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Travelling to USA in Sept - should we buy some US dollars now?

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aussiecruisers

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We are travelling to the USA for 5 weeks in September. We are seriously considering buying some US Cash and travellers cheques now to take advantage of the US dollar rate.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?
 

drron

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I am sitting here in New York.They expect our dollar to go higher.As I bought US dollars just before i went this is a good sign it will go higher.however if you are like me get some now and leave a little to get some more when it goes higher.
 

Maca44

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I agree with drron, get some now and then some later if the rate goes up and remember that when you arrive in the USA you will need $1 notes for tips etc. I would only get enough cash for a few days and rely more on putting things on credit cards and that way you leave money at home and pay for the cards on your return, and get the ff points for purchases and its safer. I rely on cash advances rather than travellers cheques, and only get a cash advance once a week. You pay a fee for the advance, but again I think it is safer.
 

Mal

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My gut feeling is that you will still see some improvement of the $A over $US in the next few months.

The U.S needs to stop spending excess money and essentially borrowing money to fight their many wars. A change of president would also help to improve their $ I think.

There are things that the U.S can do to improve their currency and they might start implementing them. But I'm not sure that will happen in the short term.

Perhaps get 1/2 of your currency now and the other 1/2 later. In that way, you've balanced out any differences and a slide either way won't really affect you. Remember if getting currency now then you're going to lose out on any interest you would be earning on that money and have to safely look after it until your trip.

It is nice to be able to spend money in the U.S at the moment and get such a good rate. It really has improved my interest in spending more time and money over there.
 

Soundguy

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Just remeber credit card conversion fees - a little while back Amex increased their conversion fee for foreign currency transactions to 2.5% - so if the current A to US dollar conversion were say $0.835 then Amex will give you a conversion of only $0.814 (or a shade less), however you do get the benefit of reward points that you don't get with TC's.

The Oz $ being up is great as long as you don't export. I am currently buying a US$45k machine from a company in NY, it comes in a largely empty shipping container so I'm making use of the included freight cost to cram in a few bulky items while the buying is good. Mostly equipment for work, just about everything is cheaper there & I am setting up a 110v power run in my worshop (a heavy duty 240 - 110 voltage converter is about US$110). Some US industrial items are 230volts which run OK here without a converter; there is a small performance loss due to frequency difference. When an item like a heavy duty industrial worshop heater costs A$1400 here vs US$360 in the USA for the exact same thing but in 110v I don't mind the small extra hassle of the voltage difference & slight drop in performance. Or a DeWalt combination power tool set for US$380 vs A$1150 here.... no wonder I end up spending so much when I visit the US. :)
 

JohnK

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I have booked a European escorted tour for August through a US agent.

The best price I could get through Australian based agents was A$2,450. The price quoted from US was US$1823, a potential saving of around A$200.

I have just seen the US$200 deposit on my Amex account and it converted to A$246 including the 2.5% currency conversion fee. I am thinking of paying the balance right now rather than waiting until the balance is due by July 1 deadline. I will watch the A$ vs US$ trend over the next few weeks before making a decision.

Exchange rates are good right now but will hopefully get better.
 

Febs

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I'm in the same boat (5 week US trip coming up in Sept-Oct) and while I expect the AUD to go higher, I've decided to hedge my bets a bit and convert $1kAUD this week. I'm doing it through my credit union who give good exchange rates and charge minimal (or no) fees.

The way I see it is - yes, it'll probably go higher, but not enough to make me kick myself if I change some now (ie: it won't hit $1 before Sept!) If I didn't change any though, and the dollar did drop, then I'd be kicking myself. Hard. :)

FWIW, I made a few purchases on my AMEX/VISA over here this week, and (when the AUD was around $0.828-$0.83) the exchange rate was approx $0.809. Still, given the exchange rate given by money changers (terrible), there's not many other options.

I've withdrawn some sample funds from my Wizard MC too, to what the rate's like. If it's good I may just withdraw the money here rather than converting it back in Sydney.

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

Jenelle

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I'm going in Jan and have converted my lot now... I normally only take about $500 cash from home as that is plenty for me cash wise as I put everything on my cards over there.

When I was living over there I was shopping on Australian dollars when it was worth 50c! LOL This is soooo much more fun! :) :) :)
 

drron

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I now get my foreign currency online through the CBA.It is done through American express so I presume you could go through them direct.You order either cash or T.Cs them pay by Bpay. I do this with my credit card so now do get points for getting foreign cash.It is also a great way for those living outside capital cities as the money or T.cs are delivered 3-5 days later to your local CBA branch but you have locked in your exchange rate.
 
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winetraveller

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Although I understand the caution people are advising, by converting some currency now and some later, all the indicators are that the USD$ is in deep trouble. As an exporter to the US this is not good news for us, although we do hedge. I would compromise and buy a third now and the rest later, or, if you're are speculator but Euro's now and exchange for dollars when you go, as the Euro is killing the USD$, and will do so for a fair while.
 

clifford

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winetraveller said:
Although I understand the caution people are advising, by converting some currency now and some later, all the indicators are that the USD$ is in deep trouble. As an exporter to the US this is not good news for us, although we do hedge. I would compromise and buy a third now and the rest later, or, if you're are speculator but Euro's now and exchange for dollars when you go, as the Euro is killing the USD$, and will do so for a fair while.
The Aussie has a poor record when it comes to volatility, and all it will take is for the present Govt (who want the dollar lower anyway) to do something silly and the dollar will plummet.

All the pundits saying the fundamentals, blah, blah, blah are against the USD may be right, but if they really were that convinced they would bet their houses on it and become instant millionaires...

Caution is the way to go, I believe, and in converting say two thirds now you won't go far wrong.. The risk to the Aussie is all downside, I believe.

And as for the Euro, grab some now if you need them (and the GBP) as they are at a very good price.

And if I'm wrong... well you haven't lost very much at all, have you?
 

Febs

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Febs said:
I've withdrawn some sample funds from my Wizard MC too, to what the rate's like. If it's good I may just withdraw the money here rather than converting it back in Sydney.
$20USD converted to $23.98AUD...or approximately $0.834 - fantastic for a credit card!

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

Tiki

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Jul 21, 2004
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I'm im the same boat too. I just paid the balance of our package to Tambopata in Peru and got a rate of roughly .81 on my Amex. I still have one more package-the Pantanal in Brazil for $1500 USD, the domestic Brazil flight from GRU-IGU (couldn't find a OW segment for this route) and we also need some USD cash for Easter Island. I am glad most of you think the Aussie is heading upwards as I have 2 months to go. If it stays strong-more shopping in NYC during that layover! :D
 

Mal

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The Australian dollar is currently at over 87c/$US.

While I'm still sure it will edge closer to parity over the next 12 months, I'm curious what people think the 6 month view will be on the $.

Anyone want to make educated guesses?
 

kpc

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Mal said:
The Australian dollar is currently at over 87c/$US.

While I'm still sure it will edge closer to parity over the next 12 months, I'm curious what people think the 6 month view will be on the $.

Anyone want to make educated guesses?

90c/$US but I am not willing to risk my money on this prediction;)
 

codash1099

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Mal said:
The Australian dollar is currently at over 87c/$US.

While I'm still sure it will edge closer to parity over the next 12 months, I'm curious what people think the 6 month view will be on the $.

Anyone want to make educated guesses?
I can give you an economists answer, but you'll have to wait until after the event :rolleyes:
 

trooper

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I too think it will edge closer to .90.... but having said that I am changing another AUD$1200 tomorrow.;) (My next trip is October too)

Anything I don't use will be retained for the trip after that.

To be honest anything over 80 makes me happy! I seem to recall travelling over there when it was 52 or so....:mad:

Paid a deposit on an item yesterday through Paypal.. and the exch.rate applied was 84!! Happy with that.
 

drron

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Well if I decide to get some more $US in the next week the Aussie will break 90c.If however I decide to wait it will drop to 83c.
Have not yet decided but maybe I will let you know.
 

simongr

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Really hoping this holds out until next July (08) so that my actual holiday to the US can be a bit cheaper - really annoying that things are so cheap at the moment but I am only there on business :(
 

Mal

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Commsec are now predicting 90c in the short time, and possibly parity after that:


Dollar's climb may cap rates | The Courier-Mail

THE Australian dollar could reach parity against the US dollar and is expected to strike US90 cents in the short term, which could avert an interest rate rise.

Craig James, chief economist with CommSec, said today the dollar was expected to reach US90 cents in the near term. After that, the currency could hit $US1, giving Australians who are travelling abroad a big financial boost.
<snip>
"we expect to see the Australian dollar will reach US90 cents and after that, we will have to see," he told ABC Radio.

"But we could see the Australian dollar up in the high US90s and perhaps at parity," he said.

Indeed, other analysts are predicting parity could be reached with a continued decline in the UD dollar.
 
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