This page provides basic information about exchanging currency with Florida Currency Exchange (FCE) in the form of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you do not find the answers you’re looking for, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the rates I see online and in the paper different from your rates?
All Currency and Commodities have a buy and sell. Online and newspaper rates tend to show you one rate–the International Spot Rate–but no one actually buys or sells at that rate; it is more for use as a guide for you to follow. Just as with any other market, there is a wholesale rate and there is a retail rate in the foreign exchange market. The wholesale rate is the rate of exchange among banks (interbank rate). The retail rate of exchange is slightly different. We maintain competitive retail exchange rates, and will offer the best available retail rate. Additionally, foreign currencies are often traded at discounted foreign exchange rates; many web sites will display discounted trade rates or, more commonly, international currency cross rates. The currency cross rate refers to the value of one currency relative to another. Most financial websites will display this rate of exchange.
Do you match rates?
Yes we do match local bank currency exchange rates. If you happen to find a better rate and we can verify it, we will adjust our rate to match or beat theirs*
*Better rate possible on stable currencies, not those associated with high-risk or speculation.*
How often does the rate change and what determines the rate?
The rate for the actual value of the currency can change as much as every second, but at Florida Currency Exchange we only update our rates once in the morning during the week (rates remain the same on the weekends).
As for what determines the rate, there are many factors that affect a currency’s rate both positively and negatively but it is hard to say exactly which of those factors are doing what; therefore, it is hard to predict exactly what the rate is going to be doing.
How much FOREIGN CURRENCY can I order?
We have no minimum or maximum amount. But to get technical, the minimum you can purchased would be whatever the smallest current note denomination is and the maximum would be whatever we have on hand at that given time.
What TYPES of currency can I order?
You may place an order for any one or more of the over 80 different currencies that we exchange. Many of the more popular ones we tend to already keep in stock and do not require placing an order for (but if you need a larger amount of any currency it is always recommended that you call ahead to ensure that we either have the amount available or can have it for you prior to your trip). Orders can be placed both in store as well as over the phone for your convenience.
How much time should I give when placing a CURRENCY order?
Unlike the local banks that do Currency Exchange, FCE not only beats their rates but keeps the currencies for the most popular destinations on hand in bulk. We have a vast range of currencies which we keep a nominal amount on hand, but if not we can usually have the exotic currencies the next day unless the order is placed in the evenings or on a Friday as shipments are not sent over the weekend.
Is There A Deposit Requirement(s) for Orders?
We try to make getting your currency as simple and pain-free as possible, but just for safe-measure we do require a deposit for most orders: If order is less than $300 USD then we require a $20 deposit. If order is greater than $300 USD then we require a $100 deposit. For orders taken over the phone we ask that you provide us with a debit card information.
(Please note that deposits are refunded or applied to the transaction upon pickup of the order. Deposits are NOT an additional cost or fee.)
What exchange fees do you charge?
Not only do we beat bank and airport rates, we also beat their fees; our fees are flat rates, and are never higher than $5:
- $0-30 transaction has a $2 fee
- $30.01-301 transaction has a $3 fee
- $301 and up transaction has a $5 fee
Additionally, our exchange fees are per transaction, not per currency (i.e. a transaction that involves 2+ different currencies will only incur one transaction fee).
What are my methods of payment?
We accept cash and debit cards.
Can I use an international Debit/Credit Card to purchase currency?
Unfortunately we are unable to process international debit/credit card at any of our locations as our machines only process in US Dollars.
No Personal checks, but what about Cashier’s Checks?
We understand that for larger transactions (especially those above the debit card $5000 limit) you maybe be hesitant in walking around with large amounts of cash and also there are times where banks will not have sufficient funds for large withdrawals. In those cases, we do make exceptions and will accept a cashier’s check as a method of payment. In these instances we ask that you please give the location of your preference a call to let them know what will be taking place (this also ensures that they can prepare your order in advance and ensure that we have the exact currency and amount that you desire).
Also, if using a Cashier’s check please arrive during normal banking hours as we have to call and verify the checks, which we can only do when the bank is open. Although we do prefer cash we understand that each customer is different and try to accommodate them as best as we can.
Do you recommend the use of traveler’s checks over cash?
For many years traveler’s checks have been used as an alternative to carrying large amounts of cash while traveling; and although traveler’s checks are a considerably secure means of payment while abroad it has become increasingly difficult to use them. It is becoming harder to either cash them out or use them as payment. For one, many banks tend to charge larger fees to cash traveler’s checks making it almost not worth it. Additionally, many foreign vendors simply prefer cash and do not want to have to deal with the hassles of having to cash a traveler’s check in order to get paid.
(Note: We do not know how traveler’s checks are accepted in every country. This has just been the consensus among the many customers that we have had come back from vacation with traveler’s checks—usually not purchased from us—that they could not use.)
Isn't it better to just use my Debit/ATM/Credit Card abroad instead of cash?
Yes, Debit/ATM/Credit Cards are secure but they can end up being a costly means of payment depending on which bank or credit card company you have. Most banks or credit card companies generally charge what is called a conversion fee for every transaction used internationally (fees vary). In addition to your bank card company’s fee, the merchants’ card readers are also going to charge an additional conversion fee to the card each time it is swiped. If used as the primary method of payment, you could be returning home to a larger bill than expected when using cards over cash. Also depending on where you go some people (merchants) prefer cash and some will only take the local currency.
With that, it is best advised that debit/ATM/ credit cards could be a good backup but to keep cash as the primary means for payment while away.