Best Money Exchange Rates in Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In this blog, I have published some very popular articles about the best money exchange facilities / money changers in Bangkok, Pattaya, Macau, and Colombo. In all those places I was able to identify the exact money changer who offered the best exchange rates and provided clean and trouble free service. Bengaluru, however, has proved to be a slightly different cup of coffee as far as buying or selling foreign exchange is concerned. Firstly, the best money changer here is not one particular shop or business establishment but a group of money changers operating in Shivajinagar / Commercial Street / M. G. Road areas of Bengaluru (See their names, addresses, phone numbers later in this page). Secondly, which one of these will be the best money changer on a particular day will depend on the month of the year in which you are trying to buy or sell foreign exchange. I travel a lot and need to buy USD very frequently. During my last two visits to these money changers in Bengaluru, I have paid more than a fair price of US Dollars because those times, according to the Bengaluru Forex market, were in the middle of busy tourist seasons. Keep reading...
Also read: What is wrong with Prepaid Forex Cards

Money Exchange in Bengaluru

That means the people of Bengaluru always end up buying foreign exchange at an unreasonable premium because usually, tourists buy foreign exchange only a few days before the date of travel. Those people who buy foreign currency from their banks or companies like Thomas Cook, will know that they usually pay a premium of 3-5% over the inter-bank exchange rates while buying US Dollars. This premium can be as high as 10-12% in case of less popular foreign currencies. The banks and the Thomas Cook types are also very fussy about the travel documents and mode of payments that are needed to buy foreign exchange in India. Therefore, a smarter way to buy Forex is to look for a friendly neighbourhood money changer who is reliable but offers much better rates than the banks. Its all usually legal but the rates are better because of lesser establishment costs incurred by these full-time money changers. The difference in the rates can be huge because a stand-alone money changer located in a busy market will sell US Dollars at a premium of less than half a percent as compared to the 3-5% charged by a bank. In Bengaluru, during lean season, these down-town money changers sell US Dollars at a premium of approximately 20 paise per US Dollar. That is less than half a percent. But during holiday season, they ask for a price that is just 20 paise less than what the banks are charging.

Lesson number one: Plan ahead and buy your Dollars at least a couple of months before the start of a holiday season. Diwali, Christmas, school summer vacation, etc. are examples of periods when Forex becomes dear in Bengaluru.

Lesson Number two: I usually carry USD from India and convert to the local currency of the country I am visiting after getting there. The reason is, less popular foreign currencies like Hong Kong Dollars, Thai Baht, or Singapore Dollars command higher premium in India than US Dollars. But at the right places in those countries, US Dollars can be exchanged at a premium of less than one percent. This strategy requires that you buy USD in India at a premium of half or maximum one percent. Now, if you live in Bengaluru and need to buy Singapore Dollars or HKD or THB during holiday season, you may like to buy that currency directly here instead of taking USD because the premium on USD itself will be very high. Just find out out the inter-bank rate from google and do the math. For google, type "usd inr rate" without the quotes in lower case and you will get the inter-bank rate. For other currencies, type "sgd inr rate", "hkd inr rate" or "thb inr rate".

Best Places to Exchange Currency (Change Money) in Bengaluru

Usually for USD, all these dealers will quote the similar prices with the exception of online Forex comparison sites like and online Forex vendors like BookMyForex. It is a good idea to check online rates before going to Commercial Street because particularly during holiday season, the difference between online rates and exchange shop rates is not too much. BookMyForex is not a comparison platform but an online Forex sale platform. They require copies of documents like passport, visa, and air ticket. Also, there is a limit on cash payment with BookMyForex, say INR 25000, whereas exchange shops will accept cash for higher amounts. Exchange shops are also flexible with documentation but are sometimes reluctant in dealing with first time customers. If you are going there for the first time, better carry your passport. Also remember, most of these money exchange shops remain closed on Sunday.

Online Forex Rate Comparison Services for Bengaluru

There are a few online Forex rate comparison services for Bengaluru but out of those, works best. will show an indicative exchange rate on the website first but once you fill up your details, you will see much better rates quoted by different vendors in the city. Home delivery of foreign currency is offered by Nafex within city limits but the delivery service to your location may depend on the vendor that you select and the amount of currency that you are buying. Copies of documents will still be required but cash payment is possible. The rate offer for USD that I got from was 15 paisa per USD cheaper than the rate quoted by BookMyForex for Bengaluru.

Link Money Changers Pvt. Limited

Link Money Changers Pvt. Limited Commercial Street Bengaluru

Singapore Plaza, 96, Commercial Street, Bengaluru - 560 001. Phone: 080-25581220, 9844281515, 9740191106

Zion Money 

Zion Money Exchange Commercial Street Bengaluru

Opposite Singapore Plaza, Commercial Street, Bengaluru - 560 001

VJL Forex Point

VJL Forex Point Commercial Street Bengaluru

86-88, Near Singapore Plaza, Commercial Street, Bengaluru - 560 001

Sinan Forex Pvt. Limited

Sinan Forex Pvt. Limited Jumma Masjid Road, Bengaluru

Jumma Masjid Road, opposite Commercial Street, Bengaluru - 560 001

BookMyForex, Triumph Tower, Church Street, Bengaluru

204, 2nd Floor, Triumph Tower, Church Street, Bengaluru - 560 001. Phone: 080-66379244, 08882481234

MULTI Foreign Money Exchange

Multi Foreign Money Exchange Church Road Bengaluru

F-130, 1st Floor, Brigade Garden Shopping Mall, Church Street (Behind M. G. Road), Bengaluru - 560 001. Phone: 9880767459, 9379758133

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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