What brings you to Adelaide?
Perhaps the chic cafés and eateries? The boutique shops? The thriving cultural scene? Maybe the pristine surf beaches only half an hour from the city?
Who are we kidding? It's all these things - and more sunshine than you can shake a stick at.
To make the most of your trip down under, though, you're going to need some cash.
Don't get scammed when you exchange your money. Use our guide to find the best places to exchange your cash in Adelaide.
First thing’s first. Familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate for your chosen currencies.
What is the mid-market rate, you ask?
It’s not only the exchange rate you’ll find on Google, it’s also the rate banks use when they trade with one another. It’s the exchange rate in its purest form before any commission or markup is added. A great way to know if you’re getting a fair deal is to use an online currency converter to compare the rate you’re offered with the actual exchange rate online.
You’ll also do yourself a favour to ignore currency exchange services in and around the airport and your hotel. Low competition and a customer base in need of quick cash generally mean exchange services offering poorer exchange rates and higher fees that are often hidden.
The cheaper option is often just to use an ATM to withdraw cash when you travel. There’s still a few things you should still keep in mind, though.
- Talk to your local bank first.
To avoid having your card frozen due to suspicious activity, you’ll want to let them know that you’ll be travelling abroad. It’s also worth asking if they have any partner banks in Australia to avoid some of those extra ATM fees.
- Always choose the ATM option to be charged in the local currency.
Because you're using an overseas card, you might be asked if you want to be charged in your home currency. As harmless as that sounds, say no. It's a way banks sneak a poor exchange rate past unsuspecting travellers.
- Budget ahead to avoid changing more cash than you think you’ll need.
Converting cash back again means you’ll be charged conversion fees twice. As the fees mount up, that's less for you and more for the banks. Spend it on yourself instead.
If you only have cash and need to change it into Australian dollars, then you’ll definitely need a currency exchange service. Keep in mind that all of them will add their own commission charges to your exchange. These might be declared or disguised in the rate they’re offering, so be aware of the full extent you’re being charged before you commit to the transaction.
Travelex has several branches in Adelaide.
|HSBC Building: 55 Grenfell Street||(08) 7071 2029|
|Rundle Mall: Shop 4, Beehive Corner, Rundle Mall||(08) 8231 6977|
|Rundle Mall Adelaide Post Shop: Shop 59 Level 1, City Cross SC, 33-39 Rundle Mall||(08) 8221 6559|
|Glenelg: Phil Hoffman Travel, Corner of Brighton Rd & Jetty Rd (Bayside Village Shopping Centre)||(08) 8294 3252|
All branches are open during the weekdays, and all but the HSBC location have weekend operating hours. If you’re planning on a visit, check ahead online or give them a call to find out when they’re open.
Foreign Xchange has two branches in Adelaide.
|52 – 65 King William Street||(08) 8221 6565|
|Shop 2 / 22-32 Frome Street||(08) 8223 5656|
During the week they’re open 10am-6pm. Saturdays they operate 11am - 5pm.
Travel Money Oz, with three branches in Adelaide, offers currency exchanges as well as other traveller services.
- 19 Rundle Mall (opposite the Myer Centre)
- 65 Grenfell St (on the corner of Gawler Place)
- 33 - 39 King William Street (inside the Escape Travel store, close to the Rundle Mall tram stops)
1300 426 997 for all locations in Australia.
Open every day of the week with more limited hours on Sunday. Check online or call ahead to find out exact times.
If you’d rather skip the headache of figuring out an exchange place when you arrive in Adelaide, then plan ahead and use TransferWise. If you have a bank account in Australia, or know someone who does, you can transfer money a week in advance between bank accounts using the real mid-market exchange rate with TransferWise.
With a little extra planning, you can have AUD waiting for you when you get there.