CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by evangelionpunk, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. evangelionpunk

    evangelionpunk Junior Member

    Feb 24, 2005
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    Hi yall


    Going to Japan soon and hence need some yen.


    Ideally id like a place that offers the best rates with no fees etc.


    Ive heard of this place:

    Nationwide Currency Services


    And apparently they offer good rates with no fees.
    Registered Users don't see this and have the option of removing all other advertisements.  Register HERE



    Anyone know of any place/s along these lines?

    Or

    maybe i place that charges very little but offers exceptional rates?


    Thnx yalll
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The best place to go is your local bank.

    westpac have usually had the lowest fees (flat $7 per exchange) but check with them all some may offer you a better deal.

    stay away from any exchange places in tourist hotspots: ie: downtown, airport etc.

    You will normally get a better rate in AU than in JP
     


  3. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    No need to exchange any currency. If you have a cirrus/ maestro enabled bank account (e.g. commonwealth, citibank) then you can just withdraw money when necessary at the Japanese ATMs. That's what I always do throughout the world when I travel.

    Having said that, if you are keen to exchange money I find the exchange rates at Casinos are usually excellent. On several occasions I've checked the rates at banks, exchange booths etc and the Casinos always beat - with no charges or commission. The only problem is getting out without spending it, as my g/f will attest to...

    If you need any specific advice on Nippon you can PM me.
     
  4. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
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    Oops - sorry - it's summer here and on a beautiful blue-sky day I've had too many beers (for Lindsay).

    Of course, Casinos (in oz) are great for exchanging foreign currencies into Oz dollars. I presume they don't sell currencies, which of course was your original question.

    FYI, I usually change about $200 at the airport and get the rest from ATMs in the destination country.
     
  5. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    Hi,

    Not sure about Japan but in the last 2 years I have been to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to work and for holiday.

    I am from Sydney and on my first trip to Thailand in April 2003 I was travelling with a colleague, who had worked all over South East Asia for 4 years previously, and I wanted to exchange some $AUD for Thai Baht at Sydney airport before boarding the plane. He had a quick look at the spread offered, buy and sell, and advised against it. Travelex was offering around 21 Baht to the $AUD. When we arrived in Bangkok and cleared immigration and customs there are two exchange booths and both offered around 24 Baht to the $AUD with no commission. I was glad for the advice given.

    I have since been to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and continue the practice of keeping with me the amount of $AUD I think will need on the trip and exchanging it at these countries. In Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur there are foreign exchange booths before you clear customs and have found these to give you a lower rate then what you get after you clear customs. In most cities you will get good exchange rates but there are some banks/independents that offer very poor rates, try to avoid these and my rule is don't exchange at the first place you see. Hotels generally offer very poor exchange rates. If you are in remote areas as I have been while working in SE Asia and you are in need of money then find a bank otherwise use an ATM to withdraw cash.

    I have also used Mastercard and Visa but have found they charge around $4 for using the foreign ATM for each transaction and then a percentage of the amount as well and the rate is not very good so I only use these as a last resort. I have used Amex for purchases overseas and have found their rates to be excellent with no fees.

    On my last trip to Thailand (departed 8th June) I noticed that travelex was offering around 26.5 Baht to the $AUD at Sydney airport and when I walked off the plane in Bangkok I got 30.5 Baht to the $AUD. Pretty significant currency fluctuation (around 15% and I have seen it as high as 25%) that Travelex charges on the currency exchange. I have also noticed the James Cook exchanges and they are no better than Travelex.

    Not sure about exchange rates at banks in Australia but my last experience with them 15 years ago when I had excess $US was that the rate was poor and also charged a commission.

    Sorry to rave on but the best option in my opinion would be to exchange your $AUD at your destination. I will never ever exchange at an Australian airport ever.
     


  6. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Re: CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    True. Buying foreign currency is always cheaper at the destination airport. Its simple economics - supply/ demand; economies of scale etc. However given that I only change such a small amount (if anything), I change money whenever/ wherever is most convenient.

    JohnK, I'd recommend you investigate cirrus/ maestro capabilities & charges with your bank. I have found the exchange rates applied when I use overseas ATMS better than those offered at any exchange booth (airport and otherwise). Also Citibank does not charge me for using these O/S ATMs. Therefore for me, its a no-brainer - I use ATMs to withdraw cash in local currency (from my Japanese savings account) when travelling.

    Of course mine is a Citibank (Japan) account and the rules/ conditions & charges may vary from Australian Bank saving accounts.
     
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Hi BlacKnox,

    Thanks for your comments. I understand what you are saying but we are all different and we all have different experiences and I was just relaying my experiences in SE Asia.

    For me the airport in Bangkok is just as convenient as the airport in Sydney. I normally exchange around $400AUD in Thailand (around 12,000 baht) which at the currency exchange in Sydney airport would result in a loss of around $50AUD based on the rates quoted previously.

    As for credit cards and cash advances there maybe be better alternatives than what I have. It is up to the individual to see what suits them best. I have done most of my banking with the Commonwealth Bank, savings accounts, term deposits, home loans and progressing from there got first a Mastercard and then a Visa card. I am sure there are better deals around with other banks.

    Maybe Mastercard/Visa or Commonwealth Bank is ripping me off and I have spoken to them about it and they have said that these are their rules.

    On my last trip I withdrew 8,000 Baht in Pattaya 13th June and the equivalent $AUD amount with Visa is $260.61 + $4.00 for overseas ATM cash advance + $3.91 for foreign currency exchange which when added together give me an effective rate of 29.79 baht. The rate in Pattaya at the time was around 30.75 baht. On the 19th June in Bangkok I withdrew 2,000 baht and the equivalent amount with Visa is 63.33 + $4.00 for overseas ATM cash advance + $0.95 for foreign currency exchange which when added together give me an effective rate of 29.29 baht. The rate in Bangkok at the time was around 31.25 baht. You can see that the actual rate is quite good but with the charges the effective rate becomes very poor and the smaller the amount withdrawn the poorer the effective exchange rate.

    Anyway these are my experiences. Hope they help someone.
     
  8. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    In my experience, it seems that no matter what you do, you're going to be slugged one way or another for Forex!

    On trip to Japan last month, ATM withdrawals using a Visa DEBIT card (as opposed to CREDIT card) attached to my regular bank account offered the best effective rate, providing I took out enough to diminish the impact of a $5 ATM withdrawal fee. On the other hand, actually using credit cards was pretty bad and worked out to be about 3 to 3.5% worse than the typical "rate of the day", as determined by various websites.

    In Japan, buying JPY with AUD offered bad rates, but USD changing was fine. (Although I concur with above comments that in places like Singapore & Thailand, best rates I've seen were changing AUD in forex booths).
     
  9. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    That's right - I'm talking about debit cards. But my Japanese Citibank savings account doesn't attract ANY withdrawal fee, so it's great for me. A $5 ATM withdrawal fee does seem reasonable however for the Aussie banks. You'd just need to withdraw large sums at a time to offset the fee.

    No, I think you are talking about credit cards and I cashcards :eek: . JohnK, I know Commonwealth uses the Cirrus/ Maestro/ Star system as my Mother always uses her Commonwealth cashcard (NOT credit card) when she visits me here (to withdraw yen from her Australian savings account). Cheers.
     
  10. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    When O/S I use my Westpac Debit Visa "Classic A/C" (old Bank of Melbourne account). The exchange rate seems quite good and there are no additional fees at all if I use an ATM beloning to one of the "Global ATM Alliance" partners.

     
  11. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Yes, serfty but I have not managed to see these banks in SE Asia. In Thailand there is the Thai Military Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Kasikornbank, Bank of Ayudhya and others. To be honest I have not seen any of the banks you mentioned in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Shah Alam (Malaysia), Cilegon (West Java Indonesia) or any other place in SE Asia.

    Maybe if I used debit cards instead of credit cards there wouldn't be any fees for cash advances whilst overseas.

    Does not mean I did not understand what you are saying. I did say that we are all different and our experiences are different. This also includes what we believe is right. You like using debit cards whereas I use credit cards. Most of my money is spent on investments, holidays and on day to day living so I don't keep any money in a "savings account" unless I am planning a trip. I don't even think I have a debit card. I use credit cards to pay most bills and then pay these off when the statement arrives. I try to avoid cash advances from a credit card unless absolutely necessary.

    We are all different and we all do things differently. :)
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    From June 1 some of these banks (not sure about westpac) are charging a 1% visa fee for visa and checking/debit cards at any atm used outside the country of issue.
     
  13. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Re: CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    "Debit" cards come in various guises. Cashcards, Eftpos cards, savings account cards are all "kinds" of debit cards. Probably your salary is paid into a bank account which you access by a "debit card".

    If you look at this card and see a Maestro/ Cirrus/ Star symbol on the back, then you can use this card to access money from your Australian bank account anywhere in the world when the Maestro/ Cirrus/ Star symbol is displayed at an ATM. Sometimes there are nominal charges for this, sometimes not.

    I'm reminded of this everyday in Nippon. Makes life interesting :D .
     
  14. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Close BlacKnox but not quite.

    When I do work my payment goes into a passbook account (yes I know outdated) but easier for me to manage. It lasts me almost a year sometimes more and a lot easier to manage than 12 monthly statements or 4 quarterly statements. Certainly no "debit cards" at my place and for sure no debit card access to this account. Although I can transfer money to "credit card" and use BPAY for any bills.

    I think we are also getting off the topic slightly here but hey such is life :)
     
  15. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Re: CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    So, you need to physically walk into a branch with your passbook every time you need cash?
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    I use a Citibank Readicredit card to withdraw cash from overseas ATMs. I have not found one that will not take it and give me cash. And there is no fee for using an overseas ATM not any foreign exchange fees. And the exchange rate used is very favourable compared with what I get charged for credit card transactions such as VIsa, Amex and Diners Club.

    I just walk off the plane and look for an ATM in the airport and then I have local currency. I always pay money into the account (using B-Pay from my savings account) before any interest is due.
     
  17. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    NM, looks like we've got the same card.

    I too usually just walk off the plane and search for an ATM. However in some places/ sometimes, it's necessary to have a little foreign cash. For example, arriving in TPE about 10pm in March, both airport ATMs (that I could find) were down. A minor inconvenience as the Landis Taipei (formerly Ritz) had a car waiting and the room tariff etc was charged, but it was nice to have a little cash to enjoy the street stall food that night :D .
     
  18. serfty

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    Re: CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    Actually the card happens to be a debit visa. (A hangover from the absorbed "Bank of Melbourne")

    From what I can tell from the Westpac Web site, it applies to the majority of their card accounts but only to "Global Alliance Partners", otherwise a AUD5 applies.
     
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    You are right. I withdraw $500 or $1000 at a time and most of the time this lasts around a month. It is not a huge chore but I am also lucky to have someone do this for me. :)
     
  20. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    Re: CURRENCY EXCHANGE PERTH!

    You're in good company. I believe Billionaires, Mega-stars and Heads of State follow similar practises :p .
     
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