Melbourne is a thriving city with a strong cultural and tourist presence. From spontaneous artwork to stunning beaches and everything in between, Melbourne offers an unforgettable experience for travellers from around the world. That being said, the number one difficulty that all travellers face is using the correct currency for the county.
Most people think that it is as simple as pulling money out of an ATM, but finding currency exchange in Melbourne with best rates is something that can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for. Fees often vary between a flat ten dollar charge or a small percentage of the total amount, and, depending on the location, travellers may find better deals in less touristy areas. For exchanging large amounts of money, the flat rate is certainly ideal, but for small amounts, the percentage makes more sense.
Before you leave your home country, do a few minutes of research regarding market rate. Be aware of the high and low rates, but memorise the mid-market rate because this is what the exact exchange value is. This will help you know exactly how much of a fee you are paying when you are looking for places to exchange money in Melbourne. For the most part, the average fee is about .2 more than the mid-market range, but places with a flat fee may require you to do some additional math to see if the fee makes sense.
Finding the Best Place
Ask your bank if they have a partnership with any local banks in Melbourne because this may allow you to withdraw Australian dollars at a great exchange rate. Travellers should absolutely avoid using airports or hotels because these areas are expecting people to convert and will overcharge accordingly. Ideally, look for an exchange that does not have a fee and openly lists the rates and process online. Foreign exchange in South Melbourne is challenging because it is high traffic so it is helpful to plan ahead and know where you plan to exchange money. If you plan on using an ATM, make sure that you are charged in local currency and not home because your bank will assign a poor rate if you don’t use local currency.
Of course, a convenient way to pay for items in Melbourne is with a credit card, but travellers should be careful and always check with the company ahead of time to see what the rates are for using the card abroad in foreign currency. Stay informed and check before accepting the first rate offered. This is the best way to ensure that you are making the most out of your time and money while travelling through Melbourne.