The Best Banks for Exchanging Currency

Choose your bank carefully when dealing with foreign exchange.
Image Credit: baona/iStock/GettyImages

If you travel internationally for business or pleasure, exchanging currency is likely part of your routine. However, you may save or lose a great deal of money depending on which bank you use for your exchanges. This is especially if the Citibank exchange rate is better or worse than other banks in your destination, since this bank is known to offer competitive rates as compared to other institutions. Just about all banks can exchange currency; it's almost always better to do so at a bank or credit union than at an airport kiosk or overseas ATM.


Citibank Exchange Rate

Because of their World Wallet service, Citibank is one of the best banks for exchanging currency or conducting business overseas. World Wallet is great for those who travel frequently or do a lot of business internationally. Citibank uses an exchange rate based on the mid-market rate for foreign currency exchange. This rate varies depending on current economic conditions in both the United States and the country from which you're trying to exchange.


Video of the Day

Usually, the Citibank exchange rates tend to be better than those at other banks, which is another reason why many people prefer to use them over Bank of America, Chase and other prominent national banks. Their exchange rates are simply more competitive, especially compared to local banks and non-banking institutions.


The Citibank currency conversion service uses the same competitive rates to exchange foreign currency back to American dollars. They charge a small ​$5​ fee for these transactions and waive that fee for deposits over ​$1,000​.

Reasons to Use Citibank for Currency Exchanges

The World Wallet program is unique to Citibank. With it, you can order foreign currency to be delivered. Delivery to a Citibank branch is free; it's also free to your home or office if you have a Citigold account or a Citi Priority Account Package. Otherwise, there's a small fee (depending on how quickly you need it). It's a tremendously convenient service, especially if you're preparing for a trip and don't have time to go to the bank. Best of all, they offer this service in more than ​50 currencies​.


Citibank has another considerable advantage. They have ATMs in more than ​40 countries​ around the world. That means that you can withdraw money from your American account while you're abroad in that country's currency.

Citibank Foreign Transaction Fees

Sometimes, Citibank charges foreign transaction fees. They charge ​3 percent​ of the transaction amount for foreign debit purchases. For foreign ATMs, they charge ​3 percent​ and a ​$2.50​ ATM fee. There may be additional fees charged by the ATM company itself. However, the ATM company may still use their competitive foreign exchange rates for these transactions, which has the potential to save you money.


There are some Citibank accounts, cards and other products that waive these fees. These include the Citi Premier Card and the Citi Business AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard. Most major American banks offer similar products and services. Luckily, there are many ways you can manage your money when you travel and spend outside of the U.S. In fact, you can even exchange currency at your local post office.


references & resources