Are Exchange Rates Best Online or In-Store? The Key Difference Between The Two in 2024

World go ‘round, as the saying goes. And there is some truth to the adage. People all over the world have gone to great lengths to earn money to buy the things that they want and need. People invest in stocks and real estate for the ultimate goal of building their wealth. Digital money or cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm over the last decade, which is proof that money is important to us, whether online or offline.

There is no doubt that money is essential in everyday life. It only makes sense, therefore, to find the best rates and deals to ensure you are getting the utmost value for your money. Looking for the best prices when exchanging forex is a must, which is what is going to be discussed in this article.

What are Exchange Rates?

Foreign exchange rates dictate the buying and selling rates of one currency to another. To convert your money to another, you have the option to exchange it at a physical store or online service provider. If you want to buy foreign currency online best rates, it is essential to know the differences between exchanging currencies online and in-store.

In-store and Online Exchange Rates

It is possible to exchange currencies over the Internet or through physical stores. Here’s an in-depth look at the different options when choosing a foreign exchange service provider.

Offline (or In-Store) Currency Exchange

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  • Traditional money changers

The neighborhood money changer is probably the oldest type of foreign exchange service provider. You will find money changers at the nearby mall or shopping center. Many people have tried the services of a traditional money changer because they can call to inquire about prevailing interest rates. Neighborhood money changers are easy to transact with; however, the exchange rates are usually low.

  • Banks

Most of us buy air tickets and book hotel accommodations well ahead of time but forget to buy the foreign currency that they will use for their trip. If you approach a bank to have your dollars changed to yen, for example, you can expect a reasonable exchange rate for the transaction. The problem is, most banks are stringent and require documentation proof of why you need to exchange currencies. The bank may be more lenient if an account holder is performing the forex transaction. However, most people do not want the trouble of bringing their travel documents to exchange currencies.

  • Airport

The airport is the worst place for a forex transaction. Travelers to a foreign country who forgot to prepare their foreign currencies before leaving end up exchanging their money at the airport of the country they are traveling to. Airport money changers offer the worst exchange rates because they know how badly people need the cash to get a taxi or bus to their destination.

  • ATM

Automated teller machines (ATM) should be considered as one of the greatest inventions in the financial industry. An ATM lets you access your funds wherever you go, at any time of the day. You will find numerous ATMs anywhere you go, and you can use it to dispense foreign currency at favorable exchange rates. Your bank account is debited in dollars, or whatever your country’s currency is. However, using an ATM in a foreign country has disadvantages, too. You may not be able to access your funds if there is no available ATM near you. There’s also a possibility that the ATM you find is offline or unable to dispense cash.

Online Currency Exchange

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  • Online Money Exchanger

The Internet offers plenty of conveniences to everyone. One such comfort is the availability to perform foreign currency exchanges with a few clicks. Online money exchanges like allow consumers to obtain the best exchange rates. You will be able to compare rates from different forex service providers and purchase currencies using your debit card, credit card, or through online banking. You can opt to pick up the money at a designated pick-up location or have it delivered at your address. If you are traveling abroad, you do not have to worry about running out of local currency because online money exchangers are available anytime.

Why Choose Online Money Exchangers over In-Store Currency Exchangers?

  1. Safety: If you are overly concerned about the safety of in-store currency converters, an online money exchanger like The Currency Shop will be your best option. There is no need to carry cash around because the forex transaction is 100% virtual.
  1. Convenience: Online forex transactions offer a lot of convenience to busy individuals. There is no need to go down to the nearest money exchanger to buy the currency that you need. You only have to go out if you choose to pick-up the money once your forex transaction is processed.
  1. Transparency: An online money exchanger provides the best exchange rates in the market today. But apart from enjoying the best possible exchange rates, you will be able to see the fees being charged for every transaction.
  1. Availability of currencies: A traditional money exchanger may not have less common foreign currencies available, which means that you have to head over to the next money changer or bank. Online money exchangers have sources of different types of foreign currencies, regardless of how uncommon it is.


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In-store foreign exchange rates usually are higher than online exchange rates. The main reason is that online service providers have fewer operational expenses, such as the upkeep of a physical store. Online money exchangers offer safety, transparency, and convenience. Some people are quite hesitant to exchange currencies online because they prefer to perform the transaction physically. However, a physical store like a bank, traditional money exchanger, or airport kiosk may not always be available for your currency exchange needs. Online money exchangers have competitive rates because they can offer ‘exclusive’ prices that offline providers cannot provide. Currency exchange should not be complicated. It is still a matter of choosing the method that works best for you.