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What To Do With Your Leftover Foreign Currency

6th February 2017

What To Do With Your Leftover Foreign Currency

You’ve just come home from an amazing overseas holiday with a suitcase full of souvenirs and a camera full of memories. But do you also have a pocket full of leftover foreign currency that is useless to you now that you’re home?

A lot of us tend to keep them somewhere safe, in the hopes of using them again, only to forget about the leftover banknotes and coins before departing on the next trip!

So, what could you do with that leftover foreign exchange besides let it collect dust? We have a few solutions for you!


We love foreign currencies, and we will happily buy these back off you at our current buy (buy back from you) rate, so you can get Aussie dollars back into your pocket. Unfortunately we can only buy back your foreign banknotes, as we cannot accept foreign coins. We also ask that your banknotes are in good condition (no rips, tears or sticky tape holding them together), and they need to be in current circulation.

For our current foreign exchange rates, simply visit any of our stores across Australia.


So if you can’t sell those pesky coins back to us, what can you do with them? You could put them to good use and donate them to a charity.

Travel Money Oz, together with the Flight Centre Foundation, have partnered with UNICEF to launch our “Small Change, Big Difference” program in our stores. Through this program, you can donate any foreign currency coins you may have by popping them in a UNICEF donation box in store, to help children - especially those that are disadvantaged and the hard to reach.

When you make a donation, you can also take a brochure to explain where your coins will go and how they help the children.

For example:

  • 1 UK penny can provide clean drinking water for a day for a child
  • 60 Euro cents can buy a pencil and a book for school
  • 272 Indian Rupees can provide an insecticide-treated malaria net for a family
  • $2NZD can provide food for a malnourished child for one day

UNICEF have estimated that there is approximately $832 million worth of foreign coins just sitting in drawers in Aussie households… this gives us all a huge opportunity to have a hunt for old coins, or remember this for our next holiday, and donate to those in need.

For more details, read more about the foreign coin collection program or call into one of our stores to donate your foreign currency coins today. 


If you have used a prepaid travel money card, like the Travel Money Oz Currency Card, and didn’t spend everything on it, you could cash it out into your local currency, or you could  leave it there until your next trip. But just make sure you look into what fees are charged for cash outs or for inactivity.

If you have a Travel Money Oz Currency Card, there are no inactivity fees applied if you decide to leave your cash on the card, but a $10 once-off fee will apply if you decide to cash it out.


Use it again

If it’s a popular currency (like the US Dollar), or you know you will visit that country again, then keep it somewhere safe (but somewhere you will remember for your next trip, like your travel wallet), and use it when you travel again.

Apply it to your hotel bill

When you check out, you can pay for some of those hotel costs with your leftover notes and coins, and then pay the rest of the bill on your card.

Spend it at the airport

You can save some of your small change to pay for things like a coffee, lunch or last minute gifts while you’re waiting at the airport.

Put it on a vendor card

Some vendors offer the option of loading value onto a store card, which will then be converted into Australian Dollars (AUD) and can be used when you get home.  For example, before you fly out, you could visit a participating Starbucks* and put your leftover money on one of their cards, which will then be converted into Australian Dollars (AUD) when you get home – and voila, your post-holiday-blues won’t seem so bad with a mocha latte in hand.

Share it with kids

You can gift foreign coins to kids to teach them about other cultures and countries. Or, the tooth fairy could have just come from a kid’s house in London, so she left behind a British pound coin.

If you decide to sell your foreign banknotes, or donate your foreign coins, Travel Money Oz is here to help! But, if you have another creative use for your leftover foreign currencies, we would love to hear what they are!

*As at the date of this blog post, Starbucks offers this option across most Starbucks stores in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico and the UK; however, we don’t guarantee that this will be available in your destination or will continue to be available at a later date, and recommend that you do your own research to identify the best option for you.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.