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for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

nyc, usa
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for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

go here:

http://www.valutacentrum.hu

you will find yourself staring at an unintelligible (because it is entirely in Hungarian) webpage

leave that '1' in the top box

in the first dropdown menu pick your starting currency

in the next line, 'venni' means 'buy' and 'eladni' means sell ... click on eladni because you are selling that starting currency and buying Forints

in the next dropdown menu pick 'Budapest'

in the one below that (the third one down), pick 'Budapest' again

in the one below that (the 4th), pick the district of interest; the Vth is the dead center of the city

do nothing to the bottom-most dropdown menu

and then click at the bottom left 'KERES' (search)

you will get a list of many exchange bureaus, with addresses and realtime current rates they offer

there will be a map below the list

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1. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

Very good website, thank you very much !

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2. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

Thank you John, at least now I know where to go and not waste precious time.

S

luton
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3. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

excellent stuff john

should be a sticky

regards tony

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4. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

I am in Budapest at the moment (first time) having come down by train having stayed 3 nights in Prague. Having been to Prg before, I notice that a lot of the better exchanges in Prg seem to have closed or been taken over by operators offering worse rates. On my first day in Budapest, I can honestly say there is cut throat competition to offer the best rates, esp on the Euro and Dollar. Shops have massive LCD rolling displays showing the rates and some of them are extremely tight margins, such as 291.5-292.5 for the Euro. Imagine a British bank offering that spread. (I am also assuming that rate was also commission free, altho I didnt check).

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luton
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5. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

there is a very small financial transaction tax IIRC its around .5% or such

no commission though

when we passed through the airport last month they were offering 285 to the £ as opposed to 347 on vaci utca

tony

nyc, usa
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6. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

it has become very confusing although, as Tony says, it's not a lot of money even so ...

that tiny 1/5 of 1% tax is not charged to you but to the exchange bureau; every exchange bureau has responded differently; some few have just modified their exchange rates a bit; others now say that they charge a commission; others say they charge a fee; in general it is never a lot compared to the transaction

Northline and some others for example charge a sliding flat fee. Yesterday, the place I went to (perhaps a branch of Correct Change?) charged 1500 HUF for exchanges between 150,000 and 500,000 (that's a maximum of 1% and a minimum of 1/3 of 1%); even so, the exchange rate they offered was so good that the total transaction cost was less than 1/2 % off the midpoint.

This makes it vefry difficult to do quick comparisons between various exchange bureaus because their commissions/fees don't line up easily. But in the end the difference is generally only pennies, and if you simply look for a place with a comparatively small spread between the posted Buy and Sell rates it should be fine.

As always, the tradeoff is between value and convenience. For me, a spread of up to 10 forints between buy and sell on dollars euros or sterling is tolerable if it's very convenient, through it is possible to find spreads as low as 2-4 forints on a good day these days.

Edited: 4:36 am, May 19, 2013
nyc, usa
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7. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

A small correction...I checked my receipt and the exchange place I used yesterday was Exclusive Change at 38 Erzsebet Korut.

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8. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

Is it not still better to use an ATM? Or do the exchange places offer better rates than the UK banks?

nyc, usa
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9. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

With ATMs the issue is not the exchange rate, so long as you do not accept any offer to have the local ATM owner conduct the exchange but rather allow it to go through the Visa or MasterCard clearinghouse. The commercial rate that Visa/MasterCard offer tends to be about 1% above the midpoint, roughly as good as all but the very best exchange bureaus on their very best days.

The issue is with your home bank's charges and fees and no one can tell you about that except your bank. If they assess any charge or fees for foreign transactions, the odds are that you could find an exchange bureau equal to or better than their total cost. And if it is 3% or higher you will likely be better off using exchange bureaus.

Take a look at:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g274887-c183000/Budap…

luton
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10. Re: for those who obsessively search for the best exchange rates

chrisp

my bank first direct charge a cash advance fee for using an atm abroad and they give a very poor rate compared to visa or mastercard

last time i withdrew £100 worth of forints i lost around £6 due to bank charges and the poor rate

so ok on £100 this isnt the end of the world,but on say £5-600 you are losing the price of a nice meal In Budapest

In budapest I generally use cash or a visa card

I have a feeling that american banks are more benevolent with their customers

cheers tony

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