Currency Exchange

currency exchangeAs you probably know, my complete story about moving to Australia is available by clicking the link in the main navigation called “How to Move to Australia”. It comes in 15 parts with four extra entries at the end.

Looking back, it’s missing one part which should appear between Parts 12 and 13. Let’s do it now and call it Part 12a.

Exchanging Your Currency.

Somewhere between Part 12, where we sold our English house, and Part 13, when we bought our Australian one, Northern Rock sent Britain spiralling downwards into financial chaos by running out of money.

As we hadn’t completed contracts on either the sale or the purchase, all we could do was watch helplessly as the pound weakened against the Australian dollar.

I remember being in my local pub and whingeing to my friends that our new Australian house was going to cost us at least 10% more than we thought, thanks to the crisis. As I was confiding exactly how many thousands of pounds this was going to cost me, my friend Richard said….

I’ve got no sympathy for you Bob, you should have locked in the exchange-rate with a broker to protect yourself against these kind of currency fluctuations.

Don’t you just hate that?

“Nobody likes a smarty-pants!” I said. Or words to that effect.

But he was right, I should have.

How to Avoid This Mistake

The lesson I learned from this, is to decide who your currency broker is going to be, and decide early. Build a relationship with them, let them know your plans and setup your account. By getting your account set up in advance, if you need to act quickly, you already have everything in place.

If we’d have set up our broker, I’m sure we would have been in regular telephone contact with them. And when the financial crisis gripped Britain, their opinion at that time would have been extremely useful. It certainly would have been more useful than my smarty-pants friend’s advice which came when it was too late.

Yes, what I should have done was ask the experts, and I think you should too.

currency exchange


In 2011 I was contacted by a very friendly guy called Ian from TorFX. They were a relatively young company at the time who have since developed into one of the largest currency exchange companies in the UK. They have capitalised on the fact that, these days, you don’t need big offices in London to do currency exchange deals.

So from their offices overlooking the picturesque coastline in Cornwall, with low overheads, they can work on slimmer margins than most other companies would care to, passing on the savings and benefits to their customers on the exchange rates they provide.

I like this company and so do Dun & Bradstreet; they have given them the highest level of credit worthiness…

D & B Rating

They are certainly much better than the banks and they often come out best when pitched against other currency exchange companies. But don’t just take my word for it, get a quote. You can get a rough idea of the current exchange rate instantly by filling in the form below, and if you want a more accurate quote, click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button that will appear…

With so many different currencies, different amounts and exchange rates changing daily, it’s impossible to provide an exchange rate comparison chart here. So I would suggest you fill in the form to get a quote to see how much money you will get using TorFX as your currency exchange company. Then see what you can get elsewhere.

My guess is you’ll come back to TorFX.

Visit TorFX Now

currency exchangeCase Studies

James and Josie Fairclough

James and Josie Fairclough moved to The Gold Coast from Bristol last summer with their new born child. They had an inheritance and decided they wanted a new life to bring up their child.

James worked for a well known high street bank, so was fully aware of the markets. He also knew that even though he worked for the bank, he could get a better rate of exchange by using an alternative payment service provider.

After doing a bit of research on various comparison websites, he opted to contact TorFX and was introduced to his own personal account manager who had him set up in no time. James worked out that by moving his £160,000 to Australia he would get a return of $247,300 compared to just $238,600 against his bank.

He decided to transfer the funds there and then on the day due to the opinion provided by his account manager that the Aussie Dollar looked likely to drop, which it did the following week saving him an additional $4,000 on the transfer.

Alan and Cheryl Bosworth

Alan and Cheryl Bosworth left Leeds for Brisbane in 2003 with their 2 sons and 1 dog. Initially they didn’t use a broker and went with their bank when moving their savings to Australia. This was purely because they were unaware that brokers existed back then and there weren’t that many in existence when they moved at that time.

Since the move they have regularly been sending back the equivalent of £800 each month to cover their UK mortgage, which will be finally paid off in 2015.

They used their bank to make this regular payment for a couple of years, but were getting increasingly fed up with having to pay $50 each month just in charges to move their money. They were also receiving the kind of exchange rate you’d get when buying holiday money, so they looked online for alternative ways to send money back to the UK. They enquired with several brokers before choosing the services of TorFX.

They have now had a regular overseas payment plan in place for over 5 years, receiving a lot better return for their money on the exchange rate and are saving over $500 a year in bank charges alone. They’re also one of the lucky ones who have also benefited by having a variable mortgage in the UK as well!

Visit TorFX Now

currency exchangeTestimonials

We had never had any experience with a currency broker so initially had  our doubts but the service we received in the months leading up to our relocation to Australia could not be faulted.

We received up to date emails on the status of the Australian Dollar and I could pick up the phone and speak to somebody direct, no switchboard or call centre. The rates they offered were always far superior to any our bank offered so from a financial perspective it set us up perfectly for our arrival.
The Callaghan Family, Sydney

Friendly, efficient and effectively saved us over $3,000 on our transfer! Highly recommended!
Simon Hughes, The Gold Coast

We didn’t really think about how we would get our money to Australia and just assumed we would move it with our bank until a friend suggested using TorFX. Probably the best decision we made looking back. Thanks very much for your time and patience.
Ron & Jean Hamsworth, Perth

A great service which we have continued to use when sending money back to the UK from Oz for our UK property mortgage. Will continue to recommend to friends and family who will hopefully be joining us soon!
Brian & Jill Swann, Brisbane

Visit TorFX Now

currency exchange

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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Rod June 15, 2018, 9:43 am |

    For those coming from the US, I’ve found Charles Schwab to be a pretty good deal. I’ve done a few transfers to AUD using them and have found their exchange rate to be about 0.6% above the published mid-market rate. They also charge a flat $25 USD fee per transfer, and so for smaller amounts (under $5-10K) I use TransferWise.

  • elaine Howard February 20, 2018, 7:34 am |

    I have money in Barclays Bank and they wont a lots of money to transfer to Australia bank

    • Mark February 20, 2018, 12:03 pm |

      Then dont let them do it Im assuming yoru transferring from Sterling Barclays to Australian dollar bank . Find a currency trader, there is one on the right of this page and above Tor FX i van highly reccomend. Open an account with tnem, its easy, make sure you have an Australian bank account …then when you decide to do it. you transfer from your Barclays to Tor FX Barclays account and they do the rest at nowhere near the cost what Barclays charge…One other tio though if its a considerable amount as I did make sure Barclays lift the 25k transfer daily limit othewise 400K takes nearly 3 weeks to move

  • israr May 18, 2017, 1:25 am |

    I just sold an apartment in Hong Kong and planning to move to Canberra. Do you still suggest TorFX or in this case other exchange would be better…

    • BobinOz May 18, 2017, 8:28 pm |

      Yes, sure, TorFX continue to offer extremely good exchange rates, still one of the best in the marketplace. It’s always worth getting two or three quotes, but I suggest it is definitely worth making sure one of those is TorFX.

  • Neelam April 21, 2017, 11:11 pm |

    We trying for PR FROM INDIA TO AUSTRALIA, will I get job there , I hv done MBA ON FINANCE & just 1 year work experience

  • Rajeev February 16, 2016, 2:18 pm |

    can i use USD anywhere(to get food/accomodation) in australia?

    • BobinOz February 16, 2016, 5:35 pm |

      No, we use Australian dollars here. Most shopping malls do have currency exchange kiosks though, although that’s not the best way to get a decent exchange rate.

  • Ivy January 27, 2016, 9:22 am |

    If I am going to be getting monthly paychecks in US dollars, will I continually have to exchange the currency while I am living in Australia?

    • BobinOz January 27, 2016, 4:29 pm |

      If you are going to need it on a monthly basis to spend, then yes, I would imagine you will have to. Hi would get in touch directly with TorFX to find out how that might work if I were you.

  • Eric October 5, 2014, 7:09 pm |

    Hey Bob,

    Great Site!
    I am moving from Europe to Australia. I have Czech Currency but not a bank account that I can access to deposit the funds.

    My options are:

    A. Bring the Czech currency with me to Australia and exchange it there.
    B. Exchange the currency in the Czech Republic for USD, or Euros and then bring the exchanged currency with me and exchange it again in Australia.
    C. Purchase AUD in the Czech Republic.

    Which option will limit my net loss? Is there a better solution than those that I have listed?

    Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.


    • BobinOz October 6, 2014, 3:18 pm |

      I don’t know Eric, but I strongly advise that you contact TorFX (link above) and discuss with them your needs, they will be happy to advise you.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Nicky June 20, 2014, 7:18 am |

    Brilliant many thanks – look forward to it as we would like to set it up before we leave the UK. And that’s another thing ticked off my very long to-do list.

    • BobinOz June 20, 2014, 9:44 pm |

      Hi Nicky

      Well, you’ve chosen two of our top four banks in Westpac and ANZ, but one of them has many more branches than the other, something like 1270 versus 794. As promised, the full story is on my new page called Banking.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Nicky June 19, 2014, 6:16 am |

    Well its getting closer for our move to Brisbane. House sold and moving company booked so our stuff is on the water and waiting for us when we arrive 2 months later. I have contacted TorX for the advice we need on currency exchange so my question is about banks. Is there a bank that is more “prevalent” in Brisbane than another so making it easier to get to in person. We are looking at Westpac and ANZ both of which offer everyday accounts that we can set up before we arrive. Can you let me know if there is an advantage of one over the other or one we need to consider. Thanks loads Nicky X

    • BobinOz June 19, 2014, 8:28 pm |

      That’s a very good question Nicky and your timing is impeccable. I’m just finalising my research and putting the finishing touches to an entire page that will answer your question and it will go live tomorrow.

      I will pop back here and post a link when it’s done. Be back soon, Bob

  • soroosh September 10, 2012, 8:33 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Because of lack of Australian Dollar in my country (IRAN) price of AUD in my country is nor logical in comparison with USD. so I decided to buy USD here and exchange it in Australia. So i want to know about the condition of exchanging USD with AUD in Australia and any additional fees that I need to pay.


    • BobinOz September 10, 2012, 9:51 pm |

      I’m not sure, I’ll see if I can get my expert in here to answer this for you. Cheers!

      • BobinOz September 11, 2012, 7:56 pm |

        I spoke to my expert earlier, he tells me he’s already had a conversation with you. Sorted!

  • Toby August 15, 2012, 10:59 pm |

    Brilliant – thanks for effectively giving me and my children extra money before the move. Ta

    • BobinOz August 16, 2012, 4:35 pm |

      Hi Toby

      Yes, I got your email as well. Sounds like you’ve been in touch with TORfx and got a much better quote than you were getting before. Every cent counts!

      More ice creams for the kids when you get here 🙂


  • Dan August 15, 2012, 8:38 am |

    I friend went to a major bank in Australian for exchange of Aussie to British Sterling.

    He was shocked to find a difference of 3p/$1 between them and a currency exchange company.

    On a $400,000 net house sale, this would’ve been £12,000 to the major bank.

    • BobinOz August 15, 2012, 4:01 pm |

      Yes, it definitely pays to shop around, tiny differences can add up to big sums!

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