Today’s online exchange rates
We monitor market rates on a daily basis so you don’t have to.
We’re always comparing our rates against major in-store and online travel money providers, to make sure we provide you with great value on your foreign currency. Use our handy exchange rate calculator below to see real time currency conversions based on the Travelex.com.au rate of the day, so you can see if it's a good time to buy.
Travelex Rate Tracker
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How to calculate exchange rates
Exchange rates are influenced by banks and trading institutions and the volume of currency they are buying and selling at any given time. Currencies are traded (bought and sold) daily around the world.
One currency can be purchased by another currency through banking institutions or on the open market. The volumes of currencies traded are increased and decreased depending on the attractiveness of any particular currency, which depends on a multitude of factors such as political stability, economic strength, government debt and fiscal policy among others.
Government central banks also have the ability to set a currency at a constant price through a method called pegging, which essentially tethers the value of one currency to another. The value (or price) of a currency is determined by its traded volume. If a currency is competitively priced, traders will buy the currency, essentially driving up its value. If a currency is not competitively priced, traders may avoid buying, or even sell it, essentially driving down its value.
Why do exchange rates change?
The exchange rates of the world’s currencies constantly move up and down against each other based on supply and demand. The more in demand a currency is, the higher its price will be. Changes in the foreign exchange market can be caused by this supply and demand, as well as by political and economic events.
Currency jargon explained
Foreign exchange can be confusing. To help you make sense of it all, here are some common terms to do with currency:
Sell rate –This is the rate at which we sell foreign currency in exchange for local currency. For example, if you were heading to Europe, you would exchange Australian dollars for euros at the sell rate.
Buy rate – This is the rate at which we buy foreign currency back from you into your local currency. For example, if you were returning from America, we would exchange your US dollars back into Australian dollars at the buy rate.
Holiday money rate or tourist rate – This is another term for a sell rate.
Spot rate –This is known more formally as the ‘interbank’ rate. It’s the rate banks or large financial institutions charge each other when they’re trading significant amounts of foreign currency.
Spread – This is the difference between the buy and sell rates offered by a foreign exchange provider.
Cross rate – This is the rate we give to customers who want to exchange currencies that don’t involve the local currency (for example, if you wanted to exchange US dollars into British pounds).
Commission – This is the fee that foreign exchange providers charge for exchanging one currency with another.
- Does it pay to shop around and compare currency rates?
There are a lot of foreign currency providers in Australia, mainly high-street banks, all offering you a range of products and services. You can spend a lot of time to trying to find the best exchange rate in the market. But there’s usually very little difference between rates offered – sometimes it can be a matter of cents.
- Why are tourist money exchange rates not the same as the market spot rate?
The market (or spot) exchange rate is the rate banks exchange currencies at. A lot of extra processes and people go into providing you with currency. The cost of these is reflected in the price of the currency.
At Travelex, we work hard to give you great value for your foreign currency.
We’re constantly striving to do things more efficiently, so that because we want you to get the best possible deal we can offer.
- Why do currency exchange rates move?
Currencies constantly move up and down against each other as financial markets change. These movements can be caused by supply and demand, as well as by political and economic events.