Foreign Exchange Guide to India
The domestic currency in India is the Indian rupee with currency code INR. Read this foreign exchange guide to India and the Indian rupee with money transfer and travel tips plus Indian rupee exchange cross rates.
In this guide we review :
- Indian rupee info - general info about the Indian rupee
- Indian rupee in the markets - recent INR moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in India - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Indian rupee cash online - travel money for India
- Sending money to India - save on Indian rupee bank transfers to India
- Indian rupee exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
Indian rupee (INR) general currency information
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.
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.
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).
What is the Indian rupee currency code and symbol?
The three letter currency code for the Indian rupee is INR and the symbol is ₹.
Which countries use the Indian rupee?
It is the domestic currency in India.
Indian rupee (INR) in the markets
Against the dollar, the rupee remains weak by recent standards: it fell to an eighteen-month low in May and at the time of this report had recovered only 2.5 percent; although, on June 1st it did have one of its best days in recent years after data showed India’s economy growing faster than any other in the world. The rupee is also weak compared with other major currencies like the yen, euro and Chinese yuan.
According to one analyst, without higher Indian interest rates, the rupee will weaken again.
The RBI has not raised rates since 2011 but to do so would be to follow in the footsteps of its peers. Four emerging market central banks raised rates in May in order to counter higher US interest rates and the stronger dollar, which are equally bothersome to India.
Further to inflation, which is already above target, among factors to be considered by the RBI ahead of any hike are the recent escalation in global trade tensions, the high price of oil (India’s largest import) and a troubled banking sector.
Come July, seasonal factors will support the rupee. The April-June period each year is usually a time when the rupee loses value due to India’s heightened gold demand heading into the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya.
The interactive chart below shows the INR 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.
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.
India Trip Checklist
- Compare INR travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
- Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in India
- Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)
Travel money for India
Save money and time by Ordering your Indian rupee online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the INR 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 Indian rupee otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared
Buying INR Cash with USD 1,000
Fees: USD 10 (1%)
Fees: USD 0
Rate timestamp : Thu Feb 15 2018 16:45:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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).
Getting a better deal when sending money 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 :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Indian rupee 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 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!
Sending a LARGER international money transfer? Request a Free Multi-Vendor Quote
Compare Foreign Transfers
Sending USD 10,000 to INR
Fees: USD 0
Rate timestamp : Sat Jun 23 2018 04:04:43 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Fees: USD 15