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Best Australian dollars to US dollars exchange rates today (AUD/USD)

Find the best AUD/USD exchange rate and enjoy great value for money when you send money to the United States.

Sending an international money transfer can be costly, so it’s vital to find the best available exchange rate for your transaction. When you send the transfer and which transfer provider handles the transaction can both have a huge bearing on the exchange rate you receive, so let’s look at how you can lock in the best AUD/USD exchange rate for your international money transfer.

AUD/USD: How to get value for money

There are two factors that affect the AUD/USD exchange rate that you lock in when you send money to the United States:

  • The current mid-market exchange rate. You can get much better value for money if you send your transfer when the AUD is valued high compared to the USD.
  • The money transfer provider. You need to compare money transfer providers to find the company that offers the highest AUD/USD exchange rate for international transactions.

To get started, let’s look at how to time your transfer when the AUD/USD exchange rate is at its peak.

Search and compare international money transfers

Rates last updated December 3rd, 2016
Description Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply
AUD 200 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
AUD 500 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.
EUR 8 2 days Online Go to site More
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. GBP 10 1 day Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com.au exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.
AUD 250 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Enjoy regular scheduled transfers, one off transfers and a range of currencies. Also enjoy your first transfer for free. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Send money in as little as 24-48 hours to a range of countries with Compass Global Markets. AUD 1,000 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
1st Contact International Money Transfer
1st Contact International Money Transfer
$0 online fee without any minimum limit on money transfers. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. AUD 3,000 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More

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After you've submitted your details, a TorFX consultant will contact you via the phone number you've provide for a free consultation. You will typically receive a response within one business day.

TorFX are international money transfer specialists and have an office based in Surfer's Paradise Queensland and have the AFS Licence number 246838. We will not collect your personal information unless it's necessary to provide the information, advice or service you've requested and, where possible, you'll be able to use our services anonymously.

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options. Our foreign exchange experts offer a best rate guarantee, are ASIC authorised and never charge transfer fees.

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Australian dollar to US dollar rate history

Up until 1966, Australians made their purchases using pounds, shillings and pence before a new currency was introduced. The Australian dollar (AUD) was originally a fixed currency and spent periods pegged to both the US dollar (USD) and British pound (GBP), before switching to a free-floating system by the start of 1984.

The USD has been the currency in the United States of America since 1786 and is now the most widely recognised currency in the world. Commonly used to convey the value of other currencies, the USD is the most widely traded currency in the exchange market and historically one of the strongest.

The AUD has always traded at a lower value than the USD, except between the years 2011 and 2013 when it was trading at a premium rate. The highest it reached during that time was 1.077 USD for every 1 AUD, as Australia’s commodity boom saw it outpace the USD as it fought back from the subprime mortgage crisis.

However, as the US economy’s recovery gathered pace, Australia’s was starting to slow down. Lower consumer spending and a slowing down of internal investments saw the AUD/USD exchange rate drop back below 1 USD in May 2013 and continue to decline.

Throughout most of 2016, 1 AUD traded fairly steadily at between 0.73 and 0.78 USD. Analysts predict that the USD will continue to increase in value over the next several years as the United States economy shows further improvement. The expectation is that it will continue to climb against most of the currencies around the world, including the AUD.

When can I find the best AUD/USD exchange rate?

Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, with currency values moving up and down relative to one another due to a long list of influencing factors. To see just how much fluctuation can occur, take a look at a 10-year graph charting the historical performance of the AUD/USD exchange rate. There is a substantial difference between the peaks and troughs of the exchange rate during this time, demonstrating just how important it is to send an international transfer at the right time.

For example, if you wanted to send AUD$1,000 from Australia to the United States in 2016, when you sent the transfer would have made a huge difference to how affordable it was. If you sent the transfer in January, when the AUD was worth 0.68 USD, you would’ve got a raw deal. But if you had waited until March, when 1 AUD = 0.75 USD, your transaction would’ve represented much better value for money. One month later in April, the AUD peaked at 0.78 USD, which would have been the perfect time to send money to the United States.

January 2016March 2016April 2016
Transfer amount (in AUD)$1,000$1,000$1,000
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.68 USD1 AUD = 0.75 USD1 AUD = 0.78 USD
Amount received (in USD)$680$750$780

By sending a transfer in April rather than January, you could have sent an extra US$100 to your family or friends in the United States – but still transferred the exact same amount in AUD.

How do I know when to transfer AUD to USD?

The best time to transfer AUD to USD is when the AUD peaks in value against the USD. However, working out when a currency is going to peak, or has peaked, is very complicated. Exchange rates are affected by a myriad of factors, including everything from interest rates and economic growth to political changes, so predicting the future of the AUD/USD exchange rate is tricky.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to improve your knowledge of exchange rates and how they work. Monitor economic and political news coming out of both Australia and the US, and stay abreast of forecasts from financial experts about the future performance of the AUD/USD exchange rate. Examining the historical performance of the AUD/USD exchange rate will also help you understand what causes it to rise or fall.

The best time to transfer AUD to USD is when the AUD/USD exchange rate reaches a high point. In other words, you want to send your transfer when 1 AUD purchases the most USD possible.

As the graph below shows, the best times to transfer money from Australia to the US in the year leading up to 18/11/2016 were:

  • In March 2016, when 1 AUD = 0.76 USD
  • In April 2016, when 1 AUD = 0.78 USD
  • In August 2016, when 1 AUD = 0.77 USD
  • In November 2016, when 1 AUD = 0.77 USD
xe screenshot aud / usd

AUD / USD

 *Screenshot taken from xe.com, 18/11/2016

Choosing the right transfer provider

After doing plenty of research, you’ve decided that the AUD/USD exchange rate is peaking and the time is right to send money to the US – but don’t send your transfer just yet. Before you can do so, you need to compare your options and find the money transfer provider that offers the best exchange rates.

There are three main options to choose from when you want to send money to the USA:

  • Online transfer providers. These companies, such as TorFX and OFX, specialise in sending quick and convenient transfers all around the world.
  • Cash pick-up transfer providers. Western Union and MoneyGram are the two largest cash transfer providers in the world, each operating hundreds of thousands of cash collection locations.
  • Banks. You also have the option to send the international money transfer direct from your bank account to a US bank account, but this option tends to feature low exchange rates and high transaction fees.

Most transfer providers make a profit on the “margin”, which is the difference between the price at which they buy foreign currency and the price at which they sell it to customers. As a result, the exchange rate available for your international money transfer could vary substantially from one provider to the next.

Specialist online transfer companies tend to offer the best exchange rates, but you still need to compare a range of companies to see which one offers the best deal.

Case study: bank vs money transfer provider vs cash pick-up provider

To demonstrate the importance of comparing your options, let’s take a look at the story of Kevin. Born and bred in Texas, Kevin has been posted to Australia to work for two years.

Once a month, Kevin sends an international money transfer of AUD$1,000 back home to his sister in the United States, to help her pay off a mortgage on a property they purchased together. Kevin usually sends the money straight from his account with a major Australian bank, but he decides to shop around and see if an online transfer company or cash transfer provider might offer a better deal.

BankCash transfer companyOnline transfer company
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.6981 USD1 AUD = 0.7211 USD1 AUD = 0.7409USD
Transfer fee$22$20$7
Transfer methodBank transferCash pick-upOnline transfer
Processing time2–5 days10 minutes2 days
Amount sent (in AUD)$1,000$1,000$1,000
Amount received (in USD)$698.10$720.11$740.90

As you can see, you can save a lot of money by doing a quick comparison of transfer providers. With its superior exchange rate, the specialist online transfer company allows Kevin to send an extra US$42.80 than if he uses a bank, or an extra US$20.79 than if he uses a cash transfer provider. It also allows him to enjoy a sizable saving in transfer fees.

This is why it’s crucial to compare money transfer providers before sending money overseas. Find out how to weigh up your transfer options and find the best exchange rate in our guide to international money transfers.

Other tips to help you get the best AUD/USD exchange rate

The following tips will help you lock in the best AUD/USD exchange rate for your transfer:

  • Check the mid-market rate. Currency conversion websites like xe.com allow you to track the mid-market exchange rate. You can use this information to work out whether a transfer provider offers good value for money.
  • Don’t trust calculators. If a transfer provider offers a website calculator to help you work out the cost of your transfer, check the fine print to see what exchange rate the calculator uses. Many will use the mid-market rate rather than the rate available to customers, so to get an accurate idea of the cost of your transaction you will usually have to get a quote.
  • Use limit orders and forward contracts. With a limit order you can nominate the exchange rate you want, and your transfer will only be sent if and when that rate becomes available. Alternatively, if you think exchange rates are likely to fall in the coming weeks or months, you can use a forward contract to lock in an exchange rate now for a transfer that will take place in the future.

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply

Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.

Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent.

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