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Foreign Exchange Guide to India

Read this currency guide to India with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/INR=71.399]

India
Country Code:
IN
Domestic Currency:
Indian Rupee
Symbol - Code:
₹ INR
Telephone Prefix:
+91

This is a foreign exchange guide to India, the Indian Rupee currency plus INR transfers and travel tips.


In this India currency guide we take a look at :

  1. Indian Rupee info - general info about the Indian Rupee
  2. Indian Rupee in the markets - recent INR moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in India - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Indian Rupee cash online - travel money for India
  5. Sending money to India - save on Indian Rupee bank transfers to India
  6. Indian Rupee exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.

Indian Rupee (INR) general currency information


What is the Indian Rupee currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Indian Rupee is INR and the symbol is .


Is the Indian Rupee a closed currency?

Yes the Indian Rupee is a closed currency. Which means that you will not be able to purchase the currency (INR) before departure and will need to buy it upon arrival. For more information and a full list of closed currencies please refer to our guide: What is a closed currency?


Which countries use the Indian Rupee?

It is the domestic currency in India.

The Indian rupee gets its name from the rupiya – a silver coin first produced in the sixteenth century.

Rupee trades make up around 1% of the total volume of the foreign exchange market. This market share is comparable to currencies from other major emerging market economies, such as South Africa, Brazil and Russia, but falls some way short of the 4% share taken by the Chinese yuan – the most actively traded emerging market currency.

When is the Indian Rupee stronger or weaker?

Importantly, the rupee has strong seasonal characteristics. The currency typically falls in value every second-quarter (April-to-June) due to India’s heightened gold demand heading into the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya. Heavy rains between June and September can also depress industrial production in the country and weaken exports, which weigh on the currency.

What are the rupee’s all-time highs and lows?

The rupee’s all-time low against the US dollar came in February 2016 when USD/INR reached 68.80 (INR/USD 0.0145). It's all-time high came in March 1973 when USD/INR traded at just 7.19 (INR/USD 0.139). More recently, since 2007, the rupee was at its strongest in November 2007 when USD/INR fell to 39.10 (INR/USD 0.0256).

Which Indian banknotes were cancelled in 2016?

On 8 November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation of all ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. The cancelled ₹500 and ₹1000 notes are no longer exchangeable at any bank in India: they have since March 2017 effectively lost all monetary value.

In addition to the 500 and 1000 rupees, the Mumbai-based Reserve Bank of India has decided to withdraw all pre-2005 Indian Rupee notes. These discontinued Rupee bills have no year of issue printed on the back side. These Indian rupees without date on the back are no longer a valid means of payment in India or Bhutan.

Is Indian currency accepted in Bhutan?

Bhutan’s unit of currency is called the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). A Ngultrum has the same value as the Indian rupee, the rupee is also legal in Bhutan.

INR 100 & 50 Rupee denomination may be used in Bhutan, but Ngultrum cannot be used in India. Indian Rupee denomination note of INR 500, INR 1000 and INR 2000 are not accepted in Bhutan.


Indian Rupee (INR) in the markets

Like other emerging market currencies, the Indian rupee has been under significant pressure in 2018. It made an all-time low in October of 74.5 to the dollar and fell to a 4-1/2-year low versus the euro, which bought 86.15 rupees.

By the time of this report (November-21), the rupee had, though, recovered somewhat, reaching its strongest levels of the fourth quarter. Recoveries worth 5 and 6 percent against the dollar and euro respectively had USD/INR and EUR/INR trading at 70.92 and 80.974.

Among major problems for the rupee in 2018 has been the high price of oil, which raises India’s import bill substantially, but as luck would have it, the oil market has experienced a complete reversal in Q4. A $24 per barrel (30 percent) plunge in the oil price over 7 weeks is a blessing.

Political uncertainty (never good for a currency’s valuation) is likely to emerge in 2019, with expectations of a tough electoral battle for current Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

One analyst said in November that the rupee would likely end 2018 stronger at 68 per US dollar.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to INR 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.


USD-INR 3 Month chart
USD-INR 3 Month chart
USDINR currency converter

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for India

 

India is a vibrant, colourful, and fascinating country to explore but can be a little intimidating for first time visitors. There are many magical places to visit so try to make a point of staying at least two nights in any one place.

You will be using the local currency (rupee) on the street, however credit cards are now widely able to be used at the more expensive locations. Though depending on your security concerns purchasing a Prepaid Travel Card before heading there may ease your mind. Never exchange foreign currency on the street.

For getting around cities its rickshaws, they are old looking but very cheap, and definitely add to the experience. On arriving at an airport you can avoid the crowd of taxi drivers waiting outside by going to a prepaid taxi counter inside the terminal. There you can purchase a fixed price fare to the hotel you want, pay on the spot, and they will give you a green slip. Then you can head outside and once the less scrupulous drivers see you holding a prepaid slip you won't get swamped with offers. For longer distance travels both bus and train are available and most hotels will be happy to organise this for you as they generally get a cut of the action.

The are also many small travel shops everywhere that will do this also but they may over charge. Trains are available as well and can be a good way to get around. Be aware however that they can be extremely crowded and often booking ahead at least a day or two is required. Another good option is you intend to travel around within a state for a few days is to hire a driver. This not expensive and certainly can make life easier. Only drink from bottles water and make sure it is properly sealed when you buy it. As tasty as it looks, don't eat from street vendors, and try to eat food you know has probably been prepared properly.

For a long time flights within India have been expensive and most travelers went by the bus system or by train. Now however, flights to major cities are very affordable and convenient, and can save a lot of time seeing more of the country. Doing a bit of looking around online can save you a lot of money on flights.

For female travellers you'll need to prepare for being stared at, this is usually out of curiosity more than anything else, and you will get used to it very fast. Dress conservatively, loose ankle-length pants or skirts, tops that cover your shoulders and shawls to avoid to most unwanted attention, and avoid travelling alone during festivals when thick crowds can be used as an excuse for a pinch or two.

 

Travel money for India

 

As mentioned above, the Indian Rupee is a closed currency. Which means that you will not be able to purchase the currency (INR) before departure and will need to buy it upon arrival in India.

For these types of destinations, using a pre-paid travel card is a good solution. As no travel cards support loading closed currencies like the INR you will incur currency conversion or foreign transaction fees if you use a travel money card in India.

However, using a pre-paid travel card is still a good idea as you can avoid ATM fees and also you can avoid using (and losing!) your main bank or debit/credit card.

 

Compare USD to INR Travel Money Exchange Rates vs the Banks

ProvidersAmount INRExchange RateFee USDTotal CostReviewsDeal Links
Travelex Online US logoTravelex Online US
₹54,590 INR
Top Provider
54.58970^23.43%
 
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
₹52,959 INR
₹INR1,631 less
54.04$2025.72%
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
₹52,954.5 INR
₹INR1,635 less
53.5$1025.72%
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
₹52,950 INR
₹INR1,640 less
52.95025.73%
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:54.5897 (23.43% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹54,590 INR
Total Cost:23.43%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Thu Feb 15 2018 16:45:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:54.04 (24.2% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹52,959 INR
Total Cost:25.72%
Time:6:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo

Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:62.38 (12.5% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹52,954.5 INR
Total Cost:25.72%
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:52.95 (25.73% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹52,950 INR
Total Cost:25.73%
Time:6:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers Get Quotes
Total Cost = provider fees + exchange rate margin vs USD/INR mid-rate: 71.2950
Rates @ 12/10/2018
 

India Trip Checklist    

 
  1. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in India
  2. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to India

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to India you need to start with finding out the latest Indian Rupee foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to India

When sending money to India 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 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Indian Rupee amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted INR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in India.

Use our Send to INR calculator to compare the exchange 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 Indian Rupee deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 

Compare USD to INR Foreign Transfers vs the Banks

ProvidersAmount INRExchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer SpeedTransfer ServicesReviewsDeal Links
WorldFirst logoWorldFirst
₹710,100 INR
Top Provider
71.0100.4%1-2 daysOnline, Bank Account to Bank Account
 
OFX logoOFX
₹710,100 INR71.010^0.4%1-2 daysOnline, Bank Account to Bank Account
 
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
₹672,986 INR
₹INR37,114 less
67.42185.61%2-3 daysOnline, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
HSBC logoHSBC
₹672,490 INR
₹INR37,610 less
67.35$155.68%2-3 daysOnline, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
₹668,415 INR
₹INR41,685 less
67.23156.25%2-3 daysOnline, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Bank of America logoBank of America
₹664,092 INR
₹INR46,008 less
67.08$1006.85%2-3 daysOnline, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
₹664,092 INR
₹INR46,008 less
67.08$1006.85%2-3 daysOnline, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
WorldFirst: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:71.01 (0.4% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹710,100 INR
Total Cost:0.4%
Time:6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Online, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:71.01 (0.4% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹710,100 INR
Total Cost:0.4%
Time:
Rate Fetched: 6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Online, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:67.42 (5.44% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹672,986 INR
Total Cost:5.61%
Difference:
₹INR37,114 INR less than using WorldFirst
Time:6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:67.35 (5.53% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹672,490 INR
Total Cost:5.68%
Difference:
₹INR37,610 INR less than using WorldFirst
Time:6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo

Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:66.94 (6.11% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹668,415 INR
Total Cost:6.25%
Difference:
₹INR41,685 INR less than using WorldFirst
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:67.08 (5.91% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹664,092 INR
Total Cost:6.85%
Difference:
₹INR46,008 INR less than using WorldFirst
Time:6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:67.08 (5.91% from mid-rate)
INR amount:₹664,092 INR
Total Cost:6.85%
Difference:
₹INR46,008 INR less than using WorldFirst
Time:6:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Account to Bank Account
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers Get Quotes
Total Cost = provider fees + exchange rate margin vs USD/INR mid-rate: 71.2950
Rates @ 12/10/2018
 

Popular INR cross rates


INR/USD - Indian Rupee to United States Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20180.01431 Week
09 Nov 20180.01381 Month
12 Jun 20180.01486 Months
09 Dec 20170.01551 Year
09 Dec 20160.01482 Years
10 Dec 20130.01645 Years
11 Dec 20080.020810 Years

INR/EUR - Indian Rupee to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20180.01261 Week
09 Nov 20180.01221 Month
12 Jun 20180.01266 Months
09 Dec 20170.01321 Year
09 Dec 20160.01402 Years
10 Dec 20130.01195 Years
11 Dec 20080.015610 Years

INR/GBP - Indian Rupee to British Pound Sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20180.01121 Week
09 Nov 20180.01061 Month
12 Jun 20180.01116 Months
09 Dec 20170.01161 Year
09 Dec 20160.01182 Years
10 Dec 20130.0099665 Years
11 Dec 20080.013910 Years

INR/JPY - Indian Rupee to Japanese Yen - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20181.63071 Week
09 Nov 20181.57051 Month
12 Jun 20181.63686 Months
09 Dec 20171.75961 Year
09 Dec 20161.70542 Years
10 Dec 20131.68645 Years
11 Dec 20081.905410 Years

INR/AUD - Indian Rupee to Australian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20180.01941 Week
09 Nov 20180.01911 Month
12 Jun 20180.01966 Months
09 Dec 20170.02071 Year
09 Dec 20160.01992 Years
10 Dec 20130.01795 Years
11 Dec 20080.031010 Years

INR/CAD - Indian Rupee to Canadian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
02 Dec 20180.01901 Week
09 Nov 20180.01821 Month
12 Jun 20180.01936 Months
09 Dec 20170.01991 Year
09 Dec 20160.01962 Years
10 Dec 20130.01745 Years
11 Dec 20080.025610 Years

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