Foreign Exchange Guide to Australia
In this guide we review :
- Australian dollar info - general info about the Australian dollar
- Australian dollar in the markets - recent AUD moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Australia - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Australian dollar cash online - travel money for Australia
- Sending money to Australia - save on Australian dollar bank transfers to Australia
- Australian dollar exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Australian dollar (AUD) general currency information
The three letter currency code for the Australian dollar is AUD and the symbol is $. It is the domestic currency in Australia, Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling Islands, Heard And McDonald Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Norfolk Island and Tuvalu.
The Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the world, it trades in the world foreign exchange markets behind the US dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling. The Australian dollar is popular with currency traders, because of the high interest rates in Australia, the freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, the stability of Australia's economy and political system, and the view that the Australian dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies, especially because of its greater exposure to Asian economies and the commodities cycle. The currency is commonly referred to by foreign-exchange traders as the Aussie dollar.
Australian dollar (AUD) in the markets
It was an excellent end to 2017 for the Australian dollar. In the final three weeks of the year, the currency made the most of an impressive year-end rally in commodities and climbed by three cents against the US dollar, or roughly 4%, to end the year a whisker above 0.78. Things haven’t been so easy in early 2018, however.
In early 2018 (to February 15th), despite a marginal climb to 0.79 against a faltering US dollar, the Australian dollar has been broadly weak, having fallen towards multi-month or multi-year lows against the New Zealand dollar (1.0705), euro (0.635) and yen (84).
Entering 2018, most forecasts for AUD/USD for year-end lay between 0.7 and 0.75 (mostly bearish AUD). By far the most optimistic forecast came from Commonwealth Bank, which predicted the return of broad US dollar weakness and a subsequent rise in AUD/USD to 0.85.
Goldman Sachs have predicted that iron ore prices – crucial to Australia’s national income – will fall 30% in 2018. If the bank is correct, this will weigh on the Australian dollar.
Among those who will be happy with further declines in the Aussie’s value are Australian exporters and those at Australia’s central bank. In 2017, RBA statements regularly complained that AUD appreciation was contributing to “subdued price pressures in the economy” and was weighing on the “outlook for output and employment.”
The chart below shows the AUD to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.
Currency and money saving tips for Australia
There are no limits on the amount of currency that can be brought in or out of Australia, but travellers must declare hard currency equivalent to AUD10,000 or higher. Australia is not usually considered a budget destination, in fact Sydney and Melbourne are consistently ranked as two of the world’s most expensive cities but if you’re careful with your spending it’s still possible to make your money go a long way, especially when the Australian Dollar is weaker.
Most nationalities will need to get a visa before you travel. Beware of scam adverts claiming to help you extend a working holiday visa. Several British nationals have had their visas cancelled as a result.
If you're a Singaporean national, there's good news in relation to visas which is that from January 2018 a new, long-term, multiple entry visa will be available. This will allow Singaporeans to stay for up to three months at a time over a six year period.
Australia Trip Checklist
Travel money for Australia
Save money and time by Ordering your Australian dollar online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the AUD cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Australian dollar otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money for Australia
Sending money to Australia
There are no limits on sending money to Australia and the government allows unhindered access to foreign investors. Investments over a value of AUD244m (or over AUD1.078bn for investors from the US and New Zealand in non-sensitive sectors) must be pre-screened, but all other capital inflows are unrestricted. The IMF’s Global Housing Watch has Australia ranked as the third least affordable place in the world to buy a house – behind only Belgium and Canada.
When sending money to Australia it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Australian dollar amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted AUD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Australia.
Bank Transfers to Australia
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Australian dollar deposited into the recipient bank account in Australia and less margins and fees kept by the banks!