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Taking Best place to buy Swiss Francs using US dollar as an example, the OP asks for the best exchange rates for USD-CHF conversions. I do wonder what added value such questions bring to the site. Even more so if we close them (imho incorrectly) as duplicates of When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money? @Gagravarr mentions that:

We have lots of people coming on here asking about the best place to change one set of physical money for another sort. Outside of restricted currencies and currencies with "blue" rates, the answer is almost always "you don't want to be doing that in the first place, see this for what you need to do instead". If we refused to close a USD-CHF question as a duplicate of a USD-EUR one because the currencies didn't match, but the advice was identical (don't!), we'd have millions of questions.

As it turns out, we do have a million such questions. Would it make sense to create a go-to question allowing us to close all others as duplicates? Something along the lines of Where can I get the best exchange rate for my home currency?

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I would vote for a go-to question. I was wondering what an answer to such a question can bring and reading the answers to this question, we can see people listing places where the rate is good (and sometimes where the rate is good at one point in time), and other methods involving wires.

I would vote for one go-to question because the answer for me should deal with the fact that the rate is never ideal and with the techniques to figure if the place is worth it. Among these it is possible to look at the difference between the selling and buying rates, the commission, as well as the amount to change, the means the person has (cash, credit/debit card, bank fees, wires, ...).

All these elements are the same for every place and every currency pair. I highly doubt that many currency pairs have a specific place/franchise with a particularly low rate. The only uncovered thing I can think of (but that would be a different question) is whether a currency pair can be exchanged at all in some area.

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    I do think it makes a difference. For instance when I change SGD to CHF or vice versa, the rates I'm getting in Singapore are massively better than those I get in Switzerland. This is something I only discovered after coming to Singapore for the first time and in the process losing quite a lot of money. I do think that there are this kind of differences from country to country which make a go-to question a bit difficult. – drat Mar 20 '15 at 6:36
  • @drat ok inded. Did you notice if rates of other currencies were good in Switzerland (so is this a Swiss thing, maybe because the bank system is very developed)? – Vince Mar 20 '15 at 12:20
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    I figured that for all currencies the buy/sell spread is much smaller for all the currencies I've exchange so far in Singapore, so I would say this is a Singapore thing. – drat Mar 20 '15 at 12:39
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I vote against closing all new exchange rate questions as duplicates of one go-to question.

I have experienced in the past that often there are differences from country to country on where you could get the best rates and it is not always obvious to find out where. For instance when I was living in Switzerland, I would generally go to my bank or exchange it at one of the railway station counters. However, now that I am in Singapore, I usually go to a specific mall which happens to have dozens of money changers and thus through the competition the rates are usually quite good and comparison very easy, whereas nobody changes money at banks here. So the way one goes to change money is vastly different and not obvious IMO.

Then when it comes to the question of changing money at home or at your destination, this is not so clear as well. In my case, independently of whether I change SGD to CHF or vice-versa, the rates will always be better in Singapore. While the buy/sell spread in Switzerland usually is around 5 cents. (e.g. right now my bank has 0.684/0.739 for the two rates), I have seen spreads of around 0.1 cents or less at Singaporean money exchanger.

This example is just to illustrate that when travelling, changing money can be a real issue and specific knowledge on where to best exchange money is not that trivial.

That being said, I am of course aware that a lot of the question are overly broad and for those such a go-to question would be a good solution. But this can't be said for all exchange money question.

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    The reason why I think is that given the amount of fluctuation in currency rates, any answer would by definition would be very narrow. This is similar to why we don't allow questions about flight / hotel prices: very variable, depends on the channels, and unlikely to be of an use to anyone other than the person asking the question. We're a Q&A site, not a travel agent. – Ankur Banerjee Mar 21 '15 at 23:15
  • But I think most questions are not about a currency rate at a given point, but more where to change money. While the rates change, buy/sell spread tends to stay quite constant and answer do tend to stay valid. – drat Mar 22 '15 at 13:46
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I would vote for a go-to question, but constrained to cover only queries that match this general question and answer:

Q: "How should I bring my money to country X?"

A: "Withdraw from ATM with low-fee debit card"

More specific questions, eg. "where do I change my leftover Kyrgystani som in Singapore?", are not duplicates and should be left open, as should the odd country where that's actually not the best answer (eg. North Korea and rural areas of places like Myanmar).

  • This generalisation is potentially dangerous for many countries. Someone attempting this in Sierra Leone for example would find themselves stranded at the airport, begging fellow travellers for $40 to pay for a boat ticket, then waiting several hours because they probably missed the boats for their flight. The correct answer here would be "Bring a few $20 bills for the boat ticket at the airport and $100 bills (better rate) to change in town. For best/safest exchange, go to 'Downtown' district or an imported goods shop in Lumley Market. There are few ATMs in Freetown and they're unreliable" – user568458 Jul 8 '16 at 18:19
  • ...and I'm not sure I'd trust closevoters to recognise "the odd country where that's actually not the best answer" – user568458 Jul 8 '16 at 18:22

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