3 tips to always get the best exchange rates for your transfers

If you are used to send money abroad you are probably familiar with the notion of exchange rate and, like me, you might be obsessed with always getting the best exchange rates for each of your transfer. Here are some tips to make sure you always get the best exchange rates for your transfers.




What “best exchange rates” mean?

If you need to transfer money frequently you probably know that the notion of “best exchange rates” does not make much sense in itself. Indeed, exchange rates fluctuate all the time depending on the demand on the foreign currency market or because of extraordinary events such as Trump election or the Brexit referendum. Thus, these fluctuations indicates that there are moments when the exchange rates are better than others and that it is important to make sure you know about them. The notion of “best” is quite dependant on a notion of time. Indeed, when we talk about best exchange rates, we need to define a period of time. Is the best since 30 days, since 2 years etc.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that when sending money abroad, you need to monitor the exchange rate to make sure that you do not get the worst.


3 tips to get the best exchange rates

First of all, make sure you get alerted whenever the exchange rate fluctuate significantly. Some people like spending time watching graphs displaying exchange rates variations. I personally hate graphs and do not have time for that. Therefore I recently subscribed to exchange rate notifications to make sure I am aware of any change. This is a good way to optimize your transfers: waiting for the best exchange rates.


Then, make sure you compare the money transfer providers before making your transfer. As exchange rate is one of the main aspect in a foreign money transfer, some actors, such as banks, are applying a markup on it. Using a comparison platform will help you see exactly which exchange rate will be apply on your transfer, provided that you’ll do it instantly (remember exchange rates fluctuate).
Finally, make sure you do not get lured by shiny, doubtful advertisements that offer you the best exchange rates for you transfers. This might seem obvious but it is more and more common to see operators offering you “free transfers at the best rates”, but unfortunately such things do not exist! Make sure you read all conditions before doing anything.

Does Paypal offer the best exchange rates?

Now that everybody knows Paypal it would seem fair that Paypal would be free. Moreover we would assume that if so many people are currently using it should be because Paypal does not cost too much. The answer is far different. Even though they recently bought Xoom for almost 1 billion dollars, Paypal is one of the most expensive financial money transfer service in the world. The reason why people are using it is because it’s convenient and many times there is no other choice. No choice means huge cost. Too often. Let’s see why.

Paypal recently acquired Xoom and should be able to offer the best exchange rates in the market

Even though Paypal recently acquired Xoom Paypal does not offer the best exchange rates?


Paypal’s fees are like this:

  1. Processing fees: around 3.5%
  2. Variable exchange rate hidden fees: around 3.5%
  3. Total fees: around 7% of the amount sent


Xoom’s fees are like this:

  1. Processing fees: around 2%
  2. Variable hidden fees: up to 5%, depending on the country you send money to


With 2 systems which now are the same, and with both having huge costs you can’t expect to have a cost-effective one as a result. So sad.


Paypal does not offer the best exchange rates because there are many hidden fees

Why are there so many hidden fees when we use Paypal? The answer is simple. Let’s take a look at Airbnb, Amazon or Uber when you pay with a foreign credit/debit card: the exchange rates provided are not the best. Those services take up to 10% hidden fees on the exchange rates. Why? Because credit/debit card processors are taking 3%, and the services are adding costs for handling everything. Let’s imagine they would charge an administrative fee? In this case we would refuse and we would consider it not fair. So they charge hidden fees. Almost nobody knows about them… Paypal is the same as AIrbnb, Uber and Amazon, the service is not specialized in the best exchange rates so it adds exchange rates hidden fees. That’s it.




Paypal acquired Xoom but it doesn’t change anything about their costs because both services have always been expensive. People living abroad and paying expenses abroad don’t realize there are so many fees because they are hidden.

The best exchange rates in the plane

There are 3 reasons why the best exchange rates are in the plane, I will demonstrate that whichever airline company you use such as American Airlines, Virgin airlines, British airways, air france and easyjet… The rates are the same, you find them in the plane.

1/ the best exchange rates are in the plane, you will never catch them

The perfect exchange rate today would be to get the mid market exchange rate but it’s impossible for human beings. Only robots get them. And the companies using robots to get them are intermediaries for you to have the exchange rate so they profit from this opportunity by charging variable and fix fees. However, they tend to not say that there are variable fees. Anyway they charge them. You get screwed. We call those fees hidden fees. There are ways to calculate how many fees you currently pay without knowing. The hidden fees tracker is a good one.

So it’s as if the best exchange rates were in the plane because you will never get them.



2/ the best exchange rates are in the plane, you should bring your money in your pocket and travel

Yes. Go in the plane by bringing less than 10’000 dollars or euros so that you are authorized to do it and you don’t change your money at the airport. It’s a nice way to have money and not pay exchange rate fees. You know what is the worst thing you can do when you exchange currencies? It’s exchanging too much. Indeed you pay fees in both ways which doubles the total fees from 10 to 20%. Too bad.

3/ the best exchange rates are in the plane, you should simply pay wherever you are, travel and have fun

Take your mastercard or visa card and go travelling. Period. It’s the easiest way to spend your money when it’s needed. However once you decide to stay in a place you should just check an online money transfer comparison website and transfer all at the best deal you find is day. Or even wait before if you find exchange rates notification service that van tell you when there is a good moment to send money abroad.

There are hidden fees and fix fees which prevent us from getting the best exchange rates. We should exchange money using our pockets anyway, and travel by plane. Or simply we can travel and pay where we need so that we don’t exchange too much money.

Why the hipsters rock with exchange rates and you don’t

Back in Brooklyn, 2009. They are still called bobo’s, but hipsters are born. If we don’t call them hipsters yet, they have the same spirit. The state of mind you don’t have. Which one is it? Always be ahead the others so they are different. You know, this is very hipster way of think. In Williamsburg, you can find a lot of expatriates hipsters. Here is how get the best exchange rates every time they send money abroad.

This guy is better than you with exchange rates. Discover why & how now!


The one money transfer tool to kill them all

Being ahead and different as a respectful hipster means to know the best tools of the market before everyone. That’s what we call early adopter.

I don’t know how they do, but they always are one step ahead us. I talked with 10 hipsters lastly (yes, I was 3 weeks in williamsburg) and they all told me the way they deal to get the best exchange rates.

It was a funny story. We were in this bar, it was a meetup of expats, so I could talk about this with people like us. At the beginning, of course, we didn’t

Basically, here is the answer I got from almost all of them : “Yeah, you know, I use this tool to get the best exchange rates. Best tool ever. You want the name?

Of course I wanted the name! So my answer was… Yes.

The hipster way to get the best exchange rates

This tool is a new way to stay informed with exchange rates. You probably know and use XE, X-rates, google, yahoo or any other but not this one.

The name is Moneytis. One of them told me:

Usually, I don’t like to talk about it. You know, money is not something you talk about when partying like tonight. But it is worth it. We don’t speak anymore about it. Just check it out. You woudl love it

It’s very funny the way hipsters act like a sect. I still don’t get this people. But the day after the party (around 2p.m because the party was hard, they know drink!), I typed Moneytis in Google, and it was awesome.

I discovered a complete tool, like the booking.com of money transfers. You can do everything thanks to it.

Who said best exchange rates were useful ?

Apart from if you work in a large corporation trading currencies on a daily basis, or if you are the manager of a company that works in many different countries & needs to invoice internally or optimize account balances, you might think that best exchange rates are useless, right ? Well this is what I thought until not too long ago

The power of best exchange rates for people living in France and working in Switzerland.

Did you hear about what happened in Switzerland in January 2015 ? If not, let me tell you first that people working in Switzerland and living in France (or at another border like Italy, Germany..) were pleased to benefit from the best exchange rates of their lives !

The national Swiss bank stopped artificially keeping the euro / swiss franc balance around 1€ = 1,20 CHF…. and suddenly, the swiss franc bounced like crazy until it exceeded 1 CHF = 1 € ! In simple words this means that all people working in Switzerland and living in France got a 20% salary increase without asking for anything 🙂

Funny thing to do when the best exchange rates appear like magic

A friend of mine who was concerned by this lucky & unexpected 20% salary increase had bought a coat in Paris 2 days before the new rate of 1 CHF = 1 € occurred. He felt disappointed as could have saved 100 € if he had bought it at the good moment when the best exchange rates arose. So what did he do ? He simply returned the coat in the shop, went for a coffee in the opposite store and then came back to buy the exact same coat ! This saved him 100 € !


If ever you wish to spot these precious moments when they occur, keep an eye on the best exchange rates. Hopefully, you will manage to make the most out of it as well some day 🙂

Tips to get the best exchange rate for usd

When I recently moved to the USA I needed to transfer money to France and therefore needed to find the best exchange rate for usd to maximize the amount of money I would receive. Here is how I went through this.

Why trying to get the best exchange rate for usd?

When sending money abroad you need to exchange foreign currencies (except if you send money inside the eurozone of course). As you might know exchange are extremely volatile and fluctuate a lot. This is generally due to external factors such as elections (see what happened to the USD after Trump’s election) but also economic turmoil or states’ intervention. Therefore it is important to make sure that you get the best exchange rate for usd when you need to make a transfer. Depending on when you send your money and how much you send, you can earn several hundreds of dollars.

Getting the best exchange rate for usd does not mean much absolute terms because you could be basically waiting for your entire life to get the best exchange rate. The idea is to be able to get it once you know you need to transfer money. It’s obviously better if you are not in a hurry for sending money, otherwise you’ll have to cope with the current exchange rate which might not be good.

How to get the best exchange rate for usd?

Basically the best way to get the best exchange rate for usd, if you have time to transfer your money is to wait for it to be good. Let’s assume that today is a good day to make a transfer.

First thing you should know is to avoid your bank for such operation. The generally apply very poor exchange rates compared to the real one and make money out of the difference with the real one. Of course they do not mention it at any moment but all banks do that.

If you’re not using your bank, you’ll have a great variety of choice with operators such as Western Union, Transferwise, Azimo etc. There are so many of them that you’ll be needing a platform that compares them for you, otherwise you’ll be wasting too much time. Such platform already exists. With only 3 clicks you get access to all the operators between two countries and for a given amount.


The ultimate guide about Euros Best Exchange Rates

What is an exchange rate? An exchange rate is the rate at which a currency converts to another. If you need to buy or sell euros, receive or send euros, then this guide is for you.

The best exchange rates is something millions of people need.  More than 250 million people are currently living abroad and the trend is increasing. Building a guide for the best exchange rates worldwide would be difficult but my guide is going to apply to all exchange rates anyway. Here I will specialize on Euros. My guide is about how to get the best euros exchange rates. You will realize I built 2 parts. The first one is about how to always be informed about exchange rates so that when the best one arrives you are notified. The second one is about what to do once you think you reached a very good rate.


How to get notified when the market reaches the best euros exchange rates?

1-     Go to a comparison website and subscribe to exchange rates alerts. You will receive the list of exchange rates applied by money transfer operators.

2-     Go to an exchange rate notification service and subscribe to smart exchange rate notifications. You will receive 2-3 emails or Facebook messages a month only at the best moments. Only when the exchange rates are significantly better than usually.

What to do if you think the exchange rate is very good?

1-     Verify. Talk to others. Try to understand for which reason this change happened and get to know whether it will continue.

2-     Transfer your money. Exchange your currencies. It’s a comparator which transparently compares all money transmitters in real-time. You will beat bank rates. You will have the right time to send money and the best exchange rates thanks to both the best operator and the best timing.

Next time you need to exchange currencies. Remember that there are 2 simple steps to get the best exchange rates. The first one is to make sure you receive notifications at the good time. The second one is to do what is appropriate.

Travel based on the best exchange rates ?

Most people like you and I travel only based on the destination where they would like to go. well, wouldn’t it sometime be important to check the best exchange rates before choosing the final destination.

How the best exchanges rates changed my way of travelling

Until a couple of years ago, I still used to travel based on the destination I had in mind at the time. The best exchange rates would have never came to my mind as a potential interesting criteria of selection. Well it should have done!

OK you are going to say that this is ridiculous, you should travel, like anybody else by the way, only based on where you really want to go. Well my answer to this question could apply for many people I think: I want to travel into so many places that who cares what I start by ? (Well as long as the it is the good season as I will avoid Vietnam in May when it rains all day long for example). Talking about Vietnam, did you know that the exchange rate between euros and dongs dropped by 22% between end 2014 and end 2015? Well, I knew that end 2014 the best exchange rates ever occurred between euros and dongs and this is what made me chose Vietnam as destination in October 2014. Imagine how much I saved thanks to the best exchange rates, 22% on all my expenses! When you think about daily hotels, restaurants, clothes, presents brought back for family and friends… well in the end I saved around 500 € on my 2 weeks trip, not bad hein ?

If ever you would like to do the same as myself, I invite you to fint out a following tool. I am sure you won’t regret it as it may enable you to save a lot of money !