If you are visiting Phoenix from another country, you may be surprised that there are not many places where a person can exchange their foreign currency for US dollars (USD). Unlike other countries, our retailers will not do it for you. They only deal with US coins and coins. Here are some of your options.
Foreign currency in banks
All of the major banks in the area, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and others, have the ability to buy currency in exchange for USD. Of course, they have a lot of USD around, and they get daily buy rates from their traders. The problem is that if you are not a customer of the bank, they may not make the exchange as they are at risk if there is a problem with the currency. For example, it is known that people will try to exchange counterfeit bills or bills that are out of circulation.
Some branches may be able to exchange small amounts of foreign currency for you as a non-customer, but don’t be surprised if they decline.
If the bank doesn’t exchange currency, it could still give you a cash advance against a Visa or Mastercard. Note that exchange rates will be determined by the credit card company, fees may apply, and finance charges will apply for cash advances until paid.
Foreign currency in hotels and local resorts
All of the larger hotels and resorts will accommodate those who want to exchange major currencies for USD. They receive daily rates from their banks, add a spread to the rates for their problems, and they will give you USD. Hotels are known for having poor exchange rates, handling small amounts, keeping it longer than major merchants, and paying additional fees to the bank for processing. Still, the difference in rates could be worth the convenience, which is why they do it.
Local currency exchange businesses
There are very few money exchange businesses in the Phoenix area.
- Travelex at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix is located in downtown Phoenix at Sky Harbor International Airport. There are two locations in Terminal 4. One location is on Level 3, pre-security, just outside checkpoint B. The other location in Terminal 4 is beyond security by gate B-15. They are open seven days a week (but not 24 hours). Phone: 602-275-8767
- Travelex in Scottsdale is located at 4253 N Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale within the US Bank branch. Regular branch hours, Monday through Friday and noon on Saturdays. Phone: 480-990-1707
Always your best bet for convenience and the best currency exchange rates, when visiting Arizona, bring an ATM card that can be used at one of the city’s hundreds of ATMs at any time of the day or night. . Check with your bank before leaving for the US to see which ATMs your card can access and which symbols to look for on the ATM. Cirrus, Plus, and Star are examples of names of ATM systems accepted by ATMs in Arizona.
Obviously, this article was written for people visiting Phoenix, but if you live in Phoenix and plan to travel to another country, you may want to buy foreign currency. That is, exchange your US dollars for the currency of the country you will visit. You can do this during business hours at the foreign exchange retail business mentioned above. In addition, each branch of a major bank in the Valley can request foreign currency from you and arrange for you to collect it at its branch.
You will need a few days notice to do so. Using ATMs in foreign countries to obtain local currencies generally provides good exchange rates, but you should be aware of the risks of ATM fraud.