How Do I Choose the Rate that Applies to Me?
Interbank rates (+/- 0%), with a margin close to zero, are the "official" rates quoted in media such as The Wall Street Journal. They typically reflect the market rates for large transactions of US $1 million or more when banks trade between themselves or with their very large clients.
For the smaller amounts exchanged in a retail setting, banks, credit cards and exchange agencies charge commissions to convert currencies. These retail rates add commissions of 1 to 10 percent or more. For example:
- ATMs typically add 2% (and then add service charges in many parts of the world).
- Credit cards typically add 3% (for the major currencies; more for other currencies).
- Foreign exchange kiosks and banks often add 5% when you convert hard cash (for the major currencies; more for other currencies).
Retail rates vary widely between payment systems, countries and banks, so we encourage you to enquire about the rates your financial institution is actually charging you.
To add a commission to your conversion, you can use the Interbank +/- pull-down on any of our applications. Either choose the commission from our list of typical charges, or type in a value if you know the rate you will be paying: