It’s been an interesting time for the Aussie Dollar. And there endeth my understatement of the year.
As the Aussie ‘Peso’ (AUD) cracked parity with the US Dollar (USD) a few days ago, news outlets and punters alike whipped up (and were swept-up in) mass currency-fueled hysteria. It was now the US Peso and the AUD was “King of the World” (errr… kind of). As the news raced around on Saturday morning, many folks had visions of overseas holidays and of foreign exchange boards lit up with the magical numbers AUD1.0000 = USD1.0000.
Of course, the latter didn’t happen – for a few reasons.
Firstly, the foreign exchange rates quoted in the media, and on sites like XE, are generally live mid-market rates based on interbank transactions and settlements. Put simply, the mid-market rate is bang-smack in the middle of the current wholesale buy and sell prices.
Secondly, the AUD was at USD1.00003 for approximately 46 seconds before it softened back to the USD0.99 mark. Heh.
Finally, and most critically, currency retailers – like banks and specialty foreign exchange outlets – will add their margin to the price they charge you. This, unfortunately, leads to tears as consumers rock up to their currency retailer expecting to see the numbers which they’ve just heard or seen Kochie and Ross talking about. It’s the RETAIL RATE that is going to determine, in part, how much partying you’ll be doing overseas or how many pairs of shoes you buy on eBay from foreign vendors.
So – here we are – with a list of the RETAIL carded rates, as offered by a number of the larger Australian foreign exchange dealers with retail services. Hopefully, this might help a few people as they shop around. Please leave a comment if any of the links no longer work (last checked 18 October 2010) and/or if you have additional sources to add to this list. Thank you.
http://www.nab.com.au/cgi-bin/calculators/fx_calc/fx_transfer_table.pl (Negotiated Instruments)
https://www.holidaymoney.com.au/nab/daily-exchange-rates.html (Cash Products)
Commonwealth Bank of Australia:
http://www.travelex.com.au/for-you/todays-online-rates (NB: Online only)