Bank Accounts

Understanding the Wells Fargo Currency Exchange

accessible_currency-cocoa-beachWells Fargo is one of the five largest and most important banks located in the United States today. Not surprisingly, they offer foreign currency exchange services to their clients, as well as foreign currency wires and even the more exotic and unusual foreign bank drafts for payments overseas. What may come as a surprise to many is that Wells Fargo not only provides these services of more than one hundred foreign currencies to clients and non-clients alike, but they also make it so convenient to buy and sell said currencies that you will think you are dealing with a foreign exchange desk or a major international bank such as Britain’s HSBC or Barclays Bank, or Germany’s Deutsche Bank and not with a domestic U.S. bank at all.

What Foreign Currency Exchange Service Does Wells Fargo Offer?
Wells Fargo is justifiably renowned for its the foreign currency exchange that it provides both account holders and non-account holders alike. This domestic U.S. banking behemoth provides foreign currency for more than 100 countries of the world. Seventy of those they have available for you to order on their online sites: or

Wells Fargo offers more than just numerous currencies through their website. They provide the major seven global currencies in a number of their branches as well. This makes it easy to walk in and purchase British Pounds, Euros, Swiss Francs, Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollars, and Australian Dollars with U.S. dollars.

Pros to Wells Fargo Currency Exchange
Wells Fargo goes out of its way to make themselves the major player in American-based retail customer foreign exchange. They do this with:

• Many currencies to choose from on the online order site
• Daily updated competitive exchange rates
• No foreign currency service fee for bank customers
• Experienced foreign exchange specialists in some branches
• Ability to order by phone, online, or in person at branch

It is important to keep in mind that most of the major and minor U.S.-based banks do not make foreign currency exchange and solutions so easy for their customers. Bank of America and Citibank may allow their customers to order foreign exchange online, but they rarely, if at all, keep it in supply in branches, and they do not promote or offer the service much to non-account holders. This makes Wells Fargo a standout example of customer service in this much needed, but under-serviced, niche within the United States.

Cons to Wells Fargo Currency Exchange
Let’s face the facts; no bank is perfect. Wells Fargo goes above and beyond in the foreign exchange service department, particularly for a domestically-based bank, but they have some downsides to this valuable service that they provide. With Wells Fargo foreign exchange:

• The bank charges customers conversion fees for all foreign currency purchases
• They do not guarantee to buy back all of the currencies that they sell
• Most retail locations sell foreign currency but do not have it on hand
• Foreign bank drafts and foreign currency wires have different rates and fees from the foreign currency cash and traveler’s checks exchange

Conclusion – How to Transact the Foreign Currency Exchange with Wells Fargo
This service provided by Wells Fargo is available via their Commercial Electronic Office® Business Portal as well as their Wells Fargo Business Online®. Business bank customers are able to call 1-866-819-8972 and enroll in their online Foreign Exchange Service. Retail customers may dial 1-800-626-9430 Monday to Friday, 7am – 6pm, and Saturday, 8am – 2pm. In person customers may utilize the bank’s International Teller Site locator to find one of their foreign currency exchange desk branches conveniently based in one of the retail bank locations of Wells Fargo nationally. Those who are customers are able to pay using their checking account at Wells Fargo. Those interested parties who are not bank customers may pay for their foreign currency with either MasterCard or Visa credit cards.

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