Review: United Currency Exchange foreign currency exchange service

Get competitive exchange rates and no fees when you exchange currency with Melbourne's United Currency Exchange.

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Quick verdict

Good for
  • Competitive rates
  • No fees
  • Travel money
  • Supporting all major currencies
Not so great for
  • Card payments
  • Overseas transfers
  • People who aren't based in Melbourne or Sydney

United Currency Exchange exchange rates and fees

United Currency Exchange offers competitive exchange rates on all transactions, but rates differ instore and online. The company claims this is because instore rates are updated every 10 seconds while online rates are updated every 60 seconds. However, there are no fees or commissions charged on currency exchange transactions.

Available currencies

United Currency Exchange allows you to buy and sell more than 35 currencies, including:

  • CAD Canadian dollar
  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR euro
  • GBP Great British pound
  • JPY Japanese yen
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • CHF Swiss franc
  • USD US dollar

What types of transactions can you make with United Currency Exchange?

Please note that United Currency Exchange is not an international money transfer service, but instead offers foreign currency exchange to travellers. It allows you to exchange one currency for another in two ways:

  • Instore orders. You can physically visit one of the company's locations in the CBD in either Melbourne or Sydney to exchange your cash. A pre-order feature is also available if you want to ensure that the store has sufficient stock of the currency you need.
  • Online orders. The second option is to order currency online through the United Currency Exchange website, pay from your bank account using BPAY, and then collect your currency instore.

Find out more about buying foreign currency

How long does an order with United Currency Exchange take?

Order processing times vary depending on the method you choose:

  • Instore orders: Available within minutes (provided sufficient stock is available).
  • Online orders: Available for collection at least 3-5 business days after United Currency Exchange receives payment.

What payment methods does United Currency Exchange accept?

United Currency Exchange only supports two payment methods:

  • Cash (for instore orders only)
  • BPAY (for online orders only)

Is United Currency Exchange safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Regulated by ASIC and AUSTRAC.
  • Established: 2006
  • AML/CTF: Anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing procedures in place.

United Currency Exchange has been operating since 2006 and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It is licensed to exchange one currency for another under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act) - Sect 765A.

The company is also registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) as a foreign currency exchange dealer. It implements anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing procedures to prevent fraud and must lodge an annual compliance report with AUSTRAC.

How does United Currency Exchange make money?

As United Currency Exchange doesn't charge any fees or commissions, it makes money off a margin it adds to the mid-market exchange rate. The margin is the difference between the mid-market exchange rate (the rate you'll see quoted on Google or XE) and the rate at which the provider sells currency to you.

This means it's essential to consider both exchange rates and fees when working out whether a money exchange service offers good value for money.

How to register an account

If exchanging currency instore, there is no need to register for an account with United Currency Exchange. However, if you want to place an online order, you'll need to fill out an online form and provide proof of ID. Here's what to do:

How do I buy foreign currency with United Currency Exchange?

The steps for placing an online order are outlined in the section above. To collect your order, visit your chosen United Currency Exchange location at the nominated pick-up time. Remember to take your confirmation email and the ID document you used during the ordering process with you to collect your funds.

If you want to place an instore order, visit one of United Currency Exchange's locations in the Melbourne CBD or Sydney CBD. Remember to take cash with you as this is the only accepted form of payment instore.

What is United Currency Exchange?

United Currency Exchange is a foreign currency exchange dealer based in Australia. Founded in 2006, it specialises in meeting the travel money needs of Australians preparing to head overseas as well as international visitors to Australia. The company has three locations in the Melbourne CBD and one in Sydney's CBD.

In a nutshell

Pros

  • Order online or instore. You have the flexibility to order foreign currency online or by visiting United Currency Exchange in person.
  • Competitive exchange rates. United Currency Exchange regularly offers better rates than the major banks.
  • Major currencies supported. United Currency Exchange allows you to purchase a wide range of major global currencies.
  • Open 7 days. The service is open 9:30am to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 6:30pm on weekends.

Cons

  • Need to collect currency in person. You'll need to be able to visit one of United Currency Exchange's cash collection locations in person to collect the currency you order.
  • Limited locations. United Currency Exchange has three locations in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
  • Not suited for fast transfers. United Currency Exchange is designed to allow international travellers to purchase foreign currency. If you're looking for a fast way to send cash overseas, there are other money transfer services that will better suit your needs.
  • Only accepts cash and BPAY. Instore orders must be paid for with cash and online orders can only be purchased with BPAY, so if you want to pay via bank transfer or credit card you'll need to look elsewhere.

How does United Currency Exchange compare with other providers?

Check out the table below to see how United Currency Exchange's transaction fees, exchange rates and transfer times compare to those of other foreign cash providers and money transfer services.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Description Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fees
Travelex Foreign Currency
Travelex makes it easy to exchange and get the best rate on over 40 currencies so you can be prepared for your next holiday.
$500
$5,000
In Store or At Airport
$0
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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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