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Changing Yen to Aud and getting it back to Australia

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  • Changing Yen to Aud and getting it back to Australia

    I've searched for this but I was unable to find any recent information, so I apologize if this question has already been answered.

    I'm a bit stuck in the best way to do this. Currently I have about 500,000 yen in a Post Bank account, and I'm taking a trip back to Australia in a few weeks. I'm looking to get as much back to Australia as I can, but I've run into a few snags.

    The simplest way seems to be changing cash at a Post Bank, Airport, or other foreign exchange, but I've heard the rate is terrible. A TT will be hit with fees here, and fees with the intermediary bank my Australia bank uses as they aren't international, which would run up to about 8000 yen in total. Go lloyds seems to have a 3500 yen charge on yen remittances and again I will be hit with fees from my banks intemediary.

    I can't really find much information about using travellers cheques, or money orders or the like, does anyone have any experience with these? I also am having trouble finding exchange rates for post bank, does anyone have a website or phone number where I can find this out?

    At the very least, I would like to take a small amount of cast, maybe 50,000 yen worth, to have a little spending money, and I will set up a Citibank account in Australia, as well as a Citibank account here in Japan, which due to my job will allow me to send TT's at no charge on either end. Anyone have any advice on the best way to exchange a small amount of cash?

    Thank you for any help

  • #2
    What is your time worth an hour? (Rhetorical question.)
    How much time do you want to spend on this exercise? (A.A.)

    I would check the possible exchange rates here (on the wall at the post office and banks that do it)

    Ask someone to check the rates in Australia.

    Decide where you can get the best rate.

    Do it.

    500,000 yen is within what you can carry in cash anyway.. so stick it in your pocket and away you go.


    • #3
      I'm sorry but there's no solution to your request that doesn't involve paying fees. For peace of mind just go to the post office and make the TT to your bank in Australia in AUD (the rates here are better than abroad). Then, exchange the 50,000 yen at Narita Airport in cash. The amount of time and effort to do anything else will easily equate to the fees involved. Afterwards, set up your Citibank accounts (BTW have you checked the minimum monthly balance requirements?)

      Of course, once you've posted over 500 messages on GP we will tell you about a secret magical method for transferring money overseas.


      • #4
        As noted, how much time you devote will determine how much you can save. If you imagine you'll be making many such transactions over your lifetime, then maybe it is worth it?

        No doubt the Post Bank or normal bank options cost you more to do the transaction (and the cost increases proportionally to the size of the transfer), but these options are relatively simple. This is what you are paying for in the poor rates and fees.

        If you opt to devote time, then this page in Japanese shows the evaluation of various options under differing conditions (notably the amount of money being transferred):

        The cheapest option for transferring your 500,000 yen to AUD has the total cost of the exchange and transfer at less than 4,000 yen, but for this you need to open a forex account with a Japanese forex broker (CyberAgent). How feasible that is will depend mostly on your Japanese ability, I believe.

        I think this is as cheap as you'll be able to do your transfer electronically. There are probably English language based forex brokers outside Japan that will exchange your yens to aussies. Still, while I've not used any such service myself, I guess they would not be able to better the Japanese options since when using a Japanese forex broker it's possible to deposit for free the yen funds you want to convert. When using a forex broker, the spreads on the exchange are virtually zero, so it's down to the fixed costs of the transfer such as deposit / withdrawal / transfer fees.


        • #5
          On English foreign exchange dealers, here's a couple of articles on specialist companies in the UK that might be of interest:

          The webistes of these companies (HiFX, CaxtonFX, WorldFirst) seem a bit vague as to the actual rates they will give you, but I presume they'd be significantly better than using a bank. (Their services are offered in English too which is probably worth a bit.)

          I imagine those would deal in Aussies, but Australian currency exchange companies probably offer similar services. You might save yourself an international transfer fee if you can use an Aussie based company.


          • #6
            Probably replying to this too late but hopefully it will be of good reference to others.

            Reember when exchanging 500,000yen - the fee isn't as important as the rate. Just 0.5 difference is about $40 (if you were exchanging 1M it would be about $80 - basically the exchange fee initially quoted). Also as many have said, think about the time (& money) you'll spend shopping around. I used to use Xetrade but they've closed shop to Japanese residents. I have an account with Ozforex but I think I've only ever sent money through them once or twice. LloydsTSB I always found offered poor rates of exchange and were fixed at the beginning of the day. Many say the post-office is good but I've never tried so can't comment. Besides, with all these options you have a lot of paperwork involved each time, and it means you having to go to an ATM before 3pm to be able to make the trade progress that day.

            I now use Shinsei Bank as virtually my one stop shop. They offer flexibility and good rates and all can be done in front of a computer screen 24-7. Though initially you have a few things to set up, once that's in place there's no need to leave the office/home or where ever you are online at. If you are able to get to platinum level you are entitled to free transfers abroad (one per month I think - you may still need to pay fees at the other end though - usual charge at Shinsei is 4000yen if you're not at Platinum level). The easiest way to get to platinum is to hold over 3M in foreign currency with them (sure beats holding 20M in YEN). They offer bank rate interest on the currencies you hold too. And to top it off you can do all this in ENGRISH!