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Frequently Asked Questions

Reserving Currency Online With CXI

Why should I take cash with me and not only take plastic like my credit and debit card when traveling internationally?

While credit and debit cards have continued to gain in use and acceptance internationally, it is simple to overlook the many times in your regular daily life you must use cash. In the United States, more than half of all transactions valued less than $50 are completed with cash. This is the same, if not more prevalent, while traveling around the world where local shops may allow for additional haggling or limited acceptance becomes an issue.

In other cases, we have seen customers come back to our branches with a smile saying they were happy they had the cash ready to go when they landed. Some just for the immediate convenience and others for peace of mind.

One scenario is that the traveler's bank or credit card issuer put a hold on their card for perceived possible fraudulent charges even after the customer had notified them of their trip. This is tough to deal with in different time-zones and hemispheres, not to mention banks are rarely known for their high level of phone support. When this has occurred, our customers were prepared with cash in hand. Being stranded without a payment method outside of the U.S. is easily avoided by purchasing foreign currency.

What is an exchange rate and how does it work?

An exchange rate between two currencies is the price of a country's currency in relation to another currency (called a currency pair). An exchange rate thus has two components, the domestic currency and a foreign currency.

Currencies can be quoted either directly (how much 1 domestic currency unit, for example: $1USD is X amount of Euros, is worth in the foreign currency) or indirectly (how much 1 foreign currency unit, for example: 1 Euro is X amount of USD, is worth in the domestic currency).

What is an indication rate?

Our exchange rates are locked in every weekday at our branches around 8 am EST. The rate you receive when you make the online reservation is the exchange rate of that day, so it is good for that day only. The exchange rate you pay will be that of the day when you actually pick up and pay for the currency. The indication rate gives you a good reference point as currency exchange rates typically move less than 3% day to day.

Why are exchange rates at CXI, banks and airports different from what you see online and in newspapers?

This is one of the most common foreign currency exchange questions out there and it is easy to understand why. The rates posted online and in newspapers is what is called the interbank rate.

The currency market is a decentralized market where there isn't one exchange where every foreign currency exchange trade is recorded. Instead, each market maker records their own transactions and keeps it as proprietary information. The primary market makers who make bid and ask spreads in the currency market are the largest banks in the world. They deal with each other constantly, which is why the market on which banks conduct transactions is called the interbank market. This market contains deals done in the millions and billions of dollars and is not done in a public forum for others to participate in.

This means there is no central entity that governs currency exchange rates. The interbank market is a credit approved system where banks trade based on their credit relationship they share with each other. The larger the forex retail the more favorable pricing it can get from the interbank market.

CXI is unique in that it is a net buyer of foreign currency, the company-owned branches provide an influx of foreign currency that it can in turn make available for sale through its wholesale network relationships. This synergy effectively allows CXI to minimize the currency costs of buying and selling on the interbank market, affording CXI the ability to offer its customers and clients extremely competitive rates while providing its Best Rate Guarantee*.

Why not exchange foreign currency at a bank or at the airport?

Airports are notorious for being the most expensive place to exchange foreign currency. They see it as the last place you can exchange before getting to your destination; therefore, they can charge exorbitant rates or fees. As for banks, CXI has a Best Rate Guarantee* that we will match or beat any local bank or airport for the same product and service on the same day and time of the exchange. Not only do we guarantee this, we keep most major currencies in stock daily and allow you to place orders over the phone and online, where most bank branches will require you to be an account holder, come into their branch (during banking hours) to request currency, and then return another day to pick up the currency. Most of CXI's locations are open seven days a week and have much longer business hours to help you on your schedule.

What is CXI’s Best Rate Guarantee?

This guarantee means CXI's company-owned location will match or beat the exchange rate given by any local bank or airport for the same product and service on the same day and time of the exchange. If you find a better rate within the same city and on the same day as the CXI branch you plan to exchange with, notify the CXI branch. Our branch will confirm that the rate you present is for the same amount and currency as you plan to exchange with CXI. Once confirmed with the bank or airport, CXI will match or beat the given rate. This is only valid prior to an exchange and is not valid after an exchange has already been completed.

Please note that the policies of affiliate-owned locations listed on our website may vary – please contact affiliate-owned locations at their listed phone number to confirm whether they offer this Best Rate Guarantee.

When do I pay for my currency?

You will pay for your currency when you arrive to pick up the reservation at the branch you selected. We ask that you do not arrive sooner than the branch has advised to ensure we have the correct amount of currency at the branch. Cash, credit cards and debit cards are all acceptable forms of payment at all CXI locations.

Can I pay with a credit or debit card?

Yes, you may purchase foreign currency at CXI branches with all major credit cards. Valid government identification is required for all credit and debit card transactions. Additional cost for credit card transactions apply.

  • Credit card transaction limit: $500.
  • Debit card transaction limit: $5,000.

Payments can be split between multiple payment types. Please be advised that your credit card company may categorize this transaction as a Cash Advance and apply their own fees. CXI has no control over how a credit card company categorizes this transaction. Call your local CXI branch for more details.

How does currency reservation work?

First, select your desired currency and amount (an indication rate will be used for your reference). Then you will submit your information and preferred delivery date. CXI's representative will contact with you and confirm when the reserved order will be available. You will pay for the order when you pick up the reserved currency.

When will CXI contact me about my reservation?

CXI will respond to your currency reservation within one business day (weekdays excluding holidays) with the availability of your currency.

How do I convert my foreign currency to U.S. dollars (USD)?

There is no need to reserve USD. You can exchange your foreign currency into USD at any CXI branch at any time. We ask that if you do have a large amount of currency, then call ahead to ensure a smooth process upon your arrival.

What do I do with the foreign currency I bought at CXI when I get back from my trip?

If you are returning foreign currency to CXI with the original CXI receipt, we will waive the exchange fee. The rate will be the buyback exchange rate of the day you bring in the foreign currency.

Does CXI exchange foreign coins?

CXI now exchanges the following coins*:

  • 1 & 2 EUR
  • 1 & 2 CAD
  • 1 & 2 GBP
  • 10 & 20 MXN

  • Unfortunately, CXI cannot sell or buy any foreign coins not listed above at any of its branches. We always recommend using any other foreign coins to pay for any of your last meals or snacks because it will be extremely difficult to get rid of the coins at a good value otherwise. If you do have any other left over foreign coins, you can donate them to the UNICEF Change For Good program. Please note that CXI buys and sells foreign coins at a lesser rate compared to banknotes.

    *To help reduce lines and wait times for all customers, all foreign coins must be sorted prior to them coming to the branch to exchange them.

    Can I cancel my reservation?

    If for any reason you need to cancel your order, please contact the branch that you selected via phone or email. Our branch manager will be happy to assist you.

    What are CXI's exchange fees?

    $0 - $199.99 = $3 fee
    $200 - $499.99 = $5 fee
    $500 and over = $10 fee

    Who can I contact with additional questions?

    For specific questions, call your local CXI branch or use the Contact Us link found under the “How Currency Reservation Works” steps.

    How long will the branch keep my currency?

    The branch will keep your currency on hand for 7 business days before putting it back into inventory. If you will not be able to pick it up within 7 business days, please call your local CXI branch.