Feb 14, 2017 at 12:13 UTC Updated: Apr 17, 2018 at 10:43 UTC
Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates – comparison table and usage guide
In this article we take a look at Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates and focus on how their services compare to other options available to you. If you are a CBA customer and looking to send money overseas through an International Money Transfer (IMT) or get some travel money, read on to:
Book & track your foreign transfers online (24/7) with industry best rates for all your deals - not just the first one! Lock in exchange rates with Spot & Forward Deals. BestExchangeRates users get the transfer fees waived.
Rate available to ANZ Online Banking customers only. Fee for transfers via ANZ Internet Banking is $18 (or $12 if the transfer is over $AUD10,000) in ANZ Foreign Exchange Centre or via ANZ Phone Banking fee is $32.
Click here to order Travel Money and the Pre-paid Cash Passport with $0 commission and great exchange rates only available online. Home delivery or pickup your cash at your local Travelex store, Post Office, HSBC branch or conveniently at the airport on departure day. * Orders paid for via BPAY incur no additional fees. Card (debit or credit) will incur a card surcharge; MasterCard (debit) 0.77%, MasterCard (credit) 0.94%, Visa (debit) 0.72% and Visa (credit) 1%. In addition, for Credit Card purchases, your card issuer may charge a separate cash advance fee. For Australia post collection and home delivery orders under $AUD1,000 a $10 collection fee applies.
How does Commonwealth Bank Foreign Exchange Service Compare?
The live tables above will give you an indication of how Commonwealth Bank foreign exchange rates compare to an alternative FX provider. At the time of writing (16/04/18), the exchange rate margin that CBA was showing for Foreign Transfers was 5.26%. The margin indicates the amount above the mid-rate (i.e. the rate at which the banks interchange with each other). The cheapest alternative for Foreign Transfers (OFX) at the time of writing was showing a margin of 1.52%, meaning if you had changed $10,000 for EUR with OFX, you would have received EUR236 more than if you had made the exchange with CBA.
So, what about the other exchange rates services that CBA offers, are they so much better that it makes the higher cost of transfer worth while? The key benefit that CBA offers to existing customers, is the knowledge that you are transferring with a familiar brand. They already have all your details so there will be no need to complete any additional forms or undergo any further customer verification or security checks. With that in mind, if you are making a one-off international money transfer, where the amount to be exchanged is sufficiently low for the difference in cost to be acceptable to you, then going with CBA could be the way to go for you.
If, however, you will be making regular international money transfers, then securing the lowest exchange rate, will be more critical. The FX specialists that we list on our site are registered and regulated organisations with a strong history of servicing the Foreign transfer and Travel money market.
The Main Points:
CBA provides extensive foreign exchange services, FX Specialists provide more additional services and generally speaking a higher level of expertise;
CBA products are available both in-branch and online via their online banking platform NetBank. FX Specialists for foreign transfers are on-line but you can speak to them on the phone, and in some cases you will have an account manager;
Commonwealth Bank exchange rates for foreign transfers are generally poor compared to using an FX specialist.
Commonwealth Bank exchange rates for travel money are comparable to those of the other Australian banks but you will, more likely than not, get less for your dollar than if you ordered your foreign currency and travel money online through providers such as Travelex.
Average to poor exchange rates need to be weighed up against convenience of using a familiar internet banking platform.
If you already bank with CBA, you’ve probably already taken a look at the currency related products and services they have to offer such as – Travel Money (cash), Travel Cards, and International Money Transfers (IMT). Below we explain these different options to help you choose which particular product/service would best suit your needs. Firstly, it’s important to understand that the exchange rate will depend on a few factors, namely:
The currency you need
Transaction type – whether you wish to buy or sell the currency
The product you’re after – Travel Money, a Travel Card or International money transfer
Below is an example of a Commonwealth Bank exchange rate table.
Which Exchange Rate applies to you?
The exchange rate that applies to you is determined by the product you opt for. For example, let’s assume you are travelling to the UK and therefore want to buy some British pounds (GBP) in preparation for your trip. Looking at the example Exchange Rate table above, you would refer to the Get Foreign Cash or load Travel Money Card column, which shows the exchange rate you will get from CBA if you ordered online (i.e. buy GBP) as 0.5544 for 1AUD.
However, if you had just returned from the UK and were looking to change your GBP back to AUD (i.e. Sell your GBP), you would refer to the Change Foreign Cash or Unload Travel Money Card exchange rate, which offers a different exchange rate of 0.6203 in exchange for 1AUD. Make certain you are using the right column for Buying and Selling, as the currency rates do vary for each.
The euro is the sole currency of 19 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Note some exceptions in Europe are the nordic states such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway that have their own version of kroner.
Calculating your foreign exchange conversion amounts
Once you’ve selected your product with the right currency, you can work our your exchange rate from the table. Make sure you use the most current table for the latest rates as the above is only a snapshot in time. The general rule of thumb for calculating is:
convert AUD into foreign currency by multiplying by the rate
convert foreign currency into AUD by dividing by the rate
Remember that you will also need to add on any fees that the bank charges as the conversion amount is usually exclusive of this.
Compare CBA foreign exchange rates with other FX specialists
Finally, it’s worth shopping around for the best exchange rate especially if you are travelling for an extended period or exchanging over AUD1000. There are a multitude of specialist FX organisations that often offer significant savings on your currency exchange.
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