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money exchange

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Dublin, Ohio
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money exchange

Where is the best place to exchange US dollars for Australian dollars, at the Sydney airport or at an Australian bank?

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: money exchange

The best place (logistically and fiscally) to obtain Australian dollars is always through an ATM. You can find them in the airport and all over the city. I would not be bringing U.S. dollars to Australia in order to exchange them for Australian dollars. You'll lose a lot of value and waste a lot of time in banks.

Edited: 12 May 2014, 17:15
Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: money exchange

+1 for ATMs. It's also worth noting that Bank of American and westpac bank are apart of the global ATM alliance, which offers no international ATM fees.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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3. Re: money exchange

We've just returned from a trip O/S and prior to leaving, got our US $$ in the city.

The rate had not changed really between when we bought those dollars and when we left - perhaps 1 cent less but that was about it.

We decided to buy a little more at the airport but were surprised to see one of the banks offering a few cents less at the airport compared to their rate in town ... I always thought the banks would keep the same rate no matter where they were located but in this instance, it was not the case at all.

Other exchange facilities at the airport offered a worse rate than the bank

Edited: 12 May 2014, 21:23
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: money exchange

Dougo, I'm assuming you only bought a small amount of USD in Australia as "insurance" in case you had trouble with your ATM card, right? Since all of those banks would have offered you an awful rate compared to what an ATM in the USA would offer with your standard Australian ATM card (not travelcard), even after taking into account any foreign transaction fees. Of course the best deal for Australians is the Citibank account without any fees, but even the small fees charged on other bank accounts will be much less than what retail exchange offices effectively charge.

My suggestion to the OP is to bring a small amount of cash USD as insurance (maybe $200) - if something goes wrong with the ATM card, you can exchange them for AUD at a retail office (at a poor rate). But don't *plan* on using this, just use your ATM card for withdrawls at any ATM. If all goes well you can just bring that money back to the US later, having avoided the expensive retail exchange shops or banks.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: money exchange

Jeremy,

no I was leaving Australia thinking I would exchange some AUD for USD and the rate was easily seen on a board in the bank.

As for ATMs in the US, one I went to wanted to charge a fee of $US11.95 for the transaction and that would have been on top of my bank charging a fee and then the FOREX on top of it. That was in a casino in Vegas.

Bank of America charged a fee of $3 for a withdrawal, others wanted $US6 per withdrawal .... you just have to "look around".

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane
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6. Re: money exchange

Doug .. we are off to the US later this year including Vegas ... do the ATMs show the fees before finalization giving you the opportunity to cancel?

Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: money exchange

Yes .. for the ones we used, they certainly did - I didn't proceed with the transaction at ATM in the MGM.

If you like Cirque du Soleil shows, then I can recommend Ka at MGM - we were in row HH in the middle and they were great seats

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: money exchange

Thanks Doug ... good info to have. $11.95 ... sheeesh

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: money exchange

Lol and that $11.95 would probably be enough for an All You Can Eat buffet somewhere on the Strip

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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10. Re: money exchange

No problem able58.

And KVE, you're probably right ... actually in some parts of Vegas it could probably buy you a meal for 2 !!

Edited: 13 May 2014, 04:16