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Foreign Exchange Guide to India

Read this currency guide to India with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/INR=71.3256]

 
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 may find it difficult to purchase the currency (INR) before departure and will probably need to buy it upon arrival. If you do manage to buy some of the currency or have some left over from a previous trip, make sure you are aware if you are allowed to bring this closed currency into the country.

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

6-January-2019: Like other emerging market currencies, the Indian rupee was under significant pressure in 2018, during which it made an all-time low of ₹74.5 to the dollar and fell to a 4-1/2-year low versus the euro, at ₹86.15.

Following a solid fourth quarter, the rupee had risen by early January 2019 to a 4-month high versus the dollar of ₹69.36 — appreciation worth 7 percent from October’s low — and had recovered similarly versus the euro, to ₹79.29.

Among major problems for the rupee last year was the high price of oil, which raised India’s import bill substantially, but as luck would have it, the oil market experienced a complete reversal in Q4. A $30 per barrel (40 percent) plunge in the oil price was a blessing.

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

Fitch predicted in January a 2019 year-end exchange rate of ₹75 to the dollar on the basis of further current account deterioration and tighter financing conditions.

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.

Bringing India Rupee Travel Money into India

Only returning residents can bring rupee into India. If you're a foreigner, you can't bring rupee into India with you. There are exceptions if you're a returning resident, you can carry 7,500 INR into the country. There is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency you can bring with you. However, if you're carrying more than the foreign currency equivalent of US$5,000, you'll need to declare the cash at customs when you arrive.

 

Travel money for India

 

As mentioned above, the Indian Rupee is a closed currency. Which means that you may find it difficult (or be permitted) 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.

 
Travel Money Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount INR(₹)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
 
Travelex Online US logo
54,590 INR
Best Overall
54.58970^23.47%Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery2-3 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
52,959 INR
₹1,631 less
54.04$2025.76%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
52,955 INR
₹1,635 less
53.5$1025.76%Branch-
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
52,950 INR
₹1,640 less
52.95025.77%Branch-
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:54.5897 (23.47% from mid-rate)
INR amount:54,590 INR
Total Cost:23.47%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Thu Feb 15 2018 16:45:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
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 (24.24% from mid-rate)
INR amount:52,959 INR
Total Cost:25.76%
Time:0:08 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
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:62.41 (12.51% from mid-rate)
INR amount:52,955 INR
Total Cost:25.76%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→INR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:52.95 (25.77% from mid-rate)
INR amount:52,950 INR
Total Cost:25.77%
Time:0:08 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Note we do not compare every single provider in the market, we compare a selection of established, reputable foreign exchange providers & banks who are regulated in the US as licensed money transmitters. We may receive referral fees if you choose one of these providers however this will not affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
Rate snapshot: 02/18/2019
 

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!

 
Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive INR(₹)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
OFX logo
698,600 INR
Best Overall
69.860^2.06%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
TransferWise logo
706,081 INR
₹7,481 more
70.97$511.01%Bank Transfers - Online1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
684,066 INR
₹14,534 less
68.53184.1%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
683,573 INR
₹15,027 less
68.46$154.17%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
679,401 INR
₹19,199 less
68.34154.75%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
674,982 INR
₹23,618 less
68.18$1005.37%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
674,982 INR
₹23,618 less
68.18$1005.37%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:69.86 (2.06% from mid-rate)
INR amount:698,600 INR
Total Cost:2.06%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Sun Feb 17 2019 22:03:29 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
TransferWise: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$51 USD (0.5% + $1)
Exchange Rate:70.97 (0.51% from mid-rate)
INR amount:706,081 INR
Total Cost:1.01%
Difference:
₹7,481 more than using OFX
Time:0:08 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:68.53 (3.93% from mid-rate)
INR amount:684,066 INR
Total Cost:4.1%
Difference:
₹14,534 less than using OFX
Time:0:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:68.46 (4.02% from mid-rate)
INR amount:683,573 INR
Total Cost:4.17%
Difference:
₹15,027 less than using OFX
Time:0:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
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:68.04 (4.61% from mid-rate)
INR amount:679,401 INR
Total Cost:4.75%
Difference:
₹19,199 less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:68.18 (4.42% from mid-rate)
INR amount:674,982 INR
Total Cost:5.37%
Difference:
₹23,618 less than using OFX
Time:0:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→INR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:68.18 (4.42% from mid-rate)
INR amount:674,982 INR
Total Cost:5.37%
Difference:
₹23,618 less than using OFX
Time:0:08 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Note we do not compare every single provider in the market, we compare a selection of established, reputable foreign exchange providers & banks who are regulated in the US as licensed money transmitters. We may receive referral fees if you choose one of these providers however this will not affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
Rate snapshot: 02/18/2019
 

Popular INR cross rates


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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.01411 Week
18 Jan 20190.01401 Month
21 Aug 20180.01436 Months
17 Feb 20180.01551 Year
17 Feb 20170.01492 Years
18 Feb 20140.01615 Years
19 Feb 20090.020110 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.01241 Week
18 Jan 20190.01231 Month
21 Aug 20180.01246 Months
17 Feb 20180.01251 Year
17 Feb 20170.01402 Years
18 Feb 20140.01175 Years
19 Feb 20090.015910 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.01091 Week
18 Jan 20190.01091 Month
21 Aug 20180.01116 Months
17 Feb 20180.01111 Year
17 Feb 20170.01202 Years
18 Feb 20140.0096535 Years
19 Feb 20090.014010 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20191.54321 Week
18 Jan 20191.54071 Month
21 Aug 20181.57736 Months
17 Feb 20181.65111 Year
17 Feb 20171.68272 Years
18 Feb 20141.64685 Years
19 Feb 20091.893510 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.01981 Week
18 Jan 20190.01961 Month
21 Aug 20180.01956 Months
17 Feb 20180.01961 Year
17 Feb 20170.01942 Years
18 Feb 20140.01785 Years
19 Feb 20090.031110 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.01871 Week
18 Jan 20190.01861 Month
21 Aug 20180.01876 Months
17 Feb 20180.01951 Year
17 Feb 20170.01952 Years
18 Feb 20140.01765 Years
19 Feb 20090.025210 Years

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