Home hero arrow

Exchange rates explained

As the world's foreign-exchange specialists, we've developed our own handy guide to exchange rates.

The Travelex Online Rate

At Travelex, we offer you $0 commission and a competitive market exchange rate when you buy foreign currency from us online, whether in cash or our Multi-currency Cash PassportTM card.

These online rates are our exclusive online rate and are not available in-store.

Currency jargon explained

Foreign exchange can be confusing. To help you make sense of it all, here are some common terms to do with currency:

Sell rate –This is the rate at which we sell foreign currency in exchange for local currency. For example, if you were heading to Europe, you would exchange Australian dollars for euros at the sell rate.

Buy rate – This is the rate at which we buy foreign currency back from you into your local currency. For example, if you were returning from America, we would exchange your US dollars back into Australian dollars at the buy rate.
Holiday money rate or tourist rate – This is another term for a sell rate.

Spot rate –This is known more formally as the ‘interbank’ rate. It’s the rate banks or large financial institutions charge each other when they’re trading significant amounts of foreign currency.
Spread – This is the difference between the buy and sell rates offered by a foreign exchange provider.

Cross rate – This is the rate we give to customers who want to exchange currencies that don’t involve the local currency (for example, if you wanted to exchange US dollars into British pounds).

Commission – This is the fee that foreign exchange providers charge for exchanging one currency with another.

Frequently asked questions

Back to top
  • Why do currency conversion rates change?

    Currencies constantly move up and down against each other because they’re traded on financial markets. Market changes can be caused by supply and demand, as well as by political and economic events.

  • Is there a good time to convert currency?

    You can’t predict when exchange rates will go up or down, but our currency converter above will show you historical rates, to give you an idea of how the current conversion rate compares to the past few months or year. 

  • How do I convert my money?

    You can convert your dollars into over 45 currencies with Travelex, either online or at 120 stores across Australia. Got another question? Check out the rest of our FAQs.