You are here

What To Do With Your Leftover Foreign Currency

6th February 2017

How to make the most of your foreign change

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

Most people just stash them away somewhere, telling themselves they’ll come in handy when they next head over. But then, you forgot you had them, or find you still need to buy more anyway.

So if you’ve got 99 problems and foreign currency is one, we’ve got a few sneaky options for what you can do with your foreign coins in Australia.

Sell it back to us - we'll buy it back!

If you’re wondering where you can exchange foreign currency in Australia, wonder no more! We absolutely love foreign currencies, so if you’ve got some cash and can make it rain, we’ll be there with our umbrellas!


If you’ve got some banknotes that aren’t old and outdated, we want them! Oh, and they just need to have survived your trip in reasonable condition, without any tears or structurally required sticky tape.

Check out your local store for all the latest exchange rates, to find out how much cash you can get for your cash!

Sadly though, foreign exchange companies can't buy back your old foreign coins. After much deliberation, we decided that standing underneath a shower of coins would hurt too much. But don't stress! We have some handy tips to help you decide what to do.

Top 6 things to do with your leftover foreign coins

1. Donate them to a charity

If you do have some coins handy, there are better things you can do than to make it rain. Probably the best of them is to donate them to the Small Change, Big Difference program run in conjunction with UNICEF.

2. Use it again

Some popular currencies like the US dollar can be worth holding onto – if you know you’re headed back sometime soon.

3. Apply it to your hotel bill

In some hotels, you can throw them^ all your leftover currency, then pay for whatever’s left on card.

4. Spend it at the airport

You might as well enjoy one last local lunch before you take off!

5. Put it on a vendor card

If you find a participating vendor (like a Starbucks*), you can load your foreign cash onto their card, which will be back to AUD when you use it back home! It’s a sneaky ploy, but might just save you some time and cash!

6. Share it

Everyone loves a good foreign currency! And what’s a better/cheaper souvenir: a £5 note, or the £15 Big Ben keychain at the airport?

^Please don’t actually throw money at hotel staff – that might increase your total fee.

How to donate your coins

UNICEF believe there’s around $832 million worth of foreign coins just sitting in drawers in Aussie households. So if you want to know your trip overseas left a positive mark on the world, simply slip those leftover coins into your local Travel Money Oz collection bin!

To give you an idea, here’s the impact a bit of cheeky loose change can have on the world:

What you give:

What they get:

1 UK penny A day's worth of clean drinking water for a child
60 Euro cents A pencil and book for a school
272 Indian rupees An insecticide-treated malaria net for a family
NZ$2 A day's worth of food for a malnourished child


If you’re keen to learn more, you can grab a brochure all about our program instore.

“But my money is still on my Currency Pass!”

Well, at least it’s all in one place! But watch out for those dodgy card suppliers, who whack on fees for inactivity or cash-outs.

With a Travel Money Oz Currency Pass, you’ll only have to handle the one-off $10 fee when you completely cash out, but if you know you’ll be headed overseas again, we won’t sting you any inactivity fees.

To get your currency converted back to the ol’ AUD, find your nearest Travel Money Oz store today!


*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.