Money Basics


It is unnecessary to exchange money before you arrive in Australia. Western currencies such as the British Pound, European Euro, and Canadian and American Dollar, are easy to convert. The country�s proximity to Asia also allows for the easy conversion of the yen. Approximately 20 different forms of currency can be changed at any airport or city exchange center. Traveler�s checks can be converted, but at a lower exchange rate than cash. Traveler�s checks in Australian Dollars are hard to cash outside of the city centers. Airports generally give the worst exchange rate and/or have the highest commission charge. Some hotels will change money, but it is unnecessary to use their services as banks and exchange centers give better rates. There are numerous places to exchange money throughout Australia, especially in large city centers. Exchanging money in the outback or in small towns can be difficult, but ATMs are practically everywhere.

ATMs

ATMs can be found throughout Australia. Most ATMs will accept international cash cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo on them. The ATMs are not required to list fee surcharges; expect to come away 2-3 dollars poorer after using one. Before you leave, inquire with your home bank about how much they will charge you for each transaction as well. Because of these fees, taking out small sums of 20 dollars each time you use one is not recommended.

If you wish to utilize the cash advance option on a credit card, make sure you establish a pin number before you leave, and know the daily interest rates.

Travelers who will be in Australia for a long time should consider opening a bank account with an institution that has branches nation-wide, such as ANZ, which also serves New Zealand. This will allow for easier access to cash and can cut down on your ATM fees. Note that you can only open a bank account your first six weeks in the country.

Black Market
As Australia has a well-developed economy, black market currency exchanges are not options. Should one be presented to you, say no. Exchanging currency this way is illegal, and not recommended.

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Exchange Rates

1 Euro = 1.62 Australian Dollars
1 US Dollar = 1.33 Australian Dollars
1 British Pound = 2.43 Australian Dollars

1 Australian Dollar = 0.62 Euros
1 Australian Dollar = 0.75 US Dollars
1 Australian Dollar = 0.41 British Pounds

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