While Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world, it’s still well worth a visit. Closer to Indonesia than it is to Australia’s capital Canberra, it has a unique culture and some of the best beaches (and weather) in the country. There’s plenty to enjoy in Perth.
The mining boom up north in the Western state has pushed prices up in the city. Swimming in the Indian ocean and walks through the bush are free for all, but for the experiences which cost, you’ll be needing some Australian Dollars.
Read this guide on how to find the best places to exchange your money in Perth.
Before exchanging your currency to AUD, first take the time to learn about exchange rates. Here are few helpful facts that you can keep in mind.
The Australian Dollar is a completely free-floating currency, so it’s value can go up or down. Many factors can affect an exchange rate, such as inflation, interest rates, economic and political changes.
To keep track of movements in the exchange rate, you can sign up for exchange rate alerts. That way, you can time your purchase so you’ll get the best possible deal on your exchange.
The Australian Dollar’s value fluctuates depending on supply and demand. But you can still tell if you’re getting a fair deal by comparing the exchange rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate. This is considered the fairest exchange rate there is.
To ensure you receive the best conversion rate in Perth, keep a close eye on the rates by checking the TransferWise currency converter. Compare the offered tourist rates to mid-market, and also take into account any upfront fees charged.
It’s advisable to avoid exchanging money at airports and hotels as the rate you'll receive is rarely fair. If this is a necessity though, there are several locations around Perth Airport where you can buy Australian Dollars.
International foreign exchange company Travelex runs several foreign exchange kiosks as well as a number of multi-currency ATM machines around the airport. Kiosks are open throughout the flight schedule, 365 days a year. You can find more information about the kiosk and ATM locations at Perth Airport here.
Many hotels around Perth also offer foreign currency exchange services. But just like airports, hotel exchange rates are rarely (if ever) a good deal. So, try to avoid this option unless absolutely necessary
You can sometimes get a better exchange rate from an ATM than you'd get using a foreign exchange service, provided you look out for any applicable fees.
Westpac, one of the largest banks in Australia, has several ATMs around Perth. As part of the Global ATM Alliance, they offer fee-free withdrawals to customers of other banks in the alliance.
If your home bank isn’t part of the network, it’s still worth checking whether they have a special arrangement with an Australian bank. This could mean you can use ATMs at zero or reduced costs, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.
When using an ATM, always choose to be charged in the local currency. So in Perth, opt to be charged in AUD, and not in your home currency. Otherwise, chances are you’ll be paying more in fees to the bank and will receive a poorer exchange rate.
Do you have Dollars left over after your trip? If so, it’s probably better to keep them for next time, or simply sell them off to a friend.
Foreign exchange companies often buy and sell currency at different rates, and chances are you’ll lose money on the deal if you decided to sell back to them. Instead of paying conversion fees twice, budget well so you spend all your AUD before leaving Australia.
If you’ve managed to avoid the airport, and you’d rather not use an ATM, there are various foreign exchange companies you can use. These include UAE Exchange Australia, Exchange Now and Redrate Exchange.
Keep in mind that there's no such thing as a fee-free foreign exchange transaction. While a company may claim it doesn’t charge fees or earn a commission, it probably builds its profit into the exchange rate. You can easily measure whether a company is offering you a fair deal by comparing their exchange rate to the live mid-market rate.
|Currency Bureau||Address||Contact Information|
|UAE Exchange Australia||London Court 51/647-657 Hay Street Mall, Perth||+61 8 6212 5301|
|Redrate Exchange||55/188 Newcastle St, Northbridge||+61 08 9328 6699|
|Travel Money Oz||729 Hay St, Perth||+61 1300 426 997|
|Travelex||HSBC Building, 188-190 St Georges Terrace, Perth||+61 8 6141 5007|
While buying Australian Dollars for your trip to Perth is quite easy, you’ll need to be careful if you want to get a good deal. The key is to compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate before you decide which company to use. Withdrawing cash directly from a trusted ATM operator will usually result in a better exchange rate than at an in-person exchange office. Just be sure to take into account any upfront fees applied.
Or, even better, if either you or a friend has access to a AUD account in Australia, use TransferWise and make the transfer ahead of time. Not only does TransferWise use the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money (which almost always beat the banks), your money will also be sent and received using local banks, bypassing those nasty international banking fees.