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Foreign Exchange Guide to India

Read this currency guide to India with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/INR=73.7457]

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 in . 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 mid-September of 72.9 to the dollar and fell to a three-year low versus the euro, which fetched 84.5 rupees. The rupee at least held the major 52 level versus the Australian dollar.

Major problems for the rupee in 2018 have been the high price of oil, which raises India’s import bill substantially; negativity on emerging markets, driven by the summer’s currency crises in Argentina and Turkey; and higher US interest rates, which drive capital away from high-rate-paying countries like India.

An analyst at ING said in September that he saw “no strong reasons why this trend [of rupee depreciation] should reverse soon.”

Although it is probable that interest rates will be raised further in India in the coming months as a means of limiting currency weakness, some analysts remain skeptical on how supportive these rate hikes will be given other factors.

Natixis, like ING, said in September that it was bearish on emerging market currencies, including the Indian rupee.

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 Travel Money Exchange Rates vs the Banks

USD $1,000 → Spend Indian rupee (INR)

ProviderSpend Amount USDExchange RateCostReviewsLinks to Offers
Travelex Online US logoTravelex Online US
₹54,590 INR
Top Provider
54.589725.94%
 
HSBC logoHSBC
₹54,040 INR
₹550 less
54.0426.69%
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
₹53,316.33 INR
₹1,274 less
53.676727.67%
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
₹52,959 INR
₹1,631 less
54.0428.15%
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
₹52,950 INR
₹1,640 less
52.9528.16%
Travelex Online US: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:₹54,590 INR
Exchange Rate:54.5897
Total Cost:25.94% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:
Rate Fetched: Thu Feb 15 2018 16:45:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:₹54,040 INR
Exchange Rate:54.04
Total Cost:26.69% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

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

Banks - Average Rate :
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:₹53,316.33 INR
Exchange Rate:64.5
Total Cost:27.67% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Fees:$10
Wells Fargo Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:₹52,959 INR
Exchange Rate:54.04
Total Cost:28.15% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Fees: Minimum 20 USD
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:₹52,950 INR
Exchange Rate:52.95
Total Cost:28.16% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a free multiple-vendor quote: Get Quotes
* Cost = exchange rate margin + fees vs USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101
Rates @ 10/15/2018
 

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 Foreign Transfers vs the Banks

Send USD $10,000 → Receive INR

ProviderReceive Amount INRExchange RateCostReviewsLinks to Offers
OFX logoOFX
₹722,600 INR72.261.97%
 
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
₹707,524 INR70.884.01%
HSBC logoHSBC
₹707,038 INR70.814.08%
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
₹702,714.5 INR70.68254.67%
Bank of America logoBank of America
₹698,148 INR70.525.28%
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
₹698,148 INR70.525.28%
 
OFX: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹722,600 INR
Exchange Rate:72.26
Total Cost:1.97% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Timestamp:
Rate Fetched: Mon Oct 15 2018 14:04:43 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹707,524 INR
Exchange Rate:70.88
Total Cost:4.01% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Difference:
₹15,076 INR less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹707,038 INR
Exchange Rate:70.81
Total Cost:4.08% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Difference:
₹15,562 INR less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

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

Banks - Average Rate :
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹702,714.5 INR
Exchange Rate:70.38
Total Cost:4.67% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Difference:
₹19,885 INR less than using OFX
Bank of America: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹698,148 INR
Exchange Rate:70.52
Total Cost:5.28% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Difference:
₹24,452 INR less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:₹698,148 INR
Exchange Rate:70.52
Total Cost:5.28% (against USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101)
Difference:
₹24,452 INR less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:08 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a free multiple-vendor quote: Get Quotes
* Cost = exchange rate margin + fees vs USD/INR mid-rate: 73.7101
Rates @ 10/15/2018
 

Major INR cross rates


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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20180.01351 Week
14 Sep 20180.01391 Month
17 Apr 20180.01526 Months
14 Oct 20170.01551 Year
14 Oct 20160.01502 Years
15 Oct 20130.01625 Years
16 Oct 20080.020510 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20180.01171 Week
14 Sep 20180.01191 Month
17 Apr 20180.01236 Months
14 Oct 20170.01311 Year
14 Oct 20160.01372 Years
15 Oct 20130.01205 Years
16 Oct 20080.015310 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20180.01031 Week
14 Sep 20180.01061 Month
17 Apr 20180.01066 Months
14 Oct 20170.01161 Year
14 Oct 20160.01232 Years
15 Oct 20130.01015 Years
16 Oct 20080.011910 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20181.53891 Week
14 Sep 20181.55411 Month
17 Apr 20181.62946 Months
14 Oct 20171.72881 Year
14 Oct 20161.56022 Years
15 Oct 20131.59535 Years
16 Oct 20082.068010 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20180.01921 Week
14 Sep 20180.01941 Month
17 Apr 20180.01966 Months
14 Oct 20170.01961 Year
14 Oct 20160.01972 Years
15 Oct 20130.01705 Years
16 Oct 20080.030310 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
07 Oct 20180.01751 Week
14 Sep 20180.01811 Month
17 Apr 20180.01916 Months
14 Oct 20170.01931 Year
14 Oct 20160.01972 Years
15 Oct 20130.01685 Years
16 Oct 20080.024410 Years