I'm planning on opening a bank account in Aus online before i leave the US. I've read somewhere that you should get an independent moving company or an exchange specialist to convert the $ to AUD and then have them deposit it into your Aussie account in order to ensure that you get the best exchange rate- is this necessary? Can't i just monitor the exchange rate myself and make the transfer when the rate looks good?
A good option would be to open a credit card account in your home territory and then use the credit card while abroad as the exchange rate is usually much better with credit cards.
You can then just pay it off monthly from electronic banking. I'm in Australia at moment and I transferred some spending money into a current account here but generally everyone takes credit cards. Certainly an option.
Hey...do you know the credit card exchange rate is better...hmm...never heard of that.
So you have both a debit/checking account and a credit card? If so, which bank did you go with? I'm torn right now between ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth, and NAB. I guess i'm trying to see which one has the most atms, least fees, and easiest way to transfer $. DId you setup the account before you left for Australia or when you got there?
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Mar-2010, at 18:23 by Goska268 ]
Setup with HSBC when we arrived. They have free use of ATM's and because they are affiliated with westpac and St George both large banks in oz with lots of ATM's you can use those ATM's without being charged too.
All you need to do to setup the account is walk into HSBC with your passports and they will do the rest. As for the transfer I just did it though my UK bank to the new Oz account. Probably not the best rate on that one but as I said credit cards have good rates.
I use a company called Tranzfers to do my international transfers. They are much cheaper than the banks and are very efficient.
Thanks guys. I may consider HSBC as an option. It would be easy to just go into a branch here in the US and open the account, but then again, I can also just apply for any of the larger banks in Oz online. Do you have to pay any monthly fees for having the bank account and do they give you a limited number of transactions/month?
Bex – that service seems very useful and it seems as though it’s gotten great feedback. However, I’m in the US and I don’t think its available to me. I have looked into other services that are similar and available worldwide like XE and Oanda. I think I will probably go with one of those. If anyone has any feedback about them, I would love to hear it