Best place to purchase $AUD

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Jun 22, 2019
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#1
I'm headed from the US to Brisbane, Australia next week.

Usually I'd order a couple hundred bucks worth of foreign currency from my bank (Chase) before I go, but time's gotten away from me and that's not going to happen.

My question is, once I arrive in Brisbane, where's the best place to get cash? My business Visa card should work for most things, but I like to have a little cash on hand just in case.

Should I look for an ATM? From an ATM I'd prefer to get cash using my debit card rather than a credit card because getting cash from a credit card is outrageously expensive. Will ATMs in an Australian airport take debit cards from a US bank?

Or is it better to go to TravelEx? And is it better to exchange from here in the US or wait until I get to Australia?

Appreciate your advice!
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#2
We go to Australia every other year and always arrive with only US currency. The airport will have multiple ATM's that take US ATM cards. Just make sure to alert your bank that you'll be traveling so they don't decline the transaction. Have fun!
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#4
I'm headed from the US to Brisbane, Australia next week.

Usually I'd order a couple hundred bucks worth of foreign currency from my bank (Chase) before I go, but time's gotten away from me and that's not going to happen.

My question is, once I arrive in Brisbane, where's the best place to get cash? My business Visa card should work for most things, but I like to have a little cash on hand just in case.

Should I look for an ATM? From an ATM I'd prefer to get cash using my debit card rather than a credit card because getting cash from a credit card is outrageously expensive. Will ATMs in an Australian airport take debit cards from a US bank?

Or is it better to go to TravelEx? And is it better to exchange from here in the US or wait until I get to Australia?

Appreciate your advice!
You need to go to Chase's website and find out what ATM network in Australia is in your bank's network (there may be none for Chase). Generally, that will save you ATM fees. And do let your bank know you will be in Australia so they do not reject your withdrawals. There is no need to get AUD$ prior to travel.

If Chase does not have an Australia partner you might wish to get a debit card for Bank of America, Citi or another bank which does have Australian ATM networks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance
https://www.citibank.com.au/aus/banking/banking_atmandeftposnetwork.htm
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#5
B of A has an Australian partner. Australia is far more credit card friendly than the US. However, you will need a small amount of cash at times. Bank ATMs are the best rate.
 
Likes: jsmithw
May 30, 2019
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#6
I agree with all the prior advice. I'd add that if you just want a only couple hundred dollars' worth and the convenience of having it in hand, you might just want to pay the higher fees to use the first TravelEx you see in the US or in Australia & not have to worry later. Noting that, I used my Chase ATM card in SYD & CNS without any problems and no ATM fee.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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#7
Thanks, everyone, appreciate it. I should have noted that Chase is aware I'll be in Australia, so at least that part's taken care if.

I'll check with Chase re "partner" banks / ATM networks in Oz and plan to use an ATM with TravelEx as a backup if necessary.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#8
I bank with Chase and I got euros from them a couple of years ago. It didn't take longer than a day or two. Do you know for sure they can't get you the AUD before your trip?
 
Likes: Skippy
Jun 22, 2019
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#9
That's a good question, and you are right, I don't know that for sure. But I do know that, unfortunately, I don't have time in the next couple of days to take care of it either way.

I'm trying to wrap up client projects, clean out the fridge, etc., before being out of the office for 3 weeks. (Oh, that pre-travel scramble, wheeee. :) ) Next up is to call Verizon and see if my mifi will work there. (I know my phone will.)
 
Sep 26, 2015
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We have traveled to 72 countries and have stopped getting local currency ahead of time about 18 years ago. ATM machines will give you a much better rate than any bank will beforehand. Some countries, though few, use 6 digit PIN Just Google ahead of time and by all means stay clear of airport currency booths unless you are using someone else's cash. :)
 
Likes: jsmithw
Jul 27, 2019
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#12
Make sure your ATM/debit card refunds foreign ATM fees. If not, if you have a brokerage account, and the brokerage firm (e.g., Fidelity) has a cash management account which offers such ATM fee refunds, set one up before your trip. Buying foreign currency in advance or from a currency seller in the airport is costly.