Chadstone - a suburb of Melbourne, some 17km from the heart of the city - is home to the Chadstone Shopping Centre, which is said to be the biggest in Australia. It may even be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.
If you’re planning a shopping trip to Chadstone, or if you’re considering Chadstone as a possible new, permanent home, you’ll need some money. Here’s all you need to know about exchanging your currency to AUD in Chadstone.
If you’re arriving in Chadstone from abroad, and need to change your home currency to AUD, you’ll want to find a good deal. Here’s how to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
One of the main things to know, when you’re looking to get a fair price for your Australian dollars, is the real exchange rate, otherwise known as the mid-market rate, or the interbank rate.
The mid-market rate is the one used by banks trading on the global financial markets. It’s the best, and fairest rate there is available. However, the exchange rate you’ll be offered by your bank or money exchange services isn’t necessarily the real exchange rate.
It’s common for banks and money exchange services to roll up their own charges and fees into the exchange rate they offer customers, instead of being upfront about the real cost of your money exchange. That way they can claim their service is fee free - while still making a profit on every transaction.
Unfortunately, hiding fees like this usually means that customers pay over the odds to exchange their currency.
It’s easy to see how the rate your bank or exchange service is offering you compares to the real exchange rate. Just google your currency pairing, or try a handy online currency converter to check the mid-market exchange rate. If you don’t think the deal on offer is fair, it might be time to try a new way of getting your foreign currency.
Knowing the real exchange rate is crucial. However, exchange rates are constantly moving, and there are a few factors that can influence exchange rates.
Sometimes big things - like changes in the political or economic situation in a country - impact the price of its currency. But sometimes it’s less obvious why the rates have moved - it can simply be that investors are feeling more or less optimistic about the global economy as a whole. Keeping an eye on the rates for your particular currency pairing doesn’t have to be a headache - just sign up to an exchange rate alert service, it will do the work for you and keep you up to date.
Once you know the exchange rate that’ll be used for your currency conversion, you also need to think about the fees applied. If you’re exchanging currency in a bank or money exchange office, you can ask them about the costs that are added to your transaction.
However, another cost effective way to get your foreign currency is to use a local ATM when you arrive in Chadstone. Usually the exchange rates are fair as long as you avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) - more on that in a moment. There will be fees to pay for using a foreign ATM in most cases. It’s worth checking with your home bank, though, if they have any branches or a partner bank in Australia. If they do, you might be able to get cheap or fee-free ATM use if you stick to ATMs within your home bank’s network.
One thing to watch out for when using your credit or debit card abroad, is Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)
If you choose to pay in your home currency, the ATM or payment terminal provider will select the exchange rate applied - and this will not be as good as the rate your own home bank would give you. Choose the local currency instead, to get a fair exchange rate.
Although currency exchange services in airports and hotels can seem like an easy way to get AUD cash, you’ll most likely pay a high premium for the convenience.
It’s usually worth avoiding any exchange services which serve a captive market. Because they have little competition, and usually serve only passing customers, there’s no reason for them to offer a good deal. Head into Chadstone - or the Chadstone Shopping Centre - to find a wider range of currency exchange options, and - usually - a better exchange rate.
Aim not to need to exchange AUD back to your home currency at the end of your trip. Change only what you need, and spend everything that you change. If not you’ll be hit by fees and costs twice. And when you’re so close to one of the largest shopping centres in the world, spending your cash shouldn’t be a problem.
If you decide to change your home currency to AUD once you arrive in Chadstone then you have several choices in the Chadstone shopping Centre. You’ll need to go into the bank or store - or give them a call - to find out the exchange rates on offer - and don’t forget that there will still be a cost to your exchange - even if they claim to have zero commission.
If the exchange service you’re using claims to charge no fees, then check if the cost to you as a customer has been rolled up into the exchange rate on offer. Then you can decide if it’s a fair deal or not:
Here are some handy foreign exchange services in Chadstone:
|Company||Contact information||Exchange rate they use|
|Travel Money Oz||Shop 250, Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Road , Chadstone, VIC||On their website Travel Money Oz says about their exchange rate: “TV programs show wholesale rates, which 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.¹”|
|Travelex||Shop 259, Chadstone Shopping Centre1341 Dandenong Road, ChadstoneMelbourne, VIC, 3148||The Travelex website explains why it uses a tourist rate, rather than the real interbank rate for currency conversion: “The market (or spot) exchange rate is the rate banks exchange currencies at. A lot of extra processes and people go into providing you with currency. The cost of these is reflected in the price of the currency.²”|
|ANZ Bank||Shop B190 Chadstone Shopping Complex, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone VIC 3148||ANZ Bank publishes exchange rates online, but notes the following important information: “These rates are intended only as a guide. While every effort is made to ensure the information is accurate, you should confirm the latest rates with ANZ prior to making any decisions or initiating any transactions. These rates are not applicable at ANZ Foreign Exchange Centres.³”|
|Westpac||Shop 463 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone VIC 3148||There is an $8 fee to exchange foreign cash to AUD, plus any exchange rate markup which might be added⁴|
Home to one of the largest shopping centres on the planet, Chadstone has no shortage of exchange services. But finding one which offers customers the real exchange rate, with no hidden fees, can be a bit trickier.
One smart way to beat poor exchange rates and high fees is to transfer money to a local bank account in Australia before you travel. You can then use this to withdraw cash using a local bank card, from fee-free ATMs there.
If you, or a friend or family member in Australia, has a bank account there, you can make a transfer from your home bank account to AUD, using the real mid-market exchange rate, with TransferWise, for only a small fee. See how much you could save with TransferWise.
If you travel a lot, or are planning on being in Australia for some time, you could save even more with a TransferWise multi-currency borderless account.
This smart new type of account lets you keep your cash in any one of dozens of currencies, including AUD, all in one account. You can check your balance across currencies really easily using an app, and switch between them quickly, with the real exchange rate, and only a small fee - whenever you need to. You can get a linked TransferWise debit card so you can use your AUD balance to pay in stores directly, and beat ATM fees entirely. See if you can get a better deal with TransferWise, today. See if you can get a better deal with TransferWise, today.
| This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date. |
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