Travellers make a grab for the greenback

By David Flynn, October 24 2010
Travellers make a grab for the greenback

Banks and currency exchange bureaus are reporting a run on US currency as the Aussie dollar stays strong in the high 90s.

Travellers are stocking up on US dollars in cash as well as loading up travel cards, which can be used like a debit card loaded up with foreign currency.

Despite a short-lived brush with parity and briefly busting through the $1 ceiling the Aussie has lately hovered around the US98-99c mark.

That’s proven enough to drive a fourfold increase in the demand for US notes and coins, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald, with pounds and euros also being snapped up.

According to Peter Tilton, the ANZ Bank’s head of payments distribution, “it is a massive increase in demand – it’s been unprecedented in terms of the volume of customer purchases.”

The SMH article cites a bank executive who claims one customer ordered $US30,000 in cash and put more than $US50,000 on travel cards.

A similar rush on the US dollar took place last month when the Aussie hit US96c, with Flight Centre-owned Travel Money temporarily running out of US dollars.

Meanwhile the pundits are predicting the Australian dollar could still kick above US$1 and even higher, although short-term swings can’t be ruled out.



David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

25 Oct 2010

Total posts 5

As soon as the Aussie hit US$.96 I was out the door to stock up on American dollars! I reckon it's more likely to go down rather than go up, well it can't go much higher - can it?

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