The Language of Currency Exchange

The Language of Currency Exchange

When it comes to exchanging foreign currency, we know that not everyone understands as much about it as the big banks and currency exchange companies. That’s by design. The less you understand as a traveler, the better it is for the profit margins of these big companies.

At CashSwap, we want you to be as educated as possible so that you can make the best decisions and get the most for your money. We’ll tell you, just like everyone else, that if you use our service, you’ll get the highest value for your currency exchange. The difference is, we’re going to teach you the words you need to know AND how to verify the truth. Here goes.

MARKET RATE – The actual, live exchange rate is usually referred to as the market rate. If you Google any particular exchange rate, Euros to US Dollars for example, you will see the market rate quoted back to you.

PRIVATE EXCHANGE RATE/”OUR EXCHANGE RATE” – This is not the same as the market rate. Whenever the exchange rate is prefaced by the word “our” or “competitive” or something similar, a privately determined exchange rate is being noted. For example, if the market rate for one currency to another is 5, the private exchange rate might be 4. The difference is used by the business to fund operations and profits. Private exchange rates are broken down into Buy Rates and Sell Rates.

SELL RATE – When a traveler wishes to exchange local currency for foreign currency, this is quoted at the sell rate.

BUY RATE – When a traveler returns home and wishes to exchange foreign currency for local currency, this is quoted at the buy rate.

SPREAD – This is the difference between the sell rate and the buy rate.

EXCHANGE FEE – This is the fee that is charged by a currency retailer on each exchange. Some charge a flat fee and some charge a percentage of the exchange amount. Also known as COMMISSION, TRANSFER FEE.

These are the key terms that you need to know when dealing with any currency exchange service. 

At CashSwap, there is only one of these terms that you need to be concerned with, The Market Rate.

CashSwap keeps things simple and is completely transparent. We only show the Market Rate. If you see an exchange rate on the CashSwap platform, rest assured that it is the real rate. Go ahead and Google it just to be sure. 

Because CashSwap is not actually a currency exchange company, we do not deal in traditional exchange fees. CashSwap has a flat CONNECTION FEE of $3.99 USD. (At the time of this writing, the fee is being waived, making currency exchanges facilitated by CashSwap connections totally free.) The connection fee is the cost of matching up two travelers using the CashSwap traveler network.

No matter the market rate. No matter the amount. No matter whether you’re getting ready to travel or you’ve just gotten home. Always see the real rate with CashSwap and pay only a small connection fee, regardless of how much you exchange with your fellow traveler!

Download the CashSwap Mobile App on Google Play now and see the savings in less than 60 seconds. There’s no need to sign up to check the rates!

More questions? Visit our website at, send an e-mail to, or ping us on social media and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

Mike McDowell

Mike McDowell is the Vice President of Marketing for CashSwap. A 22 year travel industry veteran, Mike actually joined CashSwap after reading a short blip about the company and excitedly reaching out to CEO, Ben Diallo for a conversation about his enthusiasm for the brand. Mike says, "CashSwap is the future of currency exchange!"

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