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Currency exchange rates

Get live and historical exchange rates from USD to all global currencies.

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An exchange rate is the value of one currency exchanged for another. Calculate how much your money is worth in another currency and use historical data from the last 10 years to forecast trends. Find out if you’re getting the best deal and pick the best time to transfer with the strongest exchange rates.

How are exchange rates calculated?

Exchange rates, also known as foreign exchange rates, are calculated based on the currency values of the two currencies being exchanged. Take, for example, the US dollar and Australian dollar currency pair exchange rate:

  • If 1 USD = 1.35 AUD, you can buy 1.35 Australian dollars for every 1 US dollar
  • If 1 AUD = 0.741 USD, you can buy 0.741 US dollars for every 1 AU dollar
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Using the exchange rates we just discussed, you’d be able to buy AUD$135 with $100 US dollars. Keep in mind that exchange rates change frequently, and because banks and money transfer providers need to make money they often offer weaker rates compared to the rate seen on the news.

Why is the exchange rate I get worse than what I see on the news?

The rate you receive is lower because the rates you see on the evening news or on a business news website is the “interbank rate.” This is a rate used between banks when they buy and sell currency among themselves. The rate you receive will have a margin built into it, or other fees, which makes it less competitive than the interbank rate.

As a consumer, the rate you get will also depend on where you exchange your money. Providers like banks, currency exchange kiosks and PayPal traditionally offer poorer exchange rates when compared to money transfer services like. Compare rates thoroughly before carrying out an exchange to get the best exchange rate.

Foreign exchange currency pairs explained

Get the latest exchange rates

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

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OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

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Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

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Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE
Within minutes
$3

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

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New customers send USD 20 to Lebanon and use code ADD10 for a USD 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

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Exclusive: Use code GET60 to save 30 USD on each transaction over 200 USD. Valid for the first two transactions and till 30 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

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Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
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Exchange rates from USD to other currencies

Know your values

Knowing the value of your currency in relation to foreign currencies will help you analyze investments priced in foreign currencies. For instance, for an American investor, knowing the AUD to USD relation is important if he or she is looking to buy property in Australia. The exchange rate is also useful to know for other reasons:

  • If you’re planning on traveling, knowing the exchange rate shows you your purchasing power so you know in advance what you can purchase with a certain amount of money. This will help you to budget for your trip.
  • Foreign exchange rates help you decide whether to go for local products or imports from other countries. If the foreign exchange rates from your trading partner countries are favorable, you might consider importing products if the overall cost will be lower than when you buy locally produced products. On the other hand, they’ll also assist you in deciding where to export.
  • If you regularly send money overseas — for example, to your family — you’ll want to know what the exchange rate is so you know how much money is actually reaching your destination.

What influences exchange rates?

Exchange rates are important factors of a country’s economic performance. This is because countries depend on foreign trade with other countries across the world to sustain their economy. Exchange rates will affect both imports and exports, and in turn influence the balance of trade of a country.

Aside from demand and supply being major factors of exchange rates, there are a number of underlying factors — both geopolitical and economic – that affect the exchange rate. Some of the most common include:

    • Interest rates
      Interest rates charged by the central bank in a particular country will affect the currency value of that country. A country whose central bank has higher interest rates will give lenders higher returns, and this tends to attract foreign investors.
    • Terms of trade
      The terms of trade of a country are determined by the balance between exports and imports. If the prices of exports from a country rise more than those of its imports, the country’s exports are in high demand. The final results will be that the country will receive more revenue from its exports and its currency will also be in high demand, leading to an increase in the currency’s value.
    • Inflation
      A country with lower inflation rates will have a high currency value because its purchasing power increases in comparison with other countries.When a country is affected by the ongoing worldwide economic crises, its inflation will increase. This will reduce the country’s purchasing power, depreciate its currency exchange rates and its trading partners will perform better than it.
    • Political climate
      Investors typically look for countries with a stable political climate so their capital is safely invested. Generally, countries with a stable political climate will have strong economic performance and will attract more investors.
    • Public debt
      A country with high public debt is likely to welcome inflation, and this may mean the country will have to do everything possible to pay off the debt, even if it means printing money for that purpose. When this happens, the currency value of that particular country will be reduced and this will lower its exchange rate.

Bottom line

Exchange rates change frequently and there is no guarantee that a rate you see today will be there tomorrow, or even in the next hour. Some pairs of exchange rates typically stay within a certain range, but past performance is no indicator for future exchange rates. Take advantage of exchange rates when they are in your favor, and use historical data to form a plan of action when they aren’t.

Frequently asked questions

Who do foreign exchange rates affect?

In general, fluctuating rates affect a range of stakeholders, including:

  • Travelers. When you travel overseas, you may have less or more money to spend depending on the strengths or weaknesses of the currencies you’re trading.
  • Locals. If your country has a strong foreign currency, you may see some imported items become cheaper while other items become more expensive.
  • Importers. If you import goods into your country, you may pay more or less — depending on how the rates have fluctuated — for the same goods.
  • Exporters. If you sell goods to other countries, you may pay more or less for the same goods.
  • Investors. Many trade in foreign currencies, so a drop in the value of a currency they’re trading will mean losses, while a gain will see profits.

Types of exchange rates

Exchange rates can be either flexible or fixed.

FlexibleDetermined by the foreign exchange market, commonly known as the forex market. Values change throughout the day, and are said to be “floating” because they can fluctuate regularly due to many factors.
FixedDetermined by the currency’s value that it is pegged, or fixed, to. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar, which means the value of the Hong Kong dollar changes based on the value of the US dollar.

The majority of exchange rates aren’t purely floating or purely pegged. Most fixed rate systems will rely on a flexible currency, so they’re really using a “floating peg” system. And most floating currencies are influenced by their government’s economic policies, such as tax cuts.

Major currency pairs

Currency pairs are quotations of prices for two currencies, using one currency’s value to compare them. An example currency pair is USD/MXN, where “USD/MXN 20.2” would mean you could buy 20.2 Mexican pesos for 1 US dollar. Common major currency pairs are:

  • EUR/USD – Euro to US dollar
  • USD/JPY – US dollar to Japanese yen
  • GBP/USD – British pound sterling to US dollar
  • AUD/USD – Australian dollar to US dollar

A crash course in major, minor and exotic currency pairs

Read more on this topic

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    RonelSeptember 21, 2018

    I am a South African, currently on holiday in Mauritius. I need to get more cash to spend from my South African bank account. What is the best way?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesSeptember 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Ronel,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      If your bank account has a debit card included with a Visa or a Mastercard logo, you may be able to withdraw your funds through an ATM with a Visa or a Mastercard logo. Please note that there may be an ATM withdrawal fee when you do this. For you to know how much the fee is, you may need to contact your bank directly. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

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