We holiday in the USA each year from Oz, and then go to UK on a RTW ticket.

6 replies


Member since 03 Jan 2012

Total posts 60

We holiday in the USA each year from Oz, and then go to UK on a RTW ticket. Most times we end up having sparing US$ and spare GBP. My question for Aus Bus Travellers: to get the best exchange rate, is it better to cash up foreign currency in the Country from which it comes; or better to wait 'til one gets home to Oz; or maybe it doesn't make any difference? Any thoughts on this?



Member since 06 Jun 2014

Total posts 56


This may not be the best way to do it, but I usually don't get foreign currency at all. I just withdraw some cash at the airport as soon as I land overseas. That way you don't pay any forex commissions to bank/travel agents. Yes, you do get stung with a bank charge for getting cash out overseas, but I found that this charge is often less than getting cash out in Australia. For example, I bank with Westpac, if I get cash out at a non-westpac ATM in australia, it's either $2.50 or $3.00. I got cash out at Johannesburg airport and was only charged $1.00. On a recent trip to Asia, I got cash in Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore, each time I was only charged between $1-$2. 

That way you don't pay any commissions and you are not stuck with excess foreign currency when you return to Oz.

Enjoy your trip! 

Richard Brown

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 26 May 2012

Total posts 132

Hopefully you can keep any xs cash to a minimum through paying for items with a debit card or withdrawing cash from an ATM machine when needed. If you have small amounts of cash left at the end of each trip, it probably will not make a huge amount of difference whether you exchange it back overseas or in Oz. If you want to take cash with you in advance, then some companies will give you a buy back guarantee with no commission, should you not spend all of it, though you will probably still be at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuations


Member since 21 Dec 2012

Total posts 43

For common currencies in countries I will visit again (eg. EUR, GBP, USD, HKD, etc) I never cash in leftover the currency. Just keep it for the next trip. I also never carry significant cash, rely on cards, and always get cash from the ATM on arrival in the airport - similar to Loinel above. I find this simplest, and dont find worrying about the best deal worth the trouble.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 21 Aug 2013

Total posts 47

I agree with the above comments - I really feel it isn't worth the time & money to catch a currency 'deal'. I also have never cashed in currencies & always simply reuse my pounds, Euro & US dollars. 

Don't forget if, like Lionel above & myself, you bank with Westpac that ATM withdrawals are free from banks (like Westpac) that are also members of the Global ATM Alliance - think OneWorld for ATMs! Bank Of America in the US, Barclays in the UK, BNP Paribas/BNL in France, Deutsche Bank in Germany/Spain/Poland et al. As a Westpac customer, withdrawals from these banks, ATMs whilst overseas are fee-free.


Member since 09 Jul 2014

Total posts 10

If it's a yearly thing, maybe just hold onto the cash until you go again? Unless I'm missing something...

I have a wallet at home with SGD, USD, GBP, EUR, THB, NZD, CNY, IDR even some random MXN. Before I travel somewhere I just raid it like a Jason Bourne drawer. It's great to have a few notes and coins to get me out of the airport. Then like the others, I just withdraw at ATMs or use a cash card like QF cash.


Member since 03 Nov 2014

Total posts 130

Hi, I suggest you open a Citibank Plus Savings account. You leave the cash in AUD & you can move it to/from the account without any fees. When overseas you can use ATMs to withdraw local currency as needed without an ATM fee (unless the ATM you use charges a fee). There is no foreign currency conversion fee, nor cash advance as it is taking from your savings account. The rate is also very good (near mid market when I was in Europe). There are no account keeping fees either. A great account to have. Also I'd suggest the 28 Degrees CC for purchases/hotels. I have both, they cost me nothing & I'm never stuck with left over cash

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