Best places to exchange currency in New York

Gabriela Peratello

When traveling to another country you might find yourself wondering, is there a place to exchange currency near me? Don't fret, if you're currently in New York, scroll down to find the best places to exchange money in the city.

And if you want to be smart about it and not carry cash at all: try Wise, you'll be able to send, hold and spend in over 50 currencies — and won’t have to ask yourself where to exchange money ever again.

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What to watch out for when exchanging money (in NYC and everywhere else)

First of all, never trust signs offering ‘Zero Commission’, money exchange services have to make money somehow. A vast majority hide their fees by giving you a poor rate.

There are many other things to look out for, so keep the following things in mind as you shop around for the best bargain:

1. Get familiar with the exchange rate

Exchange rates fluctuate all the time but there’s really only one real rate. The mid-market rate is the one that banks use to change currencies on the global market and it’s the same one you’ll find on Google. It’s the base rate without any mark-up or commission added.

2. Make sure you’re not paying unnecessary fees

It’s important to start your search with the knowledge of how much your money is really worth. The easiest way is to use an online currency converter to check the latest exchange rate. (To calculate, enter your home currency on the left and USD on the right.) Use it as a benchmark to help you gauge how fair the tourist exchange rates actually are.


3. Avoid exchanging currency in airport or hotels

Avoid airport currency exchanges, or changing money at your hotel. As convenient as these options may be, you pay for the privilege — even if the headline is ‘No fees!’. You’ll still be charged, but it’ll be in the disguise of a poorer exchange rate.

4. Before using ATMs, check if your bank has partnerships with banks in NY

Instead, consider using ATMs to withdraw cash. They’re convenient and usually offer a fairer deal when converting currency.

If your home bank has a partnership with a local bank in NYC, you might be able to withdraw money in dollars without incurring extra fees. Check this with your bank before you leave, and at the same time notify your bank if you plan to use your card overseas.

5. When in doubt, choose to be charged in the local New York money (USD)

You may get asked by an ATM if you wish to be charged in your home currency. While this can feel more familiar and comfortable, it’s just a sneaky way to give a poorer exchange rate. Don’t be fooled. You should choose to be charged in the local currency — so in this case, USD. By choosing local currency you should get a rate closer to the mid-market point for that day.

Just make sure to avoid exchanging more money than you think you’ll need. If you have cash left over after your trip, you’ll be paying the banks twice for their services to convert it back. Better to change what you need, and spend what you change.

Exchange money in a few clicks with Wise

Wise card

If carrying cash around and hunting for a place to exchange money is not really your thing, make sure to try Wise.

You can add money in your account by paying with bank transfer or card, and convert it with the mid-market exchange rate to over 50 currencies .

For easy spending abroad, you can also get the Wise card and pay like a local wherever you are. And of course, you’ll also be able to withdraw cash if you still like to carry some change around.

Say goodbye to overcomplicated currency exchange.

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Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

In person foreign currency exchange NYC

In case you’re still oldschool and would rather take your money and convert it to USD for cash. Here’s a quick list of places to check out.

Just keep in mind that, like most exchange services, these places might charge high fees or add a mark-up to the exchange rate. It’s always good to double check the mid-market rate before going in, so you’re aware of how much your money is actually worth.

And to make sure you’re not being scammed, check out the terms of each exchange service, including any fees and charges. Ask exactly how many dollars you’ll receive after conversion and fees are taken into account.

CXI (Currency Exchange International)¹

With 11 different locations in NYC, CXI can be an option if you’re looking for currency exchange in Manhattan or other parts of the city.

The most popular options locations can be found below:

  • Avenue of the Americas: 1330 Avenue of the Americas
  • Grand Central Station: 122 East 42nd Street
  • Upper East Side: 812-714 Lexington Ave
  • Penn Station: 345 7th Avenue
  • Union Square: 4 Irving Place
Opening hours
  • Working days: 9AM - 5PM
  • Saturdays: 10AM - 5PM
    Note: opening hours might vary by location/branch
Contact information
    Phone: +1 (888) 9983948

A&S Foreign Exchange²

If you're looking for a currency exchange in Madison Square Garden or Penn Station, a good option might be going to A&S.

Besides money exchange in NYC, A&S offers the possibility of buying traveler’s checks.

    357 7th Avenue
Opening hours
  • Working days: 10AM - 7PM
  • Saturdays: 11AM - 6PM
Contact information
  • Phone: +1 (646) 473-1222
  • Whatsapp: + 1 (646) 9378300
  • Email:

Change Group³

With 3 central locations downtown and long opening hours, Change Group can be a good place to turn to for your currency exchange in New York.

    234 West 42nd Street
Opening hours
    Daily: 8AM - 23PM
Contact information
    Phone: + 1 (212) 3917258

There you go! A full guide on what to watch out for when exchanging American dollars in NYC.

Make sure to find the option that best fits your needs, but don’t forget to check Wise while you’re at it.


  1. CEI FX - New York
  2. A&S Foreign Exchange
  3. Change Group - New York

Sources checked on 02.11.2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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