Foreign Exchange - A$ -> US$, where best to change?? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Foreign Exchange - A$ -> US$, where best to change??

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Golf888

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Sep 16, 2004
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Flying to US... where best to get US $?

Sydney city stores ?
Sydney airport?
US airport (SFO)?
US hotel/bank/etc?
 

Davos

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
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On my last trip to the US(Sept 05) bought my cash from Travelex online, you get a better rate ( i got .765, walk up was .745 on the day) You can nominate where/when you want to collect it 48 business hours required though. Few points to bear in mind, no FFP available as you are getting a "special" rate from Travelex and as you need to book the cash using your credit card you are billed as a cash advance on your statement - an expensive lesson i learnt.
 

Damien

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Aug 29, 2005
Messages
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cpl said:
I just go to the first ATM... for the rest credit cards as usual.
Another vote for this method. It's so much easier, and most airports have a least a couple of ATMs hiding somewhere.
 

BlacKnox

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
732
Damien said:
cpl said:
I just go to the first ATM... for the rest credit cards as usual.
Another vote for this method. It's so much easier, and most airports have a least a couple of ATMs hiding somewhere.
Another vote for this method. If for some reason you must change currency somewhere, then check if your FFP has preferred suppliers. For example, NH platinums/ diamonds get foreign exchange commission exemptions at Travelex.
 

Golf888

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
47
Thanks all for the replies.
ATM is the preferred option but would still need to change
some cash to US$ somewhere (never know if ATM card fails there).

Travelex in sydney airport compared to other travelex in city?
 

Golf888

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
47
Forgot to add...
Seems that travelex is better than the banks and amex.

Wanted to know if travelex gives worst rate at Sydney airport than other
travelex offices?
 

AlwaysUpThere

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2004
Messages
126
Golf888 said:
Forgot to add...
Seems that travelex is better than the banks and amex.

Wanted to know if travelex gives worst rate at Sydney airport than other
travelex offices?
I'd try calling the most conveniently located branches and get a quote.

The other good thing about Travelex, aside from the FFPs, is their buy-back system. Keep your receipt and they'll buy back your excess cash on your return at the same rate, commission free.

If travelling in many countries in Asia, the money changers provide a better and often "negotiable" rate.
 

infoworks

AFF Supporter
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Aug 11, 2002
Messages
377
ALWAYS leave with some currency of where you are landing in your pocket - enough for a taxi ride and tip to the city from the airport at least. Doesn't matter where you get it.

I use ATMs wherever I am to get cash, cheaper (for me) than the bank or the currency exchange at the airport. Make sure your credit or debit card has international access.

Otherwise Amex (if you have a card) usually on the way in from immigration at nearly every major airport is good.
 

NM

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I have a Citibank ReadiCredit account and ATM card that has no fees and very attractive foreign exchange rates. No annual fees, no cash advance fees and no foreign ATM withdrawal fees. So it works out a lot better than using a Mastercard, Visa card or even Maestro to withdraw from an Aussie savings account.

I keep whatever cash I have left at the end of one trip as my starting cash for my next trip, and then just find an ATM at the airport for a top-up.
 

clifford

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Jul 6, 2004
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NM said:
I have a Citibank ReadiCredit account and ATM card that has no fees and very attractive foreign exchange rates. No annual fees, no cash advance fees and no foreign ATM withdrawal fees. So it works out a lot better than using a Mastercard, Visa card or even Maestro to withdraw from an Aussie savings account.

I keep whatever cash I have left at the end of one trip as my starting cash for my next trip, and then just find an ATM at the airport for a top-up.
Pretty good advice, NM.

You might also like to consider the ANZ gold Visa card, which likewise has no fees for use of an overseas ATM and also has "free" travel insurance that works very well (I have successfully claimed 3 times)'. It also has free car breakdown assistace (similar to NRMA).

The only place in the world I have found where I couln't get a cash advance was Brazil, because the inflation rate was so high the banks could lose money on the deal.

:)
 

NM

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clifford said:
You might also like to consider the ANZ gold Visa card, which likewise has no fees for use of an overseas ATM and also has "free" travel insurance that works very well (I have successfully claimed 3 times)'. It also has free car breakdown assistace (similar to NRMA).
For me, the no annual fee or any other fees on the Citibank ReadiCredit is what makes it handy. It also comes with a free cheque book which comes in handy for the few occasions I need to write a cheque (daughters dancing classes don't accept credit card).

As almost all of my travel is business related, I am covered by our comprehensive corporate travel insurance so don't need it from a credit card. I have only taken one personal/leisure trip in the last 10 years and that was using FF points so the credit cards generally don't cover the airfare component and I took out a 3 month family policy for that trip.
clifford said:
The only place in the world I have found where I couln't get a cash advance was Brazil, because the inflation rate was so high the banks could lose money on the deal.
Before I had my Citibank card I have twice had problems using Mastercard for cash withdrawals in Helsinki. I am sure that was not an inflation problem :? . I am still not sure what the problem was, but I must have tried 15 different "otto" machines and they all gave the same error about the transaction being cancelled.

I did find a couple of machines in Kuala Lumpur that would not accept the Citibank card, but it was always happily accepted by the ATMs of the largest bank in Malaysia (Maybank) which are everywhere. Just be aware that only a small percentage of their ATMs are 24 hr, being those at their head office (Menara), KLIA and KL Sentral and possibly a few others at major locations.
 

Dave Noble

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Oct 10, 2005
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AlwaysUpThere said:
The other good thing about Travelex, aside from the FFPs, is their buy-back system. Keep your receipt and they'll buy back your excess cash on your return at the same rate, commission free.
I would avoid the buy back since they give a worse exchange rate if you take it ( at least they have in locations I have used )

Dave
 
G

Guest

I use my westpac ATM card at bank of america ATM's and BOA @ westpac ATM's ...no fees, top rate only a cent off what xe usually is.
 

Sequel

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
475
I would avoid the airport. My recent experiance was that the buy/sell rate at BNE airport was 80.XXX/71.XXX, where as the little B.de.C booth in the city was giving 76.XXX/74.XXX (or there abouts, you get the idea), and the city ANZ B.de.C was only a little bit worse. Upon arrival in LAX, the airport B.de.C was only offering 68.XXX!
 

infoworks

AFF Supporter
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Travelex charge $8 for any transaction under $200 I think. They do give FF points at some level too.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Sep 24, 2004
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Dave Noble said:
AlwaysUpThere said:
The other good thing about Travelex, aside from the FFPs, is their buy-back system. Keep your receipt and they'll buy back your excess cash on your return at the same rate, commission free.
I would avoid the buy back since they give a worse exchange rate if you take it ( at least they have in locations I have used )

Dave
They do in NZ too (at least they used to - havent used Travelex for a while). I once worked out that to come out ahead on the buy back would need to return half the cash and exchange rate worsen by 10% - obviously other combinations possible too. Not worth it IMHO.
 

Sequel

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475
Other good thing about the booth in town is that there is no fee or commission.
 
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