Best places to exchange currency in Brisbane

10.04.17
4 minute read
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If you like the idea of warm weather all year round, regular hikes in the bush, or you wish to meet a koala or two up close, then Brisbane would be a great place for you to visit.

But before you change your money to Australian Dollars to fund your trip, read this guide on how to get the best deal on currency exchange.

Things to know before exchanging your money

When your plane touches down in Brisbane, you’ll be needing some AUD in your pocket to get around. Take the time to understand how exchange rates work, and where commission and fees can be hidden, before making the change.

Know the actual exchange rate

Your first step before purchasing Australian Dollars should be to find out the mid-market exchange rate - the fairest exchange rate you could possibly get. Always compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate, so you’ll know whether it’s a fair deal or not.

To ensure you receive the best exchange rate in Brisbane, keep a close eye on the rates by checking the TransferWise currency converter.

Remember - exchange rates always change

Exchange rates change constantly. Factors which can affect rates include political decisions, economic changes and other global and local events. You can sign up for exchange rate alerts to better keep track of the rate and receive notifications when it changes. That way, you can choose the best time to convert your money, to ensure the best possible deal.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

While exchanging currency at the airport is never advisable, there are various points at Brisbane Airport where you can convert money once you arrive.

International foreign exchange company Travelex runs several kiosks and ATMs. They're at the international terminal on levels 2, 3 and 4 as well as level 1 in the domestic terminal. Branches are open all throughout the flight schedule. You can also order your foreign currency ahead of time and collect it when you arrive.

It may be possible to exchange foreign currency at your hotel. But just like airports, hotel exchange rates are rarely (if ever) a good deal. So, please avoid this option unless absolutely necessary.

ATM withdrawals

If you’re careful, using an ATM can be an easy and cheap way to get Australian Dollars.

Australian banking giant Westpac is part of the Global ATM Alliance, so you may be able to make withdrawals from their ATMs for free if your home bank is also part of the network. If your home bank isn’t part of the Global ATM Alliance, it may still be worth checking whether they have any special arrangements with an Australian bank.

Some ATMs may ask you in which currency you’d like to be charged, or whether you wish to proceed with or without conversion. Choose to be charged in the local currency, or to have the transaction performed without conversion for the latter question. So opt to be charged in AUD, and decline the ATM’s offer to convert.

Spend your money before leaving

Budget for your trip to avoid coming home with leftover AUD. If you change cash back to your home currency, you’ll be paying conversion fees twice on the same money. Spend leftover money instead, especially the coins. Other possibilities include keeping it for your next trip, or selling it to a friend at the rate you bought it.

Where to exchange money in Brisbane

If you’d rather not use an ATM, there are a number of foreign exchange bureaus around Brisbane. These include Travel Money Oz, UAE Exchange Australia, Lotus Foreign Exchange and Remox.

Remember to compare the exchange rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate before making an exchange. If a service claims it doesn’t charge a fee or commission, chances are they are building it into the exchange rate.

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
Travel Money Oz Several stores. Find one here. +61 1300-426-997
UAE Exchange Australia Kiosk 1.2 Gr level, Transit Centre, 151/171 Roma St, Brisbane +61 1300-705-050
AusXChange LG 11A - Lower Ground, MacArthur Central Shopping Centre, 255 Queen St, Brisbane +61 (07) 3194-5133
Remox Unit No. 031A, Level A, Myer Centre, 91 Queen Street, Brisbane +61 (07) 3210-0360

The bottom line

Withdrawing Australian Dollars from an ATM will usually result in a fairer exchange rate than you’ll receive at a currency exchange bureau. Just be sure to choose to be charged in AUD, and avoid having the ATM’s bank apply its own conversion rate.

If using an ATM isn’t possible, or you prefer using a foreign exchange bureau, always make sure you compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate. Choose a service offering a rate as close as possible to the mid-market rate, of course taking into account any upfront charges.

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.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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