Best places to exchange currency in Denver

20.03.17
4 minute read
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Denver is known for its 300 days of sunshine a year, a diverse culture, and some of the world’s most amazing natural beauty. As the capital of Colorado, Denver has plenty to do for those who enjoy skiing, music, food, hiking, and exploring the mountains.

If you visit Denver, you may need to exchange your money into dollars. You’ll have many exchange options - some better than others. Learn what to look out for when searching for the fairest currency exchange rates.

Things to know before exchanging your money

Know the actual exchange rate

To find a fair deal, make sure you know the principle behind the term ‘exchange rate’. Exchange rates indicate the value of a currency in direct comparison to another. There is one baseline exchange rate each day, known as the interbank exchange rate, or the mid-market exchange rate. This rate is decided by governments and the banks, and is constantly fluctuating.

When it comes to changing cash, you’ll notice that the rates offered by many exchange shops are lower than the mid-market rate. Even if they then claim ‘zero commission’, you can be sure they’re taking their cut from the exchange rate being offered. On top of this poorer exchange rate, many exchange bureaus will also charge an upfront fee.

You can investigate whether you’re being charged fairly by knowing the live mid-market rate. Use this figure as a benchmark for determining the fairest rates on offer, taking into account any added fees or charges. You can access the live interbank rate from google or using our online currency converter.

Remember - exchange rates always change

Exchange rates are influenced by many factors, including world events, interest rates, and diplomatic relations. Your currency’s value might change based upon an incident like Brexit, or the election of a certain political leader. Understand which global events may influence your currency exchange, and use that knowledge to guide your financial decisions.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

Your local bank may partner with a Denver bank, making it advantageous for you to exchange cash with them. Sometimes a partner bank will offer you free ATM withdrawals, or lower fees for foreign exchange. It’s worth checking with your home back before you leave whether they have partnerships with local banks in Denver.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

If withdrawing cash from an ATM, choose to be charged in the local currency. Being charged in your home currency might seem like a way to keep things simple, but actually it gives the bank permission to assign you an unfair exchange rate. Another way this can be worded, is whether you wish to be charged with conversion or without conversion. Choose to withdraw cash without conversion - choosing to be charged in USD will ensure a fairer exchange rate is applied.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

Exchanging money at your hotel or at the airport may be tempting, but the convenience comes at a cost. Airport and hotel exchanges can vary substantially with their charges. It’s not uncommon to pay an extra 20 percent of your withdrawal as a commission fee. Use these types of exchanges only as a last resort, and seek out more centrally located exchange bureaus where higher competition usually drives a fairer deal. Or, for an even better rate, opt to withdraw cash from directly from an ATM.

Spend your money before leaving

Plan your budget so that you spend your converted cash before leaving Colorado. You’ve already paid foreign exchange fees on this money on the way in, and you’ll be losing more in fees if you re-exchange on your way out. Spend the cash you have left, particularly the coins, before you leave.

Where to exchange money in Denver

Here are some in-person options to exchange money in Denver. Remember to check the fees, and compare their offered exchange rate against the mid-market rate at the time.

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
Currency Exchange International - Cherry Creek Shopping Centre 3000 E 1st Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (303) 586-1144
Travelex - Inside US Bank 950 17th St, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 260-7433
Travelex - Cherry Creek 200 University Blvd, Denver, CO 80206 (303) 333-5713
World Wide Money Exchange - Denver International Airport 8400 Peña Blvd, Denver, CO 8024 (303) 342-0190

The bottom line

To find a fair deal on foreign exchange in Denver, you’ll need to do your research. Start by understanding the mid-market rate and check the live rate online.

Your best option is finding an ATM run by a trusted operator. While you may be charged a nominal fee, it will be less than what you pay at an exchange bureau or airport. Most ATMs charge for each transaction, so try to limit your withdrawals to one or two larger ones.

If either yourself or a friend have a USD bank account, you can use TransferWise and make the transfer ahead of time. TransferWise uses the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money - which almost always beat the banks.This also ensures your currency is sent and received usually local bank transfers, meaning you’ll not have any unwelcomed international bank fees eating into your money.

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

Find out more