Australian Dollar - AUD

The Australian Dollar, sometimes referred to as the Aussie dollar or the Aussie, is the currency for the Commonwealth of Australia. This includes states such as the Coco Islands, the Pacific Island states, Christmas Island and Australia. The Australian dollar replaced the Australian pound in 14th February 1966. It became a free floated currency in in 1983.

The Australian dollar is the fifth most trade currency on the global foreign exchange markets, accounting for around 6.9% of trade on the global foreign exchange markets.

The Australian dollar is often referred to as a commodity currency owing to Australia’s substantial raw material exports particularly to China. For this reason, the Aussie is considered a liquid proxy for China.

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Got questions? We have all the answers about the Australian Dollar

When was the Australian dollar introduced?

The Australian dollar in the form we all know was introduced in 1966, replacing the Australian pound which had been in circulation since 1910.

This move away from the pound system introduced decimalisation, and although the Australian dollar was initially pegged to pounds sterling, Australia cut this tie in 1967.

You might be interested to know that the Australian dollar was almost called the royal instead. After a public consultation to come up with names for the new currency, the Australian government announced the winner of the selection process as the Australian royal. The public, however, didn’t like this proposal, leading to the name to be quickly dropped and replaced with the dollar.

What is the symbol for Australian dollar?

The Australian dollar is written as $ in Australia, with alternatives such as A$ and AU$ occasionally selected to distinguish Australian dollars from other countries using the same symbol.

You’ll also see the international currency code AUD used to show Australian dollars.

What is the Australian dollar worth?

The Australian dollar is a floating currency. This means its value goes up and down according to market demand. To find out the current value of AUD you’ll need to use a Google search or an online currency converter. This will give you the mid-market rate for the currency pair you select.

The mid-market rate is the exchange rate used when banks and currency exchange services buy and sell AUD on the global markets. However, it’s worth knowing that this rate isn’t always made available to retail customers. Compare the rate you’re offered by your bank with the mid-market exchange rate to see if a markup has been added. This is common, but can push up the costs of buying AUD.

You can avoid exchange rate markups by choosing an exchange service which uses the mid-market rate, such as TransferWise.

When was the Australian dollar at its highest?

The value of the dollar moves around all the time according to market demand. To give some context about the strength of AUD, at its highest point in the last decade, 1 Australian dollar would have been worth somewhere in the region of USD1.08. However, at its lowest point over the past ten years, which hit in 2020, one AUD might have only cost you USD0.57.

When was the Australian dollar floated?

When it was first implemented, the Australian dollar was pegged to the British pound, meaning that its value rose and fell along with sterling.

When the pound devalued against the US dollar in 1967, the Australian dollar retained the peg to US dollars - remaining tied to USD until 1983.

Best exchange rate for Australian dollar?

The best available exchange rate will be the mid-market rate for your currency - or the available exchange rate closest to it.

Find the mid-market rate for your currency pairing online, and look for the provider which is closest or - even better - which always matches the mid-market exchange rate, such as TransferWise.

Can you open an Australian dollar account in the US?

If you want a US based account which allows you to use Australian dollars, you’ll probably need to open a multi-currency account which has the option of using AUD.

Not all major US banks offer multi-currency accounts, and some of the products available are aimed at high net worth individuals looking to invest in multiple currencies. These typically come with high minimum balance requirements.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for from one of the major traditional banks in the US, it’s good to know that there are a number of online options from modern alternatives like TransferWise. These accounts offer many of the services you’d get from a regular bank’s multi-currency account but tend to be lower cost and more flexible.

Can you open an Australian dollar account in the UK?

It’s possible to open an AUD denominated account in the UK by selecting a foreign currency or multi-currency account product. These account types are offered by many of the UKs major banks. If you are opening your first account with the specific bank you choose, you might find you need to visit a branch in person, and provide a suite of documents to get started.

Alternatively choose an online multi-currency account for convenient access to your money and an end to end online service.

Where can you exchange Australian dollars?

If you need to change your money either from or to Australian dollars, you have a few options. You could use your bank, visit a branch of a currency exchange service, use an online provider, or even convert your money at a hotel or airport travel money desk.

Wherever you choose to exchange your money, you’ll need to check out both the upfront fees and the exchange rates on offer. Checking the exchange rates is especially important.

Many banks and currency services hide an extra fee in the exchange rate they offer retail customers. This allows them to post low up front admin charges - or even state that they offer zero fee currency conversion. In fact, they’re still charging a fee - it’s just rolled up in an exchange rate markup. This isn’t transparent and can push up the costs of changing your money.

Avoid this problem by using a currency service which offers the mid-market exchange rate like TransferWise. And always compare the rate you’re given by any provider, against the mid-market exchange rate which is available online.

Can you use Australian dollars in Bali?

The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian rupiah. You won’t be able to use Australian dollars in most places you visit when you’re in Bali. If you find AUD payments are accepted at your hotel or resort, make sure to check the exchange rate used, as there’s likely to be a hefty premium for the convenience of this service.

Can you use Australian dollars in Singapore?

The legal currency in Singapore is the Singapore dollar. You’ll need to change your AUD to SGD for spending there. If you get stuck, you might find that your hotel or stores in the airport can accept AUD in payment - but you can be sure the exchange rate used won’t be the best out there.

Can Australian dollars be used in New Zealand?

The legal currency in new Zealand is the New Zealand dollar. Change your AUD to NZD upon arrival, or choose to use a credit or debit card - or multi-currency account - to pay for things while you’re there.

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