How to get a good USD to ZAR exchange rate
There are several ways to save on exchange rates when converting US dollar to South African rand:
- Shop around for the best USD/ZAR exchange rate: Exchange rates can vary significantly between different currency exchange providers, so it's important to compare rates from different sources before making a conversion.
- Timing is important: Keep an eye on the USD/ZAR rate on currency markets, as exchange rates can fluctuate frequently. Try to make your transactions when the exchange rate is in your favor. You can do this easily with our BER Smart Rate Tracker.
- Use a credit/debit or travel card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees: Some credit cards charge additional fees for transactions made in a foreign currency, so it's important to check with your card issuer to see if they charge these fees and what their exchange rate is.
- Use a multi-currency account: Having a multi-currency account allows you to hold and transfer money in both USD and ZAR at close to the interbank rate. It also allows you to make payments or withdrawals in the local currency while avoiding high conversion fees.
- Buy currency in advance: If you know that you will need foreign currency in the future, consider buying it in advance when the exchange rate is favorable.
The key is reducing excessive costs and fees
Generally speaking, if you are buying South African rand with US dollar, then it's better for the USD/ZAR exchange rate to be higher.
However working against you are the fees all foreign exchange providers charge for providing their service. These fees is usually contained within the exchange rate margin (or difference to the mid-rate).
The transaction margin you end up being charged can be considerably reduced by around a few percent (of total amount being exchanged) for
travel money and possibly over 5% to 6% when sending money.
The exact potential savings depends on the currencies being exchanged and the amount you are transferring and if you are willing to shop around.
Our real-time foreign transfer and travel money/cards comparison calculators make shopping around easy and help you calculate how much you can save.
It's worth noting that while these tips can help you save on exchange rates, it's important to be aware that no single method is guaranteed to provide the best exchange rate in every situation, and it may require some research and comparison-shopping to find the best option for your specific needs.