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The US dollar is the official currency of the United States. The US dollar is also used by several other countries as either an official or alternative currency. Some countries ‘peg’ their currency to the US dollar. Pegging is when a currency is fixed at a certain rate against the US dollar. Hong Kong, for example, has its domestic currency pegged at approximately HKD7.8. This means for every US dollar, you could get $7.80 in Hong Kong dollars.

Getting US dollars before you leave

If you’re heading overseas, travelling with small amount of US dollars could be a good idea, even if you’re not going to the United States. That is because in some countries the US dollar is treated as an alternative currency or can be easier to exchange to the local currency if needed. If you are travelling to countries where USD is an official currency, you could consider using a travel money card that is pre-loaded with USD. The Worldwide Wallet1, our travel money card, is a prepaid Mastercard® that allows you to lock in your exchange rate in advance of your trip and you can preload the card with any of the following currencies:

  • US Dollars (USD)
  • Euros (EUR)
  • British Pounds (GBP)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Canadian Dollars (CAD)
  • New Zealand Dollars (NZD)
  • Singapore Dollars (SGD)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)

If you don’t end up using the US dollars on your travel card while you’re away, you can either change the dollars into one of the other available currencies or change the money back into Australian dollars.

Find out more about the Westpac travel money card

Things you should know
1 You must be 14 years or older and have an Australian residential address to be eligible for this product. You should read the Westpac Worldwide Wallet Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision and consider whether this product is appropriate for you.

Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.