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Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates – BER Review

In this article we take a look at Commonwealth Bank and examine how CBA foreign exchange rates & international money transfer services compare to other providers available to you.

Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates – Are you getting a good deal?

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:

How does Commonwealth Bank Foreign Exchange Rates Compare?

The live tables below will give you an indication of how Commonwealth Bank Foreign Transfer exchange rates compare to an specialist FX provider.

At the time of writing, 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 Commonwealth bank exchange rates services? 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 Commonwealth bank exchange rates services 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.

Commbank Exchange Rates Explained – Foreign Transfers, Holiday Money & Travel Cards

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.

CBA FX screenshot
Example Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates 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 Commonwealth Bank 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.

Send Transfer & Buy Cash Rates

This table shows Commonwealth Bank exchange rates for foreign transfers and travel money. The percentages with the rates show how much margin the bank is charging compared to the market mid-rate. The table is updated hourly, for the latest comparison goto our comparison calculators for CBA Foreign Transfers and CBA Travel Money.

CBA , 1AUD=Foreign TransfersTravel Money
AED - UAE dirham2.7279 (5.64%)2.712 (6.26%)
BRL - Brazilian real3.7943 (8.27%)
CAD - Canadian dollar0.9014 (5.62%)0.9012 (5.65%)
CHF - Swiss franc0.6696 (5.54%)0.6692 (5.6%)
CLP - Chilean peso505.37 (7.95%)
CNY - Chinese yuan4.7486 (6.27%)
CZK - Czech Republic koruna15.64 (5.69%)15.3 (8.04%)
DKK - Danish krone4.5389 (5.66%)4.5366 (5.72%)
EUR - Euro0.6112 (5.53%)0.6141 (5.03%)
FJD - Fijian dollar1.5406 (3.25%)1.4894 (6.8%)
GBP - British pound sterling0.5304 (5.77%)0.5329 (5.27%)
HKD - Hong Kong dollar5.7677 (5.63%)5.7646 (5.69%)
HRK - Croatian kuna4.4981 (8.06%)
HUF - Hungarian forint218.76 (5.68%)214.02 (8.02%)
IDR - Indonesian rupiah10490.63 (5.68%)10263.29 (8.02%)
ILS - Israeli New Sheqel2.4106 (5.89%)2.3584 (8.23%)
INR - Indian rupee54.87 (4.79%)
JPY - Japanese yen80.67 (5.6%)81.05 (5.11%)
KRW - South Korean won825.97 (5.71%)808.07 (8.05%)
KWD - Kuwaiti dinar0.2236 (5.68%)0.2188 (8%)
LBP - Lebanese pound1115.21 (7.42%)
LKR - Sri Lankan rupee145.57 (6.15%)142.42 (8.5%)
MUR - Mauritian rupee30.12 (6.01%)29.46 (8.38%)
MXN - Mexican peso14.46 (8.02%)
MYR - Malaysian ringgit3.0348 (6.31%)
NOK - Norwegian krone6.0942 (5.8%)6.0911 (5.85%)
NPR - Nepalese rupee67.62 (36.34%)
NZD - New Zealand dollar1.0316 (4.44%)1.0239 (5.23%)
OMR - Omani rial0.2859 (5.63%)0.2797 (7.97%)
PGK - Papua New Guinean kina2.6117 (6.02%)
PHP - Philippine peso35.35 (6.05%)34.59 (8.38%)
PLN - Polish zloty2.7776 (5.71%)2.7174 (8.05%)
QAR - Qatari rial2.674 (6.82%)
SAR - Saudi riyal2.7853 (5.63%)2.7249 (7.97%)
SBD - Solomon Islands dollar5.9499 (5.02%)5.6305 (10.98%)
SEK - Swedish krona6.173 (5.58%)6.1698 (5.64%)
SGD - Singapore dollar0.9832 (5.7%)0.9826 (5.76%)
THB - Thai baht23.08 (5.5%)22.95 (6.1%)
TOP - Tongan paanga1.5938 (11.18%)
TRY - Turkish lira6.1199 (5.59%)5.9873 (7.93%)
TWD - New Taiwan dollar20.2 (7.67%)
USD - U.S. dollar0.7428 (5.61%)0.7502 (4.57%)
VND - Vietnamese Dong16829.69 (6.71%)16420.51 (9.37%)
VUV - Vanuatu vatu79.78 (7.72%)75.49 (13.84%)
WST - Samoan tala1.7933 (10.76%)
XPF - CFP franc75.88 (1.44%)71.8 (7.2%)
ZAR - South African rand10.44 (5.65%)10.38 (6.26%)
Sun May 9, 2021 4:05 AEST
CBA Exchange Rates - Click Rates to Compare (% margins to midrate)

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.
Exchange Rates 1.5
Customer Service 1.4
Ease of Use 1.9
Please note that the opinions of our authors are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Best Exchange Rates and should not be taken as a reference to buy or sell any financial product.

23 Reviews for “Commonwealth Bank Exchange Rates – BER Review”

  1. Avatar Barry Mulberry says:

    Why is it that the buying rates that you give for the Thai B on the 37 May are still the same as the 6 June???

  2. Avatar Charlie Z says:

    the rate is terrible, No interested paid to CBA foreign currency account, a 1% withdraw fee is charged when taking cash from it.

  3. Avatar barry says:

    Absolutely disgraceful bank, the worst of a very bad bunch of thieves.

  4. Avatar Grumpy girl NZ says:

    I love the way that Com bank screws everything and everyone associated with it. The passive aggressive phone tress – the surprise shockers, the intrusive Netbank bullshit.

    I’m trying to relocate back to NZ – I transferred $500 + $22 AUD up front fee from Com bank to my NZ bank account. I got $500.32 in my NZ bank account. WTF com bank? So the $22 was a fee, and the intra bank flat fee from ANZ – for the foreign exchange was $30 fee that was taken out of the inital AUD $500, so I was moving $470 – and the $500.32 was the result. NZ bank didn’t charge anything or created any dramas it was just a deposit.

    Com bank like to think they are “customer service” orientated. They give you stupid millennials that have no customer service skills and a computer screen as their banking service. They are the worst bank I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with. Go anywhere but Com bank.

  5. Avatar Carlos says:

    Exchange rates from the CBA is what its call highway robbery !!
    It is disgraceful an appealing that the CBA can get away with those exchange rates !!
    I will exit this institution as soon as I get back from my holiday trip to Europe in June.

  6. Avatar Maz says:

    CBA state their exchange rate on website is a “guide only” but it’s way off the mark and is false advertising. Disgraceful.

    1. Avatar BER Team says:

      Hi we have now setup a BER page where customers of Banks and Financial institution can report accuracy of exchange rates

  7. Avatar FB says:

    CBA Is no worse than all the other retail banks who are equally woeful on margin. Considering there is no cash involved for travel cards for example, 6%+ on all of them is dreadful. Oz Forex (Macquarie) @ 3% kicks their backside and best of all the rates are intra-day, on-demand. Been watching CAD for last 10 days off the Xmas bottom and consistently getting up to 3 big figures better with Oz over the retails e.g. 0.936251 in the last hour versus 0.9074, that’s $30 per $1000 and its better off in your pocket!

  8. Avatar Mike Watson says:

    Very Unhappy. The focus is as usual on profit, do it yourself and pay a transfer fee as well as enjoying a poor exchange rate.
    Transferring money to NZ – NZ$1200 cost me AUD $1212.86 at a rate of 0.9894 + AUD $22.00 transfer fee. The Ausforex rate was 1.0384. That’s who I will be using in future.
    Not sure how this rating system works? is the first button good or bad?

  9. Avatar wayne says:

    Terrible xchange rates and constantly hit with exorbitant fees when using any of their products/cards overseas

  10. Avatar drew says:

    CBA have the best Vietnamese Dong VND rates of all the banks, I know cos I have a internet cafe business in Hanoi’s old quarter, so changing cash and sending money back and forth very often.

  11. Avatar Stuart says:

    Concerned that the CBA doesn’t offer good customers better rates as their exchange rate is lower and they hit with commission as well double dipping.

  12. Avatar Jim says:

    Given the convenience on online banking, CBA is okay if transferring small amounts overseas as a lot of FX’s won’t do small transfers.

  13. Avatar Thomas James says:

    This bank just doesn’t care anymore about its reputation – all it is after is profit – I say if you belong to this bank – close your account today!!!!!!

  14. Avatar scott says:

    some of the worst exchange rates of any of the available options.

  15. Avatar Mischa says:

    I used to transfer money to ukraine through this function because of the convenience but no longer. I cop the 7% fee plus 50.00 commission from other transfer banks like Deutsche.

  16. Avatar Joe says:

    Looking at your comments I agree but Do you really think that any bank cares?

  17. Avatar Macca51 says:

    Terrible rates especially reconverting foreign currency (US dollars) back to Aust dollars. Current official exchange rate is apprx $1.03, CBA buy back at $1.0819, over 5 cents in every dollar and that is after selling at apprx $0.99. They are making about 7% if you buy from and sell back to CBA. Utterly outrageous@!!!

  18. Avatar sandee says:

    I don’t agree with the some of the below comments, well at least not for Indian Rupee. I use CBA to send money home to India and the rate is much better than the other banks…generally with a margin of just over 1% which is pretty good.

    1. Avatar TED NUGENT says:


  19. Avatar Pffft says:

    Now an $8 service fee. On top of terrible rates.

  20. Avatar Not happy says:

    I concur. Extremely terrible rates

  21. Avatar which bank says:

    Terrible rates, nuff said

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