Physical Currency Exchange

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
As an FX trader it stuns me the spreads at airports for physical exchange of currency. The currency exchanges make the SB companies look like angels.

Anyway, it’s been my experience that when you come to change your physical foreign currency back to your home currency, it tends generally to work out at a better rate at the departure airport on the return leg, than on the arrival airport back home. They seem more comfortable holding domestic overnight rather than foreign and their rates typically reflect this.

Pie Trader

7 3
Banks will typically charge a customer about 4% per transaction, which they tie up in the spread. There is a way to transfer funds between different currencies, but you need bank accounts able to accept those currencies. For example, you live in the US but have a holiday home in Switzerland, so naturally have opened an account over there to pay your bills etc. In this case you can save yourself at least 3% on the bank fees by going to a specialist broker. There are many out there who offer this sort of service.

I don't work for them, but do know them, so let me get that disclaimer out there beforehand. These guys are good at what they do, and offer an online banking type platform so that you can be in control of when you make the transfer; enabling you to see the current mid-market rate, and the spread you are paying.

This is their website:

Again, I don't want to cause any infractions by posting the link here. But as you asked, this might be helpful to you.

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
Thanks Pie Trader. I wasn't asking at all, just letting others know of what I've found when changing physical currency at the end of a trip rather than needing to transfer large amounts.

There are a number of companies that will handle transfer cheaper than banks, Voltrex apparently being the best, but I've yet to acquire the lifestyle where such issues plague me.
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