How to Exchange Currency | Why You Should NEVER do it at The Airport

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When we looked into all your options for currency exchange

we found that buying currency at the airport is nearly 10% more

expensive than any other option. In this video we're going to show you all the

ways that you can buy currency so that you can choose which way is right for you.

There are five main ways you can buy currency; at the airport, from your bank,

from a money exchanger here, a money exchanger overseas or you can order it

online. So let's have a look at each of those options.

The airport really is the

worst place to buy currency. While it's convenient if you haven't organised

currency before your trip their rates are generally substantially worse than

anywhere else and they charge fees for every currency you exchange. Because of

this there really isn't a time we suggest exchanging currency there. If you

haven't organized your currency before your trip you could always use your ATM

card or buy currency at your destination, but we'll get to that bit later.

Banks are a little better than the airport but they should often be avoided too.

They generally don't offer good rates for the most popular currencies like US, Euros

or Pounds but can be a good option when buying other currencies like Chinese

Yuan, South African Rand and Hong Kong dollars. Just remember there are usually

fees of $10 to $20 on top of the rates they offer and you need to allow

them time to order the currency in because they may not have what you need in stock.

If you need currency quickly it's really hard to look past a money

exchanger in Australia. They usually have stock of the most popular currencies and

you'll find them in most towns cities and major shopping centres. Their rates

are generally better than the bank and the airport for

popular currencies and it's rare that they charge high fees. As an extra tip, the

exchange rates are usually better in your CBD, which is great if you live

there but if you live outside the CBD it can be worth making the trip in if

you're exchanging more than a couple of thousand dollars.

In some cases buying it

overseas can be a good idea. Like we said, it's generally better to do this than

buying currency at the airport in Australia but it's also good when you're

travelling to places that are popular with Australians. So you'll often find

good rates in places like Bali, Thailand or New Zealand and money

exchanges will be readily available if you're heading to any major city. Just

keep in mind this does mean you'll have to carry Australian cash while you

travel. And you might want to exchange just a small amount in Australia before

you leave so that way you have some cash on you when you arrive in your


Our last option is buying currency online which is great if you're

organising it ahead of your trip. It means you can lock in exchange rates and

avoid paying any commissions and fees. The process is really simple - you can

use a comparison table like ours to compare which company is offering the

best rate for the currency and amount you need and go to their site. Then it's

like ordering anything online. You choose which currency you need, how much you

want and choose where you'll pick it up from. You will need to provide some

personal details so they can identify you when you pick up the order. Then you

can pay either by BPay or debit card and it will usually be ready within a

week. We would order currency online if you're ordering any major currencies,

live outside the CBD and have enough time to wait for your order.

When it comes to making your decisions the most important things to think about

are the currency, amount and when you need it. Because there are so many

factors there isn't one way that is going to be right for everyone. But at

The Currency Shop we think that the airport is never a good place to

exchange currency, so if you avoid doing that, you're already a step ahead.