How To Compare Live Exchange Rates

How to Compare Exchange Rates

The constant change in exchange rates make it difficult for consumers to gauge and compare exchange rates offered by competing providers. If comparisons are not done within minutes, if not seconds of each other, one provider could look better than the other simply due to a fluctuation in the exchange rate. 

Another factor which makes it difficult to compare exchange rates is the dealer practice of quoting consumers an aggressive rate when the consumer is first comparing exchange rates only to then offer a much less competitive rate after the consumer has signed up, provided identification, and asked to lock in the rate.

We recommend the following approach to enhance transparency in comparing exchange rates: simply ask the forex provider to quote their percentage margin versus the interbank rate. This margin is the percent difference between the interbank rate and the quoted customer rate.

Unfortunately, many banks and providers will not commit to a fixed percentage margin because it restricts their ability to increase their profit margin when the rate is actually locked in. Nevertheless, this is the only way to truly compare providers since wholesale forex rates are constantly changing and cannot be readily compared to quotes made at another moment in time.

OFX is committed to full price transparency. You can view our customer rates and interbank rates via the FX Dashboard. These rates should be significantly better than your bank quotes, so you can keep more of your hard earned cash.

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