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Foreign Currency Explained

Guilty of leaving your currency exchange to the last minute? You’re not alone!

With its fancy phrases and unfamiliar terms, the process of buying currency confuses a lot of people. Let’s spell things out so you can get your money sorted and get on with your holiday. These foreign currency tips will help you understand what’s what in the world of Forex.


What foreign currencies can I buy from Travel Money Oz?

From AED to ZAR, we've got over 60 currencies available in store, and over 45 online. If you're heading to a more unique destination and unsure if we'll have your currency, give us a bell, or visit us in store, and we'll do our very best to make sure you take off with what you need.

Do you have all 60 currencies in stock?

We do our best to have as many as possible available at all times. We also make new orders regularly, so the currency you need is never far away.

If you don't have the currency I need in stock and need to order it in for me, can I still get today's rate?

Yes, we will still process your order today. You'll need to secure the deal with a deposit, and then your cash will be ready for collection in a matter of days.

Do you charge any fees for foreign currency transactions?

Some foreign exchange retailers charge fees or a commission when you buy currency from them. With us, the price you see is the price you get. No hidden extras. We will never add on fees or commission to your foreign currency.

How often do your rates change?

Every day! But lucky for you we lock our rates in every morning so they don't fluctuate through the business day. Our rates update between 7am - 10am each day.

I've found a better rate somewhere else - will you match it?

You bet! With our Best Price Guarantee, we guarantee to beat any Australian competitor’s overall transaction price by $1AUD or more on any foreign currency we trade. And if we don’t give you the best price, we’ll give you $100AUD*. *Best Price Guarantee T&Cs apply.

The rate on your website is different to the rate I saw in a Travel Money Oz store - can I get the website rate?

Yes, we will happily match our websites rates in store. We'll even throw in a smile for free.

Can I exchange from one currency to another, other than AUD? E.g. from GBP to EUR?

Yes, we have over 60 currencies available in store and will exchange between any two of them. We do however convert it to AUD first. Online, you can only buy foreign currency from us (in exchange for your AUD!)

Can I cash my traveller's cheques at your stores?

What are traveller's cheques? Just kidding, but how very retro of you. Yes, we are one of the only foreign currency companies that do this. We do need to check them out though so please bring them in and we will do our best to assist.

Do you sell traveller's cheques?

We can cash them, but we can't sell them. They're also no longer issued in Australia. Instead, why not try our Currency Pass? It's a safe and secure way to travel overseas with currency. It's like a digital traveller's cheque.

What do you think the rates will do? Do you think they will go up or down before I go on holiday?

We wish we knew! Exchange rates are largely unpredictable. But, to help you out, check out our historic rate charts on our foreign currency pages and have a read of our market updates where we give you the low-down on the markets. When you are ready to buy, don't forget to take advantage of Rate Guard - our 14-day exchange rate guarantee*. *T&Cs apply.

Do I have to be over 18 years of age to buy foreign currency from you?

No. As long you fulfil the required ID process we are more that happy to assist you with your travel money needs.

Why do you need to ask me all these questions when I am exchanging currency?

It's for our security plus yours, it is important that we have the required information at the time of the transaction.

I have a VIP Card from my travel agent - what is a VIP Exchange Rate?

We're part of the Flight Centre Travel Group family and want to extend the family love to you.  You'll receive a better rate to what you see advertised in store.  Consider it mates rates on your currency!

Are there any restrictions on the amount of currency I can take on my holiday destination?

Although there's technically no legal limit on how much money you can take on holidays, if you're travelling internationally you must declare amounts of more than $10,000 in foreign currency on your customs form. Some countries impose specific restrictions on the import/export of local and foreign currencies. You should seek advice from an official government website for the country you may be visiting before placing your order online.

Can I specify the currency denominations I would like in my order?

Unfortunately, you are unable to specify denominations as part of your order. Orders are typically packed with mixed denominations depending on the availability of the currency you are ordering. If you require specific denominations talk to your Travel Money Oz store at pick up and they will assist you as best as possible.

How soon can I pick up my order after I have placed it online?

Orders are typically available for pick up within 3-5 business days. If paying by BPAY, orders are generally available within 5 business days. Store Business Days means the days that the selected collection store is open for business, which may include weekends but excludes public holidays

What if I need my foreign currency sooner than that?

Visit us in one of our 135+ stores across Australia. You can find your nearest store using the "Find a store" function on our website.

Are there limits to how much foreign cash I can order online?

All orders are subject to a minimum value of AU$500* in foreign currency equivalent and a maximum value of AU$10,000 in foreign currency equivalent over a 24 hour period, and a maximum aggregate value of AU$20,000 over a rolling 21 day period.

You don't have a store near me - can I order online and pick up somewhere else?

Yes, when ordering your currency online you can select the most convenient location to collect your order.

How can I pay for my online order of foreign currency?

You can choose to pay for your order via BPAY or via Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card. Should you select to pay by credit card, a card surcharge of up to 1% of the total order amount will be applied to your order. This surcharge is not charged by Travel Money Oz, but is applied by the card Merchant. Should you wish to avoid this card surcharge, you can opt to pay for your online order by debit card or BPAY, which does not have an extra surcharge attached to payment.

If I pay by BPAY, how long do I have to make the payment to keep the order active?

When ordering cash online and paying by BPAY, you have 12 hours to process the payment via your financial institution before it becomes invalid.

Can I use a foreign-issued credit or debit card when paying for my order?

Yes, however this is for foreign currency exchange only. We can't provide cash advances for AUD while travelling in Australia.

I've tried to place my order online, but it says "Order Not Processed" - what does that mean?

You've found a ghost in machine! This is an extremely rate occurance but should you receive this error message we suggest contacted Travelex as soon as possible. It's most likely the transaction has not processed and you will simply need to start over.

Once I've placed my online order, can I change my collection date?

Yes. Your confirmation details will contain email and phone contact numbers should you need to amend any of the transaction details.

Once I've placed my online order, can I cancel it?

In some instances yes. If the transaction is pending we should be able to reverse it for you. Your confirmation details will contain email and phone contact numbers should you need to amend any of the transaction details.

What do I need to bring with me to collect my order?

You will need to bring your email confirmation, ID and proof of payment. This is generally the credit/debit card used to process the transaction with your name clearly printed on it.

I ordered my foreign currency on your website, but can my partner, friend or family member pick it up for me?

Unfortunately no. This is to ensure your transaction and finances remain secure. When collecting cash you will need to bring your email confirmation, ID and proof of payment. This is generally the credit/debit card used to process the transaction with your name clearly printed on it.

I have foreign currency that I would like to exchange for Australian dollars. Can I sell this to you?

You bet! Come on down to any Travel Money Oz store and our experts will happily buy any* foreign banknotes from you. This means you’ll have more Aussie dollars to put towards your next trip – or perhaps to buy a gift for that family member who was expecting a souvenir from your holiday. Whoops. *We just ask that your banknotes are in reasonable condition. No rips or sticky tape, please.

Where can I find today's sell rate?

Head into a store or give us a call on  1300426997

Do I need to let you know in advance if I am bringing in foreign currency to sell?

Nope. As long as it's one of our 60 trading currencies we are more that happy to take back any left over cash you weren't able to spend.

Can I sell you my foreign currency banknotes and coins?

We will happily buy back your foreign currency banknotes, we just ask that there are in good condition. That is, not torn or stuck together with sticky tape. Additionally, they still need to be legal tender. Unfortunately, we don't accept coins so we suggest digging those out before heading home and use it to purchase any last minute items where possible. Otherwise, you can donate your coins to our 'Small Change, Big Difference' program that supports UNICEF.

What foreign currencies do you accept?

We will accept any foreign currency that is listed on our website. We trade 60 different currencies in store so brings us your leftover funds and we will do our best to ensure you walk away with some fresh Aussie dollars.

Do I have to be over 18 years of age to sell foreign currency to you?

No. Depending on how much money you have to sell we may need to site some type of official identification like a drivers licence or passport but in most cases, we just need some basic contact details.

I have some foreign coins left over from my trip - can I change them into AUD at your stores?

We 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 we do have a couple of options for you... consider hanging on to it for your next trip, or, consider donating them to our "Small Change, Big Difference" coin program in store.

What is your Small Change, Big Difference program?

We happily take your foreign or unuseable coins (or notes!) and send them to UNICEF where they are put to good use rather than gathering dust behind the couch. For example, 1 UK penny equals a day's worth of clean drinking water for a child.

I have foreign currency notes left over from my holiday - will you buy them back from me?

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. Simply bring your leftover notes to us in store and we'll exchange them for you.

I have some old foreign currency that is no longer legal tender - can I sell that to you?

Some countries allow us to exchange old notes that are no longer considered legal tender. The UK for example will take old notes but we suggest giving us a call or visiting one of our stores to discuss your needs and our foreign exchange experts will assist you where possible.

What is a "buy rate"?

Buy rates are the rates we offer for you to buy different currencies. You’ll find over 45+ foreign currencies in our online currency converter, so you can find out in a flash how much it’ll cost. Otherwise, you can buy over 60+ currencies in any of our stores.

What is a "sell rate"?

That’s the rate you get if you’re selling a foreign currency back to us. Maybe you put on a few pounds over in the UK, or you were left with ten yen when you got back from Japan. You can sell those back to us for the good old Aussie Dollar.

What is a "market" rate?

Market rate is the current perceived value of currency between two economies.

What is "spread"?

Our favourite is definitely vegemite but we think you mean in terms of currency. Spread is the difference between a currencies market rate and retail rate.

How about "cross rate"?

The is the term giving to trading between two currencies that are not the local currency for example from USD to GBP but they are 'crossed' through AUD as part of the process.

Does it pay to shop around and compare rates or are they all the same?

Like with anything you buy, the price can differ between stores.  However we offer Best Price Guarantee and Rate Guard to ensure you are getting the best possible value.

Why is the market rate not the same as the rate I can get?

Market rates (like you see on the news) are only available to large financial institutions and organisations. Unless you’re buying and selling millions of dollars at a time, you’ll be purchasing your currency at retail rates, which are what we display in store and on our website.

Why do exchange rates move?

Like most things, it boils down to demand and supply. Exchange rates float freely against one another, which means they are in constant fluctuation. Currency valuations are determined by the flows of currency in and out of a country. High demand for a particular currency usually means that the value of that currency will increase.

Is it better to exchange my money in advance or just before I go?

There’s simply no right answer to this. Sorry ‘bout that. The rate might improve the day after you buy your foreign currency. Or it could be worse. From a practical point of view, we suggest exchanging at least a couple of days before your trip and consider adding Rate Guard onto your transaction. It's your way of protecting yourself against exchange rate movements! Plus, by exchanging in advance, you can avoid airport fees. Some uncommon currencies can take up to 2 weeks to deliver and collect, so come and see us early if you’re heading somewhere off the beaten track.

What is dynamic currency conversion?

Dynamic currency conversion is where overseas purchases are offered in your local (home) currency. In some situations, it is offered by retailers and ATMs. This, however, simply allows them to dictate their own exchange rate and may result in you being charged fees associated with a foreign transaction.