15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (2024)

Personal Finance Banking Checking Account

Written by Sophia Acevedo and Kit Pulliam

Updated

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (1)

  • Where to exchange foreign currency
  • Understanding currency exchange Services
  • How to exchange foreign currency
  • Benefits of using local services
  • FAQs
15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (2) 15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (3)

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us and terms apply to offers listed (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate banking products to write unbiased product reviews.

  • Not all banks or credit unions exchange foreign currency.
  • Our list has options that let you exchange foreign currency at a branch, over the phone, or online.
  • Most financial institutions require you to be a customer to exchange foreign currency.

If you're looking to exchange currency for a trip abroad, major brick-and-mortar banks or credit unions can help you get different currencies at a fair exchange rate.

You won't want to visit your nearest branch on a whim, though, as some banks do not offer exchanges. Here's everything you need to know about exchanging currency — from where you can go to what you'll need to place an order.

Financial institutions that allow you to exchange foreign currency

The following 15 banks and credit unions exchange foreign currency. These financial institutions are also featured in our guides for the best banks and the best credit unions. Keep in mind most banks or credit unions require you to be a customer to exchange currency.

  • America First Credit Union: Credit union members may visit select branches to exchange up to $5,000. There's a $10 transaction fee if you exchange more than $300 and a $20 fee for exchanges under $300.
  • Bank of America: Bank of America customers may exchange up to $10,000 online. You can also place an order over $10,000 at a branch. There isn't a fee for exchanging currency, but if you have your order shipped home, there's a $7.50 fee. If you place an order for $1,000 or more, you must pick up your money at a branch.
  • Citi: You can call or visit a branch to exchange over 50 types of currency. There's no fee for Citigold or Citi Priority Account Package customers. Citi customers with accounts not mentioned will have to pay a $5 service fee for any transaction under $1,000. If you'd prefer to have money sent to your home, there's a $10 to $20 fee, depending on your shipping priorities.
  • Citizens Bank: You may exchange currency at a branch. Contact a Citizens Bank branch for information on pricing.
  • Chase Bank: Chase customers may exchange currency at local branches. You'll have to call your nearest branch to learn about transaction fees.
  • First Citizens Bank: Customers may exchange over 70 types of currency at branches. There aren't any limits on how much you can exchange, but you'll need to contact your nearest branch to learn more about potential fees.
  • First Horizon Bank: First Horizon Bank has currency for more than 65 countries. Bank account customers have to visit a branch to exchange currency and learn more about potential fees.
  • Huntington Bank: Huntington Bank customers can exchange up to $20,000 for an $8 fee at bank branches. The bank has 75 types of currencies.
  • PNC Bank: PNC Bank lets customers exchange currency at local branches. You'll want to call your PNC branch first so currency can be delivered beforehand. The bank charges zero transaction fees for exchanging currency.
  • Regions Bank: Regions customers may exchange currency at local branches. You'll have to visit a branch to exchange currency and learn more about potential fees.
  • Service Federal Credit Union: Service Credit Union has over 60 types of currencies. You may call or visit a local branch to place an order. Orders under $500 may entail a $15 transaction fee.
  • State Employees Credit Union: Only credit union members can exchange foreign currency at branches. You'll want to call SECU customer service before you visit a branch to ensure the type of currency will be available at your nearest location. The credit union does not charge fees for exchanging currency.
  • TD Bank: TD Bank has 55 types of currencies. You do not need to have a TD Bank account to place an order. Orders can be done online or at a TD branch. However, keep in mind online orders have $7.50 fee and a maximum order limit of $1,500.
  • U.S. Bank: US Bank customers may exchange currency at a local branch or online. There's a $10 transaction fee for orders of $250 or less. Orders that exceed this amount do not have a transaction fee.
  • Wings Financial Credit Union: Wings Financial Credit Union has over 90 different currencies. Only members may place orders. There's a $10 transaction fee for orders under $300. The fee is waived if you make an order over $300.

Understanding currency exchange services

Currency exchange allows you to swap out one denomination of money (for example, U.S. dollars) with another denomination (for example, Euros). There are several reasons you'd exchange currency; the two most common are exchanging money for traveling purposes, such as when you're vacationing in another country, and forex trading, where you exchange currency as an investment in the hopes of making money.

The forex market generally informs what rates you can get when exchanging money at banks and credit unions, although your rates won't be as favorable as the rates the bank is getting. You'll want to compare currency exchange rates locally to see which financial institution offers the best rate.

How to exchange foreign currency

Not all financial institutions exchange currency.Even if your bank provides this service, your nearest branch may only have certain types of currency available or limited amounts.

To avoid unnecessary trips to a bank, consider taking the following steps for purchasing currency.

Call your bank's customer service

Sandra Jones, senior vice president of member communications at State Employees Credit Union, recommends calling your bank's customer service to see if your location has the type of currency you need to exchange.

If the currency isn't immediately available, a bank representative can place an order.

Some financial institutions may offer to have the money sent to your home for a fee.If your bank requires you to exchange currency in person, you can set up an appointment to visit a branch.

While you can check exchange rates online to get a rough idea of how much money you'll need, Jones says online rates do not accurately represent the rates available at financial institutions. You'll want to ask a banker about exchange rates, instead.

Make sure you have everything to complete the order

When you are exchanging currency, make sure you have the following readily available:

  • A U.S. ID, like your driver's license or passport
  • Currency being exchanged
  • Additional cash or payment option if your bank charges a transaction fee

Banks will usually charge a transaction fee for exchanging currency. You'll either pay a flat fee or a variable fee. It depends on the amount and type of currency.

A bank representative will guide you through the steps of buying currency at your appointment.

When you return from your trip, your financial institution may also be able to buy back the foreign currency.

Benefits of using local currency exchange services

The biggest benefit of using local currency exchange services is that you're almost definitely getting a better rate than you'd get if you waited until you're in the airport or in the country you're visiting.

When you're at the airport or your destination, you might have a time limit; it's either right before or during the time you need the new currency. You'll only be able to use instant currency exchange locations. If you exchange your currency before you leave, you'll have weeks or months to compare rates. You can even use online banks, because you'll have time to wait for the money to get to you.

What's more, the rates at airports and near tourist locations are likely to be worse than the rates you'd find locally, because the people who run those currency exchange services know that you don't have many other choices. The best foreign exchange rates nearby your home won't have that assumption.

Currency exchange services FAQs

How can I ensure I'm getting a good exchange rate?

Compare rates from multiple providers, check for hidden fees, and stay updated on current market rates to get a good exchange rate. Online currency converters can provide a benchmark for what to expect.

Are airport currency exchanges a good option?

If possible, avoid airport currency exchanges. They tend to have higher fees and offer you a worse rate, because they know you don't have other options. Exchanging currency before the trip will help you get the best rate.

Can I negotiate for better rates at local currency exchange services?

Whether secure currency exchange services near you will allow you to negotiate will depend heavily on where you're getting the service. There are many places that won't let you negotiate, but you can always ask to see if they're willing to give you a better rate.

Is it safe to use an online currency exchange service?

Online currency exchange services are generally safe, especially if they're at a bank or credit union. However, you should always research the service you're planning to use ahead of time to see if they've had any scandals and read reviews.

Should I exchange currency before traveling or after arriving in the destination country?

Generally, you'll want to exchange currency before arriving in the country you're traveling to. You'll have more time to look for a good rate, you usually know your local area better than the country you're going to, and you're less likely to end up at a currency exchange that targets tourists.

Sophia Acevedo

Banking Editor

Sophia Acevedo is a banking editor at Business Insider. She is a banking expert, and has about three years of experience reviewing banking products and analyzing savings and CD trends.Sophia oversees Personal Finance Insider's banking vertical. She edits and writes bank reviews, banking guides, and banking, budgeting, and savings articles for the Personal Finance Insider team.Sophia joined Business Insider in July 2021. Sophia is an alumna of California State University Fullerton, where she studied journalism and minored in political science. She is based in Southern California.You can reach out to her on Twitter at @sophieacvdo or email sacevedo@businessinsider.com.Read more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »Below are links to some of her most popular stories:

  • Are banks open today? Here's a list of US bank holidays for 2024
  • Best CD rates
  • Best High-yield savings accounts
  • Four reasons why your debit card might be denied even when you have money

Kit Pulliam

Personal Finance Insider editorial fellow

Kit Pulliam (they/them) is a Personal Finance Insider editorial fellow at Business Insider, specializing in banking. Kit joined Business Insider in January 2024. They cover bank reviews, savings rates, and more.Kit is an alumnus of Vanderbilt University, where they studied English and psychology. Kit previously worked as an editorial specialist at Tax Analysts. They are based in the DC area. You can email them at kpulliam@businessinsider.com.

Top Offers From Our Partners

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (6)

SoFi Checking and Savings Earn up to 4.60% APY on savings balances and up to a $300 bonus with qualifying direct deposit. FDIC Insured.

There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.60% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn up to 1.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet. To earn the $300 bonus, the customer must complete a direct deposit with a minimum initial deposit of $250 in a new SoFi Checking and Savings account within 45 days of clicking to qualify (offer expires 06/30/24).

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards.

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

**Enrollment required.

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (7)

Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in markets, tech, and business — delivered daily. Read preview

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (8)

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (9)

15 Banks and Credit Unions that Exchange Foreign Currencies (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated:

Views: 5622

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.