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Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Sydney Australia
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1,294 posts
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Is it time to buy our US dollars?

What are all you Aussies out there deciding? Up to 78c today; we're having a domestic here! I said I'd start changing money when it got to 75 again; he says it will keep rising. But then he was the one who was sure it would get to 98 and ate his words when it slid to 65!!

And if we do, how? Old fashioned travellers cheques, money cards or cash?

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Wakefield, England
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1. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

We're wondering what to do as well.

It's currently up to £1/$1.58 (bank rate, so about $1.53 tourist), and as we'll be changing a couple of £k, every cent difference translates to $$$

Last year we got just shy of £1/$2, which was nice.

We'll be taking lots of cash (day to day purchases and expenses), and a couple of credit cards (expensive purchases).

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

We bought $US1000 in cash todsy, got it at 76c. Thought that was a good price as when we first started planning our trip, it was around 65c. But who knows, it could get better and it could get worse, its always a bit of a gamble. If it gets back to 90c again, we will rush out and get more cash, but it probably wont get that high again before we go!

We always have cash on us when we travel, enough for a few days and then bring our visas to get more cash as we need it! Always avoid travellers cheques, total pain to exchange at the best of times.

Sydney Australia
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3. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Yes, we haven't used travellers cheques for many years, but if we want to change now (travelling in September), otherwise it is moneycards and cash. I am told that if we get Travelex in $US, and withdraw in Canada, which is our major destination, they basically convert from US back to Aussie and then to Canadian, which is very expensive fee-wise. Cannot get the cards in Canadian dollars. We are going for six weeks total and need Euros, pounds and dirhams as well, so there is a limit to the amount of cash we are comfortable in taking. I cannot believe how much Westpac's fees have gone up on overseas ATM use over the past few years! Perhaps I need to find someone to barter with.

Sunny Queensland...
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4. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

You can always get half now and the rest a little later.As to the future just try and find out what the brilliant economists are predicting and it will be sure to do the opposite.

Still can not understand all the negatives about TCs in the USA.We go 2-3 times a year and have never had a problem using them.Must be just lucky!

I would however never use Travelex.

Sydney Australia
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5. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Why? Haven't used them to date myself, so interested if there are problems other than the one I mentioned.

New York City
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6. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Karen, if any of us was able to predict precisely what the currency markets are going to do in the future, I doubt that person would be giving advice here; instead I think he or she would spend all on-line time making currency trades and becoming a multi-billionaire.

Sunny Queensland...
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7. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

"Why? Haven't used them to date myself, so interested if there are problems other than the one I mentioned."

Exchange rate.

Nt, Australia
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226 posts
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8. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Karen, when we travel, we like to keep it simple.

We buy enough local currency to get us by for a few days (recently on our trip to NYC, we took $US500 cash) and whenever we need more cash we go into a bank and withdraw from their ATM. We use our day to day Cirus/Maestro ANZ EFTPOS card the same as we would at home - no travel cards or travellers cheques required.

When we purchase at stores/restaurants etc, we use our Visa card to reduce our need to go to the ATM too often. I think we were charged $5 each time we withdrew, as well as an o'seas transaction fee.

I don't know how this compares in cost to other options, but for us the ease of it was worth it.

If you are concerned about the exchange rate, I agree with the buy half now option. Spread the risk. Don't get too stressed though - the difference between a 76c and 80c rate per thousand is less than $100.

Have a great trip...

Cheers.

australia
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308 posts
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9. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Hi Karen,

Faced with your situation with my daughters travelling to NYC in August.

Personally have been picking up 15/20% of estimated spend from about 72c.

You can order a minimum $A200 from Amex from any post office commission free.

Travelex is a total total rip off imho and fees will kill the rates on withdrawals from ATM's .

Most of top hotels will take Amex TC no problem at all both for paying accounts and general cashing and there is an Amex point in the Marquis Marriott in Times Square where you can cash Amex TC at no commission so the rate showing on the Amex site on the day you buy the TC will be locked in. eg I bought a few hundred US TC today @ .7646.

Have fun.

Sydney Australia
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10. Re: Is it time to buy our US dollars?

Thanks for your replies; I found out today you can get cash and TCs at the Amex offices commission free with YHA and Seniors cards, I think without a minimum, so that is even easier than the post office if you live near one (much shorter queue!)

GreenWhiteBlue, I guess everyone knows we are only guessing about exchange rates at the moment but it is a very popular topic amongst people I know. That may tie in with our national love of gambling.

I think it does become a bit of a game and if you win, you can eat at better places while away!

My daughter works in finance in London and they dont know where it is all heading, however 75 is a fairly average long term figure, apparently.

We got our YHA card to buy travel insurance-saved a lot. Very handy card!