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Financial App Review: OANDA Currency Converter

By Dian Vujovich

Once upon a time, and way before ATMs, traveling the globe meant either traveling with traveler’s checks or a wad of cash. Then, exchanging that cash at each and every country visited. All that exchanging was no doubt part of the intrigue of traveling but it could also be a huge nuisance if you weren’t fluid in the language of a given country. After all, when it comes to money and exchange rates, being able to speak/read/and understand the language you’re converting dollars into is paramount.

I found two currency converter apps that were simple to use as well as informative. The one I liked the best is OANDA’s, its full review is below.
But my second choice is worth mentioning, it is XE’s.

Included on it are currency charts and profiles that are both interesting and great to review. But the main reason XE didn’t meet my review standards was because of the Google ads at the bottom of each page. As you know, ads bug me and from where I sit, the fewer there are the better it is for all of us.

With that in mind, here’s my review of OANDA’s currency converter app.

OANDA Currency Converter

•Overview: While understanding exchange rates can be confusing this site couldn’t be easier to use. That’s because there is not a lot on its homepage to confuse you: Its black homepage background contains two areas to enter the names of the country’s you’d like currency conversion rate info on and four other buttons titled Swap, Rate Details, Choose Rate and Share. That’s pretty much it.

•Data: This app provides currency conversion data for 190 currencies and four metals.

Once an exchange rate is given, under the Choose Rate heading you’ll be able to see what that conversion exchange would be at various rates that include a few Interbank rates, ATM, credit card and kiosk rates. Plus, bid and ask rates. All I found to be hugely helpful. Maybe not take-to-the-bank perfect, but clearly helpful

•App is… A great tool whether you’re planning a trip or are simply interested in fiddling around with various currency exchange rates.

•Quality of data, information: Excellent and concise.

•Timeliness of date: Updated daily.

For example, on Thursday, June 26, 2014, I was interested in the currency exchange rate for the U.S. dollar (USD) and the Columbian Pasco (COP). Here’s what I found:

If I wanted to exchange $1.00 USD to COP, I’d get 1,879.75 Columbian Pesos.

On further investigation that exchange rate would change as follows:
At an Interbank Rate of 1 percent, I’d get 1,860.95 pesos; at 2 percent, considered the Typical ATM Rate, it would be i1,842.16; at 3 percent, or the Typical Credit Card Rate, the rate would be 1,823.36 pesos; at a 4 percent Interbank Rate, 1804.56; and a 5 percent Interbank Rate would convert to 1,785.76 pesos.

Bid and ask information is also included and comes with this explanation: “What does this mean? When you convert currency, you sell one currency to buy another. Your financial institutions charges you a different rate if you are selling a currency or buying a currency.”

There is also an opportunity to share this data with others via
Facebook or you can Tweet the rate, email it or try Forex Trading

•Sight navigation: Simple, uncomplicated, very easy to see, read and understand. The site is not jam-packed with too much information– only the stuff you really need in lettering big enough to see.

•Ad clutter: None.

•Problems: Didn’t find any.

•Cost: Free.

•OVERALL Palm Beach Money Rating: TOPS. Of the three ratings, Tops, Okay and Nah, I’m going with Tops. The site is tough to beat when looking for currency conversion rates that are easy to understand and share.

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