you want some. Just arrange a meet when you're in NZ.
     
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