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Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked Foreign Exchange and Currency questions

What makes sending money internationally so expensive?

hk-buildings-600There are a number of cost components to making and receiving international payments, most of which are far from transparent to customers: Currency fees Currency conversion rates : Banks charge huge margins for currency conversion to the majority of businesses and individuals. They tend to fix rates once a day and therefore need to incorporate enough margin to protect against intraday rate volatility. View article >

Why compare foreign currency exchange rates?

If you’re still using your bank to make money transfers or buy foreign cash chances are you’re paying excessive fees and receiving inferior exchange rates. When buying Travel Money, providers rates can vary according to the stock of different amounts of each currency on hand or available. Some places tend to sell a lot more USD or maybe a lot of places buy a lot more USD so they will me more inclined to weight their buy and sell price accordingly. View article >

Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

Travelling with Credit Cards can be expensive! Wondering what those extra “Fees” are on your credit card statement for purchases in Foreign currencies? Most banks and financial institutions charge these sneaky fees for transactions in a foreign currency (as much as 3% of the amount), only a few do not charge a fee for this so it’s worth knowing what your card is costing you. View article >

What is the International Mid-Market Rate?

All Vendor currency exchange rates on BestExchangeRates are compared to what we call the Mid-Market Rate for each currency pair. This mid-market rate (sometimes also called the interbank rate or spot rate) is used in global financial markets and what you normally see reported on the news. It is called the “mid-rate” because it is always half-way between latest BUY and SELL rates for the currency pair. View article >

When is the Foreign Exchange Market Open around the world?

Forex Market Hours: As one major forex market closes, another one opens. Using the GMT timezone, for instance, forex trading hours move around the world like this: available in New York between 01:00 pm – 10:00 pm GMT; at 10:00 pm GMT Sydney comes online; Tokyo opens at 00:00 am and closes at 9:00 am GMT; and to complete the loop, London opens at 8:00 am and closes at 05:00 pm GMT. View article >

PayPal – Customer Feedback

The currency rates that PayPal offers is competitive with most multi-currency credit card transactions, in which Visa or MasterCard charge a 1% spread above their wholesale exchange rate, and the card-issuing bank typically charges an additional spread of 1-3%. PayPal seeks to keep its foreign exchange rates competitive with credit card transactions and transferring money via banks however they are not competitive when compared to specialist on-line payment service providers such as OFX or the other FX currency converters for your country as featuring on our best rate calculator. View article >

I am off travelling, should I take credit/debit cards, cash or travellers cheques?

We are often asked that question here at BestExchangeRates! Most people these days go for credit and debit cards over cash or travellers cheques. The cards main advantage is that exchange booths don’t have to be open for you to be able to change money. However there are many credit card fees you need to watch out for on purchases abroad or even just when you buy something in USD of Amazon! View article >

Why is it that when I go to a foreign currency exchange rate counter I never get the rate that I see on the news?

You may well think that you are being ripped off, but it is not always the case. In simple terms what you see on the news or in the paper or on yahoo finance is the Middle Rate or mid-rate. Some people want to buy a currency and some people want to sell a currency. There is a gap between the price at which you buy and the price at which you sell. View article >

Why do FX rates change?

Foreign exchange rates are constantly changing. Indeed the FX markets are active 24 hours a day 5 days a week. There are even some middle eastern countries that continue to trade FX on the weekends. View article >

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