Table of Contents Hide
- How Does Currency Exchange Work?
- US Banks That Exchange Foreign Currency
- #1. America First Credit Union
- #2. Bank of America
- #3. Citibank
- #4. Citizens Bank
- #5. Chase Bank
- #6. First Citizens Bank
- #7. First Horizon Bank
- #8. Huntington Bank:
- #9. PNC Bank
- #10. Regions Bank
- #11. State Employees Credit Union
- #12. Service Federal Credit Union
- #13. TD Bank
- #14. US Bank:
- #15. Wings Financial Credit Union
- Banks that Foreign Currency Exchange For Free
- Where Can I Get Foreign Currency Abroad?
- Currency Exchange Alternatives
- How Do I Exchange Currency?
- How can I be Certain that I’m Getting a Good Exchange Rate?
- What can Old Foreign Currency be used for?
- What can I do to Prevent Transaction Fees?
- Worst Currency Exchange Locations
- Banks That Exchange Foreign Currency FAQs
- Can I exchange foreign currency at any bank?
- Which bank is best for currency exchange?
- Do banks convert currency for free?
Some travelers choose to exchange their US dollars for euros or other currencies at their local bank so they can tip taxi drivers or airport porters or purchase a coffee or lunch. People who are traveling to more than one country with various currencies will discover that planning ahead of time saves them the hassle of frequently converting money.
Train stations, airports, hotels, and tourist locations are the most expensive, yet most handy and most accessible, places to exchange money.
Here are the finest banks to use before and after your holiday to exchange your foreign into local currency for free or at lower fees.
How Does Currency Exchange Work?
Consider the currency exchange rate in the same manner that you would consider purchasing food at the grocery store. For example, you might obtain three pounds of oranges for $4.00 one day, but three pounds of oranges for $2.79 the next. When the oranges are $2.79, the value of your dollar is greater (you get more) and weaker when you have to pay $4.00.
A currency exchange rate is simply the value of one country’s currency in relation to the currency of another country. The value of the US dollar versus the currencies of foreign countries such as France, Canada, and Mexico fluctuates in the same way that produce prices do. Currency exchange rates can fluctuate by the minute, however most banks only update their rates once every business day.
Because exchange rates fluctuate, you’ll want to make sure you obtain the most foreign currency for your US dollar, which means receiving the best exchange rates and minimizing expenses.
US Banks That Exchange Foreign Currency
From our finest guides, here’s a list of banks and credit unions that exchange foreign currency for free or at lower fees. Remember that most banks and credit unions require you to be a customer in order to exchange currency.
#1. America First Credit Union
Credit union members can exchange up to $5,000 at select branches. If you exchange more than $300, there is a $10 transaction fee and a $20 transaction cost for transactions under $300.
#2. Bank of America
Customers of Bank of America can exchange up to $10,000 online or over the phone. You can also place an order worth more than $10,000 at a branch. There is no price for exchanging currency, but there is a $7.50 fee for having your goods sent home.
You can exchange over 50 different currencies by calling or visiting a branch. Customers with Citigold or Citi Priority Account Package pay no cost. Citi clients with non-mentioned accounts will be charged a $5 service fee for any transaction under $1,000. There is a $10 to $20 fee if you want the money transferred to your home, depending on your delivery preferences. This can also work with Citi loans
#4. Citizens Bank
You can exchange foreign currency at any of their branches. For further information on currency exchange, contact Citizens Bank.
#5. Chase Bank
Chase clients can exchange up to $5,000 in cash at local branches. To understand about transaction costs, go to your nearest branch.
#6. First Citizens Bank
Customers of First Citizens Bank can exchange over 80 different currencies at its branches. There are no exchange limits, however you will need to contact your nearest bank to learn more about potential fees.
#7. First Horizon Bank
First Horizon Bank accepts currency from over 65 different nations. To exchange currency and discover more about potential fees, you’ll need to visit a branch.
#8. Huntington Bank:
Customers of Huntington Bank can exchange up to $20,000 for a $8 charge at bank branches. The bank has 75 different currencies.
#9. PNC Bank
Customers can exchange currency at local PNC Bank branches. You should phone your PNC branch first so that currency can be supplied ahead of time. When exchanging currency, the bank charges no transaction costs.
#10. Regions Bank
Customers of Regions Banks can exchange foreign currency at local branches. To exchange currency and discover more about potential fees, you’ll need to visit a branch.
#11. State Employees Credit Union
Only credit union members can exchange foreign currency at State Employees Credit Union branches. You should contact SECU customer care before visiting a branch to check that the sort of currency you require is available at your nearest location.
#12. Service Federal Credit Union
Service Credit Union offers more than 60 different currencies. To place an order, phone or visit a local branch. Orders under $200 may incur a transaction fee of $10.
#13. TD Bank
TD Bank offers 55 different currencies. To place an order, you do not need to have a TD Bank account. Orders can be placed either online or at a TD branch. However, keep in mind that online orders incur a $7.50 fee and have a $1,500 maximum order limit.
#14. US Bank:
US Banks customers can exchange foreign currency at a local branch. For orders of $250 or less, there is a $10 transaction fee. Orders over this amount do not incur a transaction fee.
#15. Wings Financial Credit Union
Wings Financial Credit Union accepts over 90 different currencies, and orders can be placed at local branches. For orders under $300, there is a $10 transaction fee. If you spend more than $300, the charge is waived.
Banks that Foreign Currency Exchange For Free
Many US banks may exchange USD for a foreign currency for free, however, there are usually conditions. Customers of Bank of America, for example, can exchange foreign currency for free on orders of $1,000 or more. Otherwise, the bank charges a $7.50 delivery fee for foreign currency orders.
Similarly, TD Bank customers can exchange US dollars for foreign currency for free if they have a qualified type of account. Customers with TD Premier Checking will not be charged foreign exchange costs, but those with TD Convenience Checking will. Check with your local banks to see if they will exchange foreign currency for free and if there are any requirements you must complete to avoid expenses.
Where Can I Get Foreign Currency Abroad?
ATMs are your best choice for bills you can spend locally if you require foreign currency when traveling outside of the United States. ATMs typically offer favorable exchange rates, and you can save money on ATM fees by withdrawing more cash than you need rather than withdrawing smaller quantities numerous times throughout your trip. If you’re traveling outside of the United States and need currency to spend in a country other than the one you’re in, consider visiting the largest bank you can find to exchange your money.
Currency Exchange Alternatives
You can avoid the trouble of currency conversion by utilizing credit cards, debit cards, or special travel prepaid cards, which are also more secure to carry than a wallet full of cash. Additionally, if lost or stolen, traveler’s checks include security protections.
#1. Debit cards and credit cards
With a debit card, you have fast access to your money, which aids in budgeting. And, because credit cards are not tied to your bank or savings account, you have access to more funds and, in general, better security. However, keep in mind that choosing either option may incur expenses.
Both payment methods are more convenient than carrying a pocket full of cash, so combining the two can’t hurt. Some banks, such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, and US Bank, even offer cards with no foreign transaction fees, which means you won’t have to pay anything extra to use your card abroad. There is still the possibility of losing your card while traveling, which is why some seasoned travelers purchase credit card travel insurance.
#2. Prepaid Travel Cards
Prepaid travel cards require you to load money into your card before leaving the house. While these cards are useful for budgeting and are as easily replaceable as a traveler’s check, you may incur greater fees (for example, inactivity fees or ATM withdrawal fees) than with credit or debit cards. Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees are more common.
Prepaid cards often have daily reload and withdrawal limits, and cardholders may face pre-authorized pricing hikes at specific service merchants such as restaurants, car rental companies, and hotels. When people use prepaid travel cards, it’s mainly for fraud protection and travel budgeting features. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy the same fee-free perks as you would with a debit or credit card.
#3. Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks are prepaid paper checks that function similarly to cash. If you know the unique serial numbers of the checks, you may quickly replace or refund them, and there is no withdrawal charge or expiration date. This system, however, is pretty archaic, and there aren’t many issuers now – primarily large-scale banks. When acquiring a traveler’s check, you will also be charged an exchange fee.
How Do I Exchange Currency?
Begin by visiting your bank or credit union to exchange foreign currency. Inquire about their exchange rates, the number of currencies they convert, loyalty programs, and fee-free debit and credit cards. They are likely to provide the greatest exchange rates and, in certain situations, waive the exchange cost. Make arrangements for the cash to be picked up or delivered before departing on your international vacation.
How can I be Certain that I’m Getting a Good Exchange Rate?
Exchange rates are always changing. You must compare rates to determine if you are receiving the best exchange rate feasible. Look up the current foreign exchange rates online — at XE.com or directly at the Federal Reserve — to see how much the US dollar is worth at your location, and then contact your bank for their unique currency exchange rates. Compare these rates to those of other banks, credit unions, or online bureaus to discover which institutions will provide you with the best foreign value.
What can Old Foreign Currency be used for?
When you return home, many banks and credit unions will convert any leftover foreign paper currency to US dollars for you. You might get a lower rate than you paid for the currency initially, but at least it’s not going to waste.
What can I do to Prevent Transaction Fees?
Examine the fine language on your debit or credit cards and select those that do not charge fees. Check to see if your bank has a significant foreign ATM network and will reimburse any foreign ATM fees you may incur. Finally, even if you have the option of paying in US dollars, always pay in the local currency. This way, you will obtain the greatest cost and avoid any additional fees.
Worst Currency Exchange Locations
You should avoid exchanging currency at the following locations:
#1. When traveling to another nation, airport kiosks and stores (not to be confused with airport ATMs):
Plan ahead of time because airport kiosks offer some of the highest costs and the lowest exchange rates. When returning to the United States, this may be the only option.
#2. Prepaid debit cards and traveler’s checks:
These are inefficient and frequently incur various transaction fees. When compared to cash, they provide minimal benefit in terms of security. Prepaid debit cards also have card fees, foreign transaction fees, and ATM fees.
Consider how you wish to pay for routine purchases before planning your next overseas trip. Understanding currency exchange rates, foreign transaction fees, ATM withdrawal restrictions, and other aspects of paying in foreign currencies can help you save money and time when traveling.
Banks That Exchange Foreign Currency FAQs
Can I exchange foreign currency at any bank?
Yes. Many banks and credit unions offer currency exchange services to their consumers. It may cost a small charge, but it will almost certainly be the best exchange rate available.
Which bank is best for currency exchange?
The best foreign currency exchange rates are usually found at local banks and credit unions. Major banks, such as Chase or Bank of America, provide the added benefit of having ATMs in foreign countries.
Do banks convert currency for free?
Many US banks may exchange USD for foreign currencies without charge, however, there are usually conditions. Customers of Bank of America, for example, can exchange foreign currencies for free on orders of $1,000 or more.
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