Just returned from my holidays in Australia and would like to share some tips about currency exchange.
In my case it was EUR to AUD, but the experience might be the same with other currencies. The best exchange rates i found were on small currency exchange stores in the center of main cities. The best of all was always UAExchange, no fees and always good rates.
The best ones had a rate about 0. Travelex was the biggest disappointment, they are everywhere but the airport rates are a blatant ripoff and in the city they also are pretty much the same as banks, sometimes even worse than banks which always charge between 8 - 12 AUD per exchange and have a rate around 0. If you have an atm card visa electron or similar you can withdraw from most ATMs, i think NAB atms are best because they charge no commission themselves for the withdrawal.
Thanks for your post but if you had bothered to browse this forum you would have found a lot of information about the exchange rates you experienced. I agree that there's nothing new in this and that research would have discovered it here already, but it is a good summation of the issues. Since then I've avoided them and have made a point of looking out for Bendigo Bank as I know they don't charge and a cancelled transaction seems to take a while to be 'released' back into my account.
Rather a sweeping statement which doesn't take into account which country you're from and the many possibilities of where you may bank. The account I use just for holidays has no charges at all for overseas ATM use.
Foreign Currency Services | HSBC Australia
It's perfectly safe and there are ATMs everywhere. Yes, some of the information i wrote about is mentioned elsewhere here, but not all and i thought this post, as someone mentioned, might be useful as a summation. The information i had found here before didn't make clear that the really best exchange rates are with UAexchange and i also left with the idea that ATM withdrawals usually had such nasty charges that i might be better off exchanging at a bank.
In my experience from visits to other countries you can always get better rates at currency exchange stores that withdrawal from ATM, however, it's usually not hard to find good exchange stores and, sometimes, the best rates can be found right at the airport, instead of the city center.
This is certainly not true for Australians. The exchange rate at ATMs is usually better than from cash exchange, and there are cards available here that have no fees for overseas withdrawals.
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currency exchange tips (avoid travelex) - Australia Forum - TripAdvisor
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