Review of the Best Sites for Online Currency Conversion

Posted by Allison on 26 March 2009, 14:27

The high speed world of the internet has made it a lot quicker and easier to get an up to the minute idea of what your money is worth in other countries.  Whether you are about to go on holiday and you want to know how far your money will go when you get there, or you are heading off on a business trip and need to know how much cash to take with you, using a free online currency converter before you go can make life much easier.

Fortunately there are plenty of useful sites to choose from when it comes to getting a figure.  Check out the best sites below for an idea of what services are offered by each one.

EXPEDIA.CO.UK

Your first reaction to Expedia.co.uk may be that it's the best place online to find great holiday deals.  But they also provide access to a quick and easy currency converter.

When you reach the home page, simply click on the site map and you will find the currency converter listed under the Guides section.  Once you're in, you'll see that Expedia has made life easy for you by including a simple three step converter for you to use free of charge.

Simply enter the amount of money you will be converting, select the two relevant currencies from the drop down boxes and click the button to view the results.

Both boxes are automatically set to show British pounds, but it's easy to change it to the currency you need.  Once you have clicked the box to show the other currencies, simply hit the letter on your keyboard that represents the first letter of the currency you want.  This will narrow down your choices and prevent needless scrolling through the options.

The exchange rate is shown along with your conversion results, and to make life easier the conversion boxes are displayed again underneath your results, so there's no need to go back to other pages if you need to perform another calculation.

EXPEDIA.CO.UK

XE.COM

This is the most popular site of all the ones available online, and it's not hard to see why.  It's very well laid out and there are plenty of additional services available via the drop down menus at the top of the page, making it easy to find just what you want when you need it.

The currency converter is at the foot of the main page, just underneath the cross rates.  These are updated every minute, giving you the opportunity to look at the exchange rates for the world's major currencies and know roughly what to expect even before you get started.

The currency converter itself is very user friendly and easy to use.  All you need to do is enter the amount you want to convert in the first box, and then select the two currencies you want to convert that amount from and to by using the two drop down boxes provided next.  The main currencies of the world are listed for you, together with an option to see more if the one you want is not listed.

In just a second or two you will see the conversion displayed for you, including the actual exchange rate included and the exact time at which the conversion was done.  If you keep a note of this and check it again just before you travel you can get a better idea of how the markets are changing.

Xe.com is an excellent site which makes currency conversion an easy task to perform.

XE.COM

OANDA.COM

This website is known as the currency site, so it's not surprising that it offers a link to its currency converter directly from the main page.

It makes 164 currencies available for you to convert amounts to and from, and you can also select the date on which you want to perform the conversion.  This is particularly useful if you want to get data for a previous date to help with business records, for example.

The currency converter itself is quick and easy to use, but perhaps the main advantage of using this site is that you can personalise the converter to meet your main needs.  This is particularly helpful if you regularly change money from one currency to another, as you can set your preferences to ensure those currencies appear every time you use the converter, saving you both time and hassle every time.

Because the site is set up to assist with foreign trading, you can select the results to be calculated in a number of ways, including the Interbank rate and the typical cash rate.  All of which makes this particular currency converter an extremely useful and very versatile one for your needs.

OANDA.COM

X-RATES.COM

X-rates.com is a much more basic looking site than the three we have looked at so far, but it is no less useful for that.

In fact, if you are looking for a no frills currency conversion service that gives you the figures you want in double quick time, this site certainly fits the bill.  There is a 'quick bar' which allows you to click on the country's flag to select which currencies you want to convert the required amount from and to, which displays the most popular currencies used for conversions on the site.

The page doesn't change when you do your conversion; there is a box above the currency converter itself which displays the final conversion figure quickly and clearly once you have entered the currencies and the amount you want to convert.

There are links to other currencies on the right hand side of the page as well; clicking on one of these will allow you to view the exchange rates for each currency as compared to recent data.  There are also links to more useful currency information should you need it.

X-rates.com is the site to use if you want a no frills, quick and easy conversion without wanting to see the actual exchange rate itself.  It is highly recommended.

X-RATES.COM

FINANCE.YAHOO.COM

If you want to use a currency converter that also gives you information on how that currency has performed over recent months, you may well find that Finance.Yahoo.com gives you exactly the information you need.

The currency converter itself is very easy to use and simply asks you to enter the amount you want to convert along with the two required currencies.  When your conversion is displayed, you will also see a useful graph which tells you how that conversion rate has performed in the past.

You can also download your results if you wish.  The site is geared towards trading primarily, and there is a lot of data available to help you in this respect if you are using the site for this reason, but you will also find it useful if you simply want to find out how much you can expect to be able to spend when you go on holiday this year.

That is the primary advantage of using this service; it appeals to everyone who needs a quick and easy currency converter to use.  It provides the basic information and if you want to know more you can.  It's a useful site that should be bookmarked in everyone's browser.

FINANCE.YAHOO.COM

GOCURRENCY.COM

This website has an eye catching but simple design that will appeal to lots of people who want a no frills currency conversion service to use.

The converter is neatly displayed on the left hand side of the home page, and requires you to enter just the conventional three pieces of information to provide you with the figure you are looking for.

There is a comprehensive list of currencies available to choose from, although you can find what you want quickly and easily by entering the first letter of the currency you are after.

When the results page is displayed you will see a number of other benefits that set this site apart from the competition.  Perhaps the most useful of these is that you can select and print off a pocket sized currency converter chart to take with you on your journey.  It's best to print this as close to your trip as possible, to ensure the rates are as up to date as they can be.  Not many sites offer this service, but it's a great idea and it's one of the things that make this particular currency converter site distinctive.

Incidentally if you have your own website you can also add the Gocurrency.com converter to your site – customised if you wish.  All you need to do is click on the link and follow the instructions.

All in all, Gocurrency.com is a superb and very user friendly site that makes currency conversion quick and easy to do.

GOCURRENCY.COM

TRAVELEX.CO.UK

This site is associated with British Airways, and is the perfect choice if you fly with British Airways regularly, since it offers you the chance to work out how many BA miles you will receive if you perform the transaction you are working out.

The currency converter results are laid out in an easy to understand manner, which makes this converter very user friendly, and it's designed specifically to be useful for travellers who are looking to buy or sell currency for their trip.

One of the most useful tools available on this site is the 'cheat sheet' you can gain access to.  Once you have converted an amount of money from one currency to another, you will see the link for the cheat sheet which is relevant to those two currencies underneath the conversion details.

This gives you an 'at a glance' list of conversions for specific amounts.  So if you are converting pounds to dollars for example, you will see a list which gives you the exchange amounts for various sums from one pound up to a thousand pounds.  You can also click a button to see these conversions in reverse, so you get amounts from one dollar up to a thousand.  It's a useful tool that sets this currency converter apart from the competition.

While it's undoubtedly a good tool to bookmark if you are a regular British Airways customer, you will also find it indispensable whenever you go on holiday, so make sure you keep a note of the URL.

TRAVELEX.CO.UK

MONEY.CNN.COM

CNN is one of the best known companies in the world, so it's hardly surprising that it should be the provider of a quick, easy, no frills currency converter that makes light work of figuring out how much your money will buy you when you go abroad.  It also gives you details of recent cross rates for the most sought after currencies if you need them.

The beauty of this particular site is that gives you just the information you need and no more.  This is ideal if you don't need to know what the conversion rate is.  All you will see displayed once you have requested the conversion you want is the amount of the currency you want to exchange and the amount of the currency you want to convert it into.  It's quick, easy, simple and very clearly displayed.

It also takes place all on one page, meaning you don't have to go back to work out another figure.  All in all, it's definitely one of the top sites for ease of use.

MONEY.CNN.COM

MONEYCENTRAL.MSN.COM

This site is focused more on the money markets than providing quotes for holiday cash, but as is the case with all the best websites that provide a currency converter, Moneycentral.msn.com is easy to use whatever your purpose for doing so is.

To find the converter, simply click on the 'investing' tab and then go into 'markets' in the top menu bar.  You can then use the currency converter in the simple three step fashion that the majority of the converters use.

The result for your request are shown underneath the currency converter box itself, with your requested amount shown in green and the current conversion rate shown in light type underneath it.  This format enables you to enter different figures in the box if needed, to perform another conversion on exactly the same page.

As currency converters go, although the Moneycentral.msn.com one appears on a site dedicated to money markets, it is one of the easiest ones to use – whatever your purpose is.  It's definitely one to bookmark.

As you can see, getting a quick online currency conversion is easy when you go through any of the above mentioned sites.  While the conversion rates change virtually every minute, you can rely on online conversions to give you an accurate figure, which makes planning for your trip abroad much easier.

MONEYCENTRAL.MSN.COM

 

Comment

  1. This is a great article – I can’t believe I nearly missed it tucked away at the end! I’ve been on the site for a while but this was obviously before my time.

    It’s certainly nice to have all the main sites in one place if you ever want to do online currency conversions online. I would probably struggle to name any of the above sites – well, I’d probably get XE.com but I would have trouble thinking of any more. It looks like they all have their own little quirks and benefits too, so I might go through to see which one I like the best. I think XE would be my fave at the moment – does anyone else have favourites from this list?

    — Ben · Aug 27, 07:36 PM · #

  2. I’ve tried a few of these sites (and there were some mentioned that I hadn’t heard of before). But I typically use XE.com as well because it’s the best and easiest one to use. It’s had a bit of a makeover recently but it’s still the one I have bookmarked and ready for use whenever I need it for foreign exchange figures. The others are good but they don’t quite seem the same to me.

    — Ian · May 25, 02:51 PM · #

  3. I stick to Xe.com myself, although I have used a few others from time to time. It all depends on which site I am on. If I am using a site that does not have a currency converter I tend to go to Xe, otherwise I will use whatever converter the site has. Although it pays to use a good one otherwise you struggle to understand the figures. That one has always worked well for me.

    — CShort · Nov 28, 07:52 PM · #