Whether you’re planning a trip abroad or returning home, it’s important to make sure you have the currency you need to make necessary purchases wherever you are.
Below, we list the places where you can exchange foreign currency. We’ve included the details like fees and available currencies so you can find the best option for your circumstances.
What to Know About Exchanging Currency
When you exchange U.S. dollars for foreign currency, you’re actually purchasing a commodity rather than making an even trade.
Banks and other companies buy currency at a certain price and sell it to you at a higher price — this is how they sustain their business.
Because of this, you won’t necessarily get the same rate of exchange everywhere. Some businesses also add service charges and fees, and those that don’t might be making up for it by charging less favorable rates of exchange.
You can compare their rates with the official rates of foreign exchange if you want to be sure.
When you exchange your foreign currency for U.S. dollars upon arriving back in the U.S., don’t be surprised if you get a different rate than when you left. Exchange rates change daily, and companies also buy money at different rates than they sell them.
Additionally, most currency exchange places are unwilling to exchange coins, so you’ll want to use them up before you come home if you don’t want to be stuck with an unintended coin collection.
Note: If you’re buying something online in another currency, you can typically use standard methods of payment like PayPal or your credit card.
You’ll be given the exchange rate set by the payment company. Some credit cards may charge a foreign transaction fee as part of the transaction.
You can also make payments to overseas companies through some banks.
If you need physical cash, however, you have several options.
Banks That Exchange Foreign Currency
Banks can be some of the best places to exchange money. Because they’re able to buy foreign money at a good price, they should be able to pass the good rate along to you.
Some have restrictions on who can exchange money, though, and some charge additional fees. You can probably exchange money at the bank you normally use, though you may need to visit the bank’s main branch or call ahead to make sure it has what you need.
We’ve gathered the details for nine of the biggest banks in the United States. This information is available on each bank’s website, unless otherwise noted.
We’ve ordered the list below starting with the best overall options in terms of accessibility and fees.
1. Wells Fargo
- Who can exchange money: Anyone
- Currencies available: More than 70
- Fees: No service fee for Wells Fargo customers; $7.50 for everyone else
- Payment accepted: Payment from a Wells Fargo checking or savings account; cash accepted only when ordering from a local branch.
- How to order: Order online, visit a Wells Fargo bank, or call (800) 626-9430.
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency to any Wells Fargo bank (some currencies may not be accepted); a non-customer $7.50 service fee applies.
- Find a Wells Fargo or order online
- Who can exchange money: According to a company representative, Chase account holders and other customers can exchange currency.
- Currencies available: Currencies from about 70 countries
- Fees: None
- Payment accepted: Cash or payment from a Chase account
- How to order: Visit your local Chase branch or call them to place your order.
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency into your local branch. Some currencies may not be accepted.
- Find a Chase Bank
3. Bank of America
- Who can exchange money: Customers with a Bank of America checking or savings account. Customers with only a Bank of America credit card should be able to order currency from a financial center (but not online), according to the Bank of America website. Contact your local branch to confirm its credit cardholder exchange policy before you go.
- Currencies available: Currency from over 100 countries.
- Fees: For orders under $1,000, there is a $7.50 delivery fee, whether the money is delivered to your home or to a banking center. Orders over $1,000 are delivered free.
- Payment accepted: Debit card from your Bank of America checking account, linked checking or savings account, or cash.
- How to order: Online or at a physical branch
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency into a full-service banking center.
- Find a Bank of America or order online
4. PNC Bank
- Who can exchange money: According to a company representative, only PNC customers are eligible.
- Currencies available: A company representative indicated that this information is available only when you order currency.
- Fees: No transaction fee. For overnight delivery, a $15 delivery charge applies.
- Payment accepted: Direct debit from your PNC checking account
- How to order: Visit a local branch to order currency. It will usually be available within 24 to 48 hours.
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency to any branch for immediate exchange.
- Find a PNC Bank
- Who can exchange money: Citibank account holders
- Currencies available: More than 50
- Fees: $5 service fee for orders under $1,000; free delivery to a Citibank; $10 delivery charge for standard overnight delivery to another place. All fees are waived for clients with Citigold or Citi Priority Account packages.
- Payment accepted: Debit from your Citibank checking, savings, or money market account
- How to order: Visit your local branch or call (800) 756-7050.
- How to change back to USD: Visit your local branch. This service comes with a fee of $5 unless you are exchanging over $1,000.
- Find a Citibank
- Who can exchange money: KeyBank customers
- Currencies available: More than 90
- Fees: $10 for standard shipping and handling
- Payment accepted: According to a company representative, KeyBank will debit your checking account the required amount.
- How to order: Visit any KeyBank branch. Orders under $600 have a two-day shipping time; orders over that amount are available the next business day.
- How to change back to USD: Bring the cash to a KeyBank branch ($10 shipping fee applies).
- Find a KeyBank
7. M&T Bank
- Who can exchange money: According to a company representative, only M&T account holders are eligible.
- Currencies available: Over 60 currencies are available.
- Fees: $7 processing fee and $12 shipping fee (when applicable)
- Payment accepted: Direct debit from an M&T checking account
- How to order: Visit an M&T branch
- How to change back to USD: Bring your currency back to a branch; a $5 transaction fee and $12 shipping fee will apply.
- Find an M&T Bank
- Who can exchange money: According to a company representative, only BB&T customers are eligible.
- Currencies available: A company representative was unable to give an estimate; however, we were told that “pretty much all common currencies” are available.
- Fees: $10
- Payment accepted: Direct debit from a BB&T checking or savings account
- How to order: Visit your local branch.
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency to a branch. Credit for the exchange will be applied to your account (minus the $10 fee).
- Find a BB&T
9. TD Bank
- Who can exchange money: TD Bank customers
- Currencies available: More than 75
- Fees: $17.50 for orders worth under $250. For orders of $250 and above, the fee is $7.50.
- Payment accepted: According to a company representative, cash or a linked checking account are accepted.
- How to order: Visit a branch to order the currency. Pickup is available within two business days after ordering.
- How to change back to USD: Bring your foreign currency to any branch; fees apply as described above.
- Find a TD Bank
Since most banks are closed on Sundays, check out our article on places to exchange currency on a Sunday if you find yourself in a situation that requires it.
Also, note that while these banks can exchange currency, they will not cash foreign checks (as we’ve previously reported).
Other Places That Exchange Foreign Currency
Major airports typically have currency exchange kiosks. These can be convenient but will probably cost you more than many other options.
Hotels may offer currency exchange, but like airport kiosks, these are typically pricey and should be used chiefly as a last resort.
Additionally, malls sometimes have kiosks or stores where you can exchange money.