Ordering foreign currency from Direct FX is very simple. Go to our order page, and choose the countries that you plan to visit. Once you've entered the amount of each foreign currency that you wish to buy, the computer uses the latest exchange rate to calculate your cost in dollars. Enter your credit card information and you're done. The cash will be delivered to you by U.S. Registered Mail, usually within a week, unless you have specified express mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 - About Currency Exchange in General
2 - Buying Foreign Currency from Direct FX
3 - Safety and Security Issues
4 - About Us
5 - Why order online?
6 - Copyright and Disclaimer notice
Questions About Currency Exchange in General
I've just looked at foreign currency exchange rates in the newspaper, or on an online "currency converter". These rates are much lower than you're offering. What gives?
The rates you see in the newspaper (and on "currency converters") are for exchanges between banks (usually for transactions of $1,000,000 and over). These are called inter-bank rates and not available to the public. Banknotes are more expensive because of the handling costs involved for shipping, security, etc. and also because of the small sums involved, which have to be held in inventory. Exchange bureaus and banks make their money on the spread between the rate at which they buy foreign currency and the rate at which they sell. They take the rates at which they change money with other banks, and add a few percentage points to cover their costs and their profit. If you're changing money at a regional US bank, or at one of the storefront exchange bureaus found in tourist areas, this spread will be much wider than at a major bank, and your cost much greater.
Aren't U.S. dollars accepted everywhere?
No. In a few countries (mostly ex-Communist states with large black market economies), U.S. dollars have become the de facto legal tender. In the majority of countries, however, including all of Western Europe, only the local currency is accepted. True, some tourist businesses, such as hotels, will offer to change money for you. Don't do it. The rates you get will be atrocious.
Why buy foreign currency before I travel? Can't I just get some when I arrive in a foreign country?
Of course you can, but it can take a lot of time, and rip-offs abound, especially in heavily touristed areas. Business hours and holidays are not the same in other countries, and banks there may very well be closed when you expect them to be open. Also, many countries have no currency exchange facilities in airports, railroad stations and other points of entry. How will you get from the airport to where you're going if you can't change any money? When exchange facilities are available in the airport, lines are often long, and rates are often high. Your travel time is very valuable, and you don't want to spend it searching for a bank. Changing money before you go buys you peace of mind.
Why don't I just go to a bank here in the States, and change money for my trip?
Have you ever tried this? Have you ever compared the rates offered to those available from Direct FX? Outside of major cities like New York and Los Angeles, foreign exchange is a very tiny business for US banks. Most branches don't keep foreign currency on hand. You'll have to order it from a main branch, paying in advance and making two trips to the bank. The rates you get will be far worse than you would get in Europe, where money changing is big business, or the rates than you can get from Direct FX.
Changing money with no commission is always a better deal, right?
Wrong. The bank gets a profit on every single transaction, whether that profit is built into the exchange rates or charged as a fixed commission (or both). Your total cost is the difference between the buy and sell rates, plus any commission.
Can I just take my bank card instead?
Depending on where you're going, there may be a great many bank machines that will accept your bank card. However, you should be aware of some clear disadvantages of using your bank card abroad.
How will the Euro affect my European travel?
The Euro came into use in a few European countries on January 1, 1999. The present national currencies will continue to be legal tender until January 1, 2002. We will be happy to supply this currency when it comes into use.
Questions about Buying Foreign Currency from Direct FX
How does Direct FX work?
Go to our ordering page, and choose the countries that you plan to visit. Once you've entered the amount of each foreign currency that you wish to buy, the computer uses the latest exchange rate to calculate your cost in dollars. Enter your credit card information and you're done. The cash will be delivered to you by U.S. Registered Mail, usually within a week (unless "Express Delivery" has been selected).
How up to date are the rates?
Rates are updated daily and are based on Inter Bank Foreign Exchange rates which depend on market conditions on the day of the order.
Are Other Currencies Available?
Yes. If you need a foreign currency not listed on our main ordering page, there is a link to a quote request page.
Who are Direct FX, and how long have they been in business?
Complete details about the company can be found on About Us.
Why is Direct FX so cheap?
We have no expensive main street rents to pay, operate a highly efficient supply system, and use only the latest technology. We offer genuine value for money.
How long will delivery take?
An average order will take two to five working days to reach you.
What if I wish to purchase amounts in excess of the Direct FX maximum?
Simply email us, or phone, and we will supply a quote subject to some simple authorization checks.
We would like to purchase more than $2950 of foreign currency, what additional information would you require?
You should fax us on (212) 214 0825 with the inside of your passport which shows us who you are and send us your social security number.
Do you purchase / sell rare banknotes?
We do not, however we suggest that you consult the website www.banknotes.com.
Do you purchase / sell rare coins?
We do not, however we suggest that you consult the website www.rarecoin.com.
Do you purchase foreign banknotes and coins that I have left over from my trips abroad?
We do not, and suggest that you try Citibank in the major cities.
Can I specify in which denominations I would like my currency?
Subject to stock availability we would be happy to supply the foreign currency in the denominations that you specify. Please clearly mark on your order what you require.
Where can I obtain historical foreign exchange rates?
We suggest that you try www.oanda.com, which has historical rates.
Safety and Security Issues
Is it safe to send my credit card information over the Internet?
Our ordering page resides on a secure server, and your credit card data is encrypted using the latest, most powerful methods available. Your credit card data will never be sent using email, or divulged to any third party. Even if someone could intercept a message containing your credit card information, they'd need a supercomputer like the ones at the Department of Defense, running for days, to crack the code. It simply wouldn't be worth anyone's while to steal credit card numbers in this way. As far as we know, there has never been one single documented case of anyone successfully stealing credit card numbers over the Internet. Even if someone could do so, most credit card companies limit your liability for a stolen number to $50. In the extremely unlikely event that such a crime ever occurred, Direct FX guarantees to refund you the $50.
How safe is the postal system?
Direct FX delivers your foreign currency using US Registered Mail, which guarantees delivery, and is completely insured against loss. Registered mail is signed in and out of every post office that it passes through, and also tracked by computer right up to your front door. Companies use Registered Mail thousands of times each day to send cash, stock certificates, and other valuable items.
Direct FX Company Details
Direct FX has been in the currency exchange business since 1996, and currently operates over 30 currency exchange bureaus throughout the United Kingdom, including locations in Virgin shops and at the Tower Bridge Experience. Direct FX is a privately held limited company based in London.
The principals are also involved in various other Internet-oriented business ventures, and their staff are expert in the latest Web technology.
On March 23, 1998, Direct Foreign Exchange teamed up with Textor Webmasters Ltd., which is one of London's leading design houses, plus one of New York's largest banks, to launch the Direct FX Online Currency Exchange Bureau. This was the first time that a foreign exchange bureau had offered online currency exchange over the Web.
Why order online?
As every seasoned traveler knows, changing money is one of the biggest hassles a traveler faces. Banks are often closed when a traveler arrives in a foreign country, and many countries offer no currency exchange facilities at all in airports, railroad stations and other points of entry. Long waits and usurious fees are only two of the other factors that so often turn what should be a carefree holiday, or a productive business trip, into a nightmare.
Savvy travelers know a way to completely avoid the hassles associated with changing money: Simply obtain a supply of currency for each country you'll be visiting before you leave home. However, this can be a bit of a chore in the U.S. Smaller banks outside of big cities are seldom very knowledgeable about currency exchange. Often a customer must wait for days as notes are ordered from a main branch, and more obscure currencies may not be available at all.
And, as foreign exchange is not a major source of profit for regional U.S. banks, they almost never offer a reasonable exchange rate. Now, thanks to Direct FX, you can order any foreign currency you may need over the Web, and the process could not possibly be any more convenient, safe or secure. Our ordering page resides on a secure server, and all information that you enter there is strictly confidential. The very latest and most powerful encryption technology is used, so your confidential information is very safe -- far safer than when you divulge this information over the phone or in a store.
Choose the countries that you plan to visit from a list that includes 22 of the most popular destinations. If you're traveling to a really way-out place like Zimbabwe, it's no problem. Other currencies are available too, on request.
Once you've entered the amount of each foreign currency that you wish to buy, the computer uses the latest exchange rate to calculate your cost in dollars. Exchange rates are updated twice daily.
Orders may also be placed via fax or mail, and payment may be made by check, or with any major credit card.
When you arrive at your destination, you'll breeze past the line at the exchange counter, and be at your hotel having a cup of coffee, while your fellow travelers are still stuck at the airport, struggling to muster enough of the local language to talk a taxi driver into taking them to the nearest bank (and wasting money as well as time).
Copyright and Disclaimer Notice
All content included on this site is the property of Direct FX or its content suppliers and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. The compilation of all material on this site is the exclusive property of Direct FX and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. All software used on this site is the property Direct FX or its software suppliers and protected by the same laws. The content and software on this site may be used to learn about or purchase goods or services from Direct FX or to visit linked sites. Any other use, including the reproduction, modification, distribution, transmission, republication, display or performance, of the content on this site is prohibited.
THIS SITE IS PROVIDED BY DIRECT FX ON AN "AS IS" BASIS. DIRECT FX MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE OPERATION OF THE SITE, THE INFORMATION, CONTENT, MATERIALS OR PRODUCTS, INCLUDED ON THIS SITE. TO THE FULL EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, DIRECT FX DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. DIRECT FX WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND ARISING FROM THE USE OF THIS SITE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL PUNITIVE AND CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
This site is created and controlled by Direct FX in the state of New Jersey, USA. For this reason, the laws of New Jersey will govern these disclaimers, terms and conditions, without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of laws. We reserve the right to make changes to our site and these disclaimers, terms and conditions at any time.
331 Darby Lane
Mountainside, NJ 07092
Tel: (212) 214-0825
Fax: (212) 214-0825
Direct FX has a program specially designed for major users within both small and large corporations such as sales departments, treasury, in-house travel organisations, etc.
We also can offer discounts for large purchasers and additional convenience such as tracking purchasers by user, department or special delivery requirements.
Please use the e-mail address below to inquire about the full abilities of Direct FX to manage your FX needs.
Tel: (203) 655-4806
LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS