The national currency of Australia is Australian dollar, which is abbreviated as AUD. The sixth-most traded currency in world forex, Australian dollar is often symbolised as $ or A$. One unit of Australian dollar is subdivided into 100 cents (¢).
Australian currency comprises coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, accompanied with 1 and 2 dollar coins. Bank notes, which are made from polymer instead of paper, are also available in several denominations, including 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
Almost all common foreign currencies like Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are accepted in different Australian regions, except for a few remote areas. Since money exchange is relatively cheaper in Australia, tourists can carry enough foreign currency to last for at least 24 to 72 hours.
Though foreign currency is accepted throughout the country, it would be preferable to convert it into Australian Dollars. Banks and bureaux de change are the options for currency exchange. Hotels and supermarkets in Sydney provide exchange facilities. Between the buy and sell prices, the exchange modes have at most a 5% margin.
Reserve Bank of Australia, along with Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank, ING Bank and other renowned domestic banks are the major centres for currency exchange. Some of the major domestic banks in Australia are AMP Bank Limited, Bank of Queensland Limited and National Australia Bank Limited, etc.
Standard banking hours are 9 am to 4 pm from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays however, the banks remain open till 5 pm. Some selected banking facilities are also available on Saturday morning, but only in a few states.
An easier alternative to currency exchange is ATM cards, which are widespread in Australia. Prevalent in smaller towns and rural areas, ATMs are rather scarce in the North-West regions and remote interior areas.
Most ATM networks accept Cirrus, PLUS and Star. However, most of these ATMs charge a transaction fee of 45.60 to 228.02 INR on each withdrawal. Not more than 22,801.69 INR can be withdrawn on single transaction.
Credit cards are also widely accepted in almost all cities of Australia, except for rural areas. Credit cards are better alternatives for obtaining Australian currency due to 5% better exchange rates than banks and other forex changers. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted while American Express cards work only at few ATMs and AmEx offices. Services like insurance and emergency assistance are also available with credit cards.
The safest means of carrying funds is in the form of travellers’ cheques. Accepted in major metropolitan areas, travellers’ cheques of American Express and Visa, among others, are widely accepted.
One can get the travellers’ cheques from any of the many banks and agencies by paying a small commission. It is better to carry travellers’ cheques or bills in smaller denominations, so as to avoid additional exchange rates.
The most popular means of converting foreign currency into Australian Dollars is forex changers like Travelex and American Express. Stores of Travelex and American Express are primarily located at major Australian airports, few central business districts (CBD) and suburban locations and key tourist areas, especially in Sydney.
In comparison to banks, forex changers apply wholesale rates for exchange of foreign currency, like Euros and US Dollars, to Australian dollars. Travelex also offers highly competitive exchange rate, however, an additional fee of 456.03 INR is charged for this service at the time of outbound departure.
Usually these exchange bureaus have a difference of 5% between the buy and sell prices. 1 AUD is equivalent to 0.844 USD or 0.734 EUR. Rates for other currencies often differ in accordance with their relation to US Dollars, Euros or other major traded currencies.
While travelling to Australia, one must beware of various bank and credit card scams like phishing and card skimming. A victim of these scams can contact government agencies like Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Banks or credit unions also need to be informed in such situations.
i want to travel australia in the month of may for 10 days i want to visit best places in australia within ten days. please let me know the destination which is worth to visit which give excitment and fun also. also i want to know availability of helicopter ride in sydney . how much days required for brisbane that means all fun rides for children. and which is the best island to visit barrier reef where i get all acivities like hot ballon ride under water glass bottom ride dolphin show or whatever extra activities possible?
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