How to Compare Exchange Rates

The constant change in exchange rates make it difficult for consumers to gauge and compare exchange rates offered by competing providers. If comparisons are not done within minutes, if not seconds of each other, one provider could look better than the other simply due to a fluctuation in the exchange rate. Exchange rates often move significantly from second to second.

Another factor making it difficult to compare exchange rates is the dealer practice of quoting consumers an aggressive rate when the consumer is first comparing exchange rates only to then offer a much less competitive rate after the consumer has signed up, provided identification, and asked to lock in the rate.

Also consumers need to be aware that some FX providers post interbank exchange rates on their websites without a clear warning to consumers that the competitive rates quoted are not the same rates they will get when they ask to deal.

We recommend the following transparent approach. Simply ask the forex provider to quote their percentage margin versus the interbank rate. This margin is the percent difference between the interbank rate and the quoted customer rate.

Unfortunately, most banks and providers will not commit to a fixed percentage margin because it restricts their ability to increase their profit margin when the rate is actually locked in. Nevertheless, this is the only way to truly compare providers since wholesale forex rates are constantly changing and cannot be readily compared to quotes made at another moment in time.

UKForex is committed to full price transparency. You can view our customer rates and interbank rates via the FX Dashboard. These rates should be significantly better than your bank quotes, so if another forex provider guarantees a better margin than ours, we will improve our margin.

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