Gone are the days when getting your foreign currency exchange in India was quite a complicated and tedious task. Not to mention the scams!
Nowadays, there are numerous ways in which you can get your foreign currency exchanged in India, which include:
- Currency Exchange at Airport itself when you land
- Exchange currency in India through ATMs using credit/debit cards
- Exchange money in India at selected local banks
- Exchange USD to INR through RBI approved money exchangers (probably the most convenient and accessible option)
- Direct money transfers
- Currency exchange through online forex platforms (best value for money)
USD to INR Currency Exchange Rate
Current USD to INR Rate – 74.90
|Stats||Last 30 Days||Last 90 Days|
Suppose you are planning a trip to India. It would help if you considered multiple options depending on how much and where you’ll spend your money before deciding where to exchange your foreign currency in India.
However, with this post, we aim to cut down your research time and effort further to get the best value for your currency and get your money exchanged from US dollars to INR with ease and convenience.
Let’s dive right into it.
How to Get Rupees BEFORE your Trip to India
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines show that you cannot carry more than INR 10,000 in cash from outside India. The rules are put in place to ensure that tax evasion does not happen and also due to black money matters.
Suppose someone told you that you couldn’t take Indian rupees outside India. However, rest assured, you can do so in the United States and even the United Kingdom. Just call your local bank to ensure that you can carry the right rupees from your country before traveling to India.
Also Read: Best Time to visit India
Exchange Foreign Currency in India at the Airport
Although it may sound tempting and one of the most hassle-free ways to get your foreign currency exchanged for Indian rupees upon arrival in India at the airport itself, know that it doesn’t offer value for your money. But, on the other hand, the exchange rates at airports are pretty higher than what you get otherwise.
We’d strongly recommend that you don’t get your currency exchanged at the airports unless it’s an emergency case.
Here is the list of major airports and where you can get your USD exchanged to INR
|Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi||T3 International Arrivals and Departures|
|Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai||Terminal 2, Arrivals|
|Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore||Ground & 1st floor at the International Terminal|
|Cochin (Kochi) International Airport||International Terminal|
Foreign Currency Exchange in India through Banks
Nowadays, there are various banks in India offering foreign currency exchange.
They also offer good value for money, if not the best. But they also happen to be the most trustworthy place to get your forex exchanged in India.
Government sector banks like State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank and private players like HDFC and AXIS Bank offer currency exchange.
However, there are a few limitations in exchanging your money from banks in India. For example, there are working hour issues with banks. You may also find queues and crowds in the banks. And then, there are several governments and state holidays on which banks stay closed in India.
Do check beforehand before planning to visit a bank in India for foreign currency exchange.
Which banks offer foreign currency exchange in India?
|HDFC Bank||20 currencies, including THB, USD, EUR, KRW, SAR, and SGD|
|State Bank of India||USD, GBP, and EUR|
|Axis Bank||14 currencies, including ZAR, SGD, JPY NZD|
|ICICI Bank||14 currencies, including AED, SGD, HKD, QAR, SAR, THB, and KWD|
RBI Approved Money Exchangers in India
One of the best ways to get your forex converted from USD to INR is by choosing one of the many RBI-approved foreign currency exchangers in India.
The best part about these approved money exchangers in India is getting excellent value for your money. They also tend to work on holidays and are also quite accessible, especially in the places where there are decent footfalls of foreigners traveling to India.
The benefits of having your foreign currency exchanged through money exchangers are many. That include:
- Convenient location
- Competitive exchange rate for foreign currency (USD to INR)
- More operational hours than banks (they even operate on weekends as well)
Exchange Currency using ATM Withdrawals in India
If you are carrying an international debit card or the credit card of your bank, then you could easily withdraw money from ATMs in India.
Again, ATMs are quite handy places to withdraw money in India. Again, there’s broad reach, and ATMs could be found even in the remotest areas in India.
However, the exchange rate and service charges are often a little heavier when you withdraw money in India through ATMs. Plus, there’s a daily limit on how much money you can withdraw in a day through ATMs.
The maximum amount withdrawable per day from one card is INR 10,000.
Direct Money Transfers
One of the most convenient ways to get your money exchanged into Indian rupees before traveling to India is through direct money transfers. You can use mobile banking or net banking services to transfer money from one account into another with ease and without physically visiting your branch.
Online Forex Platforms
The winner of foreign currency exchange in India is the newcomers – online forex platforms.
Online forex platforms have become the most popular option for money exchange in India these days because of the ease with which you can get your money transferred into Indian rupees.
The second benefit is the forex rate you can get when using it.
You could get the most competitive exchange rates and the most value for your money with online currency platforms.
Also, you can change your money into rupees with ease using your mobile phone from anywhere without physically visiting a store.
Documents Required for Money Exchange in India
If you are buying or selling foreign currency in India through your bank or a chosen money changer, you’d be required to provide KYC (Know your customer) documents.
This complied with Reserve Bank of India regulations, and all banks and authorized exchange houses must adhere to this rule for forex in India.
Mentioned below are the documents that you should keep handy when doing currency exchange:
For buying foreign currency in India, one of the following documents is required:
- Indian Passport
- Copies of utility bills, international driver’s licenses, etc., are needed for overseas residents.
- Confirmed Air Ticket showing travel within 60 days
- PAN Card
- Valid Visa (Mandatory for some countries)
You need the following documents for selling foreign currency in India:
- Indian Passport (Mandatory for transactions above Rs.25,000)
- Copy of your Driving License
- Voters ID
- Aadhar Card
- PAN Card (If required)
Please Note: Any 1 of the above documents is enough
How much is each USD bill worth, and how much should I take out at the ATM?
|INR Value||In US Dollars|
|INR 10||13 Cents|
|INR 20||26 Cents|
|INR 50||65 cents|
Things to Consider for Foreign Currency Exchange in India
- Check exchange rates online before having your forex converted into rupees. The rates may vary daily. Research is an important part of getting the best value for your foreign currency.
- Avoid money exchanges at the airport as they have the steepest forex rate
- Consider using a foreign currency card, debit card, or credit card to pay at the point of purchase if the option is available. Digital payments have become part and parcel of daily life in India these days.
- Remember that there are various fake currency dealers and scams in India. Read about how to tell a fake currency from real ones below or by visiting RBI’s website.
How to Avoid Foreign Exchange Fees
- Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees
- International travel cards
- Local banks (not free but charge much less fee)
- Avoid cash advances (don’t use your credit cards as debits card)
- Use local currency for payments
Frequently Asked Questions about Indian Rupees
Q. What is the Indian currency called and what is its symbol? +-
Q. What is a legal tender? +-
Every banknote issued by Reserve Bank of India (₹2, ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2000) unless withdrawn from circulation, shall be legal tender at any place in India in payment or on account for the amount expressed therein, and shall be guaranteed by the Central Government, subject to provisions of sub-section (2) Section 26 of RBI Act, 1934. ₹1 notes issued by the Government of India are also Legal Tender.
₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi series issued up to November 08, 2016, have ceased to be Legal Tender with effect from the midnight of November 8, 2016.
Q. Where can one find information regarding notes/coins supplied by RBI or currently in circulation? +-
Q. What is Indian currency paper made up of? +-
Q. How many languages appear in the language panel of Indian banknotes? +-
Q. Is it possible to have two or more banknotes with the same serial number? +-
Q. What is non-sequential numbering? +-
Q. What is a "star series" banknote? +-
The Bank adopted the "STAR series" numbering system for the replacement of defectively printed banknotes in a packet of 100 pieces of serially numbered banknotes. The Star series banknotes are exactly similar to the other banknotes but have an additional character viz., a *(star) in the number panel in the space between the prefixes.
Q. Who decides on the figure to be printed on a new banknote? +-
Q. Are the banknotes issued by Reserve Bank of India backed by any assets such as gold? +-
Q. What are the various types of banknotes issued since the independence of India? +-
i. Ashoka Pillar Banknotes:
The first banknote issued by independent India was the one rupee note issued in 1949. While retaining the same designs the new banknotes were issued with the symbol of Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath in the watermark window in place of the portrait of King George.
Banknotes in Ashoka Pillar watermark Series, in ₹10 denomination were issued between 1967 and 1992, ₹20 denomination in 1972 and 1975, ₹50 in 1975 and 1981, and ₹100 between 1967-1979. The banknotes issued during the above period contained the symbols representing science and technology, progress, orientation to Indian Art forms.
In the year 1970, banknotes with the legend "Satyameva Jayate", i.e., truth alone shall prevail were introduced for the first time. In October 1987, ₹500, the banknote was introduced with the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and the Ashoka Pillar watermark.
ii. Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Series 1996
The details of banknotes issued in MG Series – 1996 is as under:
Month and year of introduction
All the banknotes of this series bear the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse (front) side, in place of the symbol of Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar, which has also been retained and shifted to the left side next to the watermark window. This means that these banknotes contain Mahatma Gandhi's watermark as well as Mahatma Gandhi's portrait.
iii. Mahatma Gandhi series – 2005 banknotes
MG series 2005 banknotes were issued in the denomination of ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500, and ₹1000 and contain some additional/new security features as compared to the 1996 MG series. The year of introduction of these banknotes is as under:
Month and year of Introduction
₹50 and ₹100
₹500 and ₹1000
The Legal tender of banknotes of ₹500 and ₹1000 of this series was subsequently withdrawn w.e.f. the midnight of November 8, 2016.iv. Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series (MGNS) – Nov 2016
The Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, introduced in the year 2016, highlights the cultural heritage and scientific achievements of the country. The banknotes in the series are more wallet-friendly, being of reduced dimensions, and hence expected to incur less wear and tear. For the first time, designs for banknotes have been indigenously developed on themes reflecting the diverse history, culture, and ethos of the country as also its scientific achievements. The color scheme is sharp and vivid to make the banknotes distinctive.
The first banknote from the new series was introduced on November 8, 2016, and is a new denomination, ₹2000-with the theme of Mangalyaan. Subsequently, banknotes in this series in denominations of ₹500, ₹200, ₹100, ₹50, ₹20, and ₹10 have also been introduced.
Q. Which denomination banknotes have been demonetized? +-
Recently, banknotes in the denomination of ₹500 and ₹1000 issued under the Mahatma Gandhi Series have been withdrawn from circulation with effect from midnight of November 08, 2016, and are, therefore, no longer legal tender.
Q. What are the Security Features of banknotes in circulation? +-
i. Security Thread: The silver-colored machine-readable security thread in ₹10, ₹20, and ₹50 denomination banknotes is windowed on the front side and fully embedded on the reverse side. The thread fluoresces in yellow on both sides under ultraviolet light. The thread appears as a continuous line from behind when held up against the light. ₹100 and above denomination banknotes have machine-readable windowed security thread with the color shift from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It fluoresces in yellow on the reverse and the text will fluoresce on the obverse under ultraviolet light.
ii. Intaglio Printing: The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, Reserve Bank seal, Guarantee and promise clause, Ashoka Pillar emblem, RBI’s Governor's signature, and the identification mark for the visually impaired persons are printed in intaglio in denominations ₹100 and above.
iii. See-through register: On the left side of the note, a part of the numeral of each denomination is printed on the obverse (front) and the other part on the reverse. The accurate back-to-back registration makes the numeral appear as one when viewed against the light.
iv. Water Mark and electrotype watermark: The banknotes contain the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the watermark window with a light and shade effect and multi-directional lines. An electrotype mark showing the denominational numeral in each denomination banknote also appears in the watermark window and these can be viewed better when the banknote is held against the light.
v. Colour Shifting Ink: The numerals 200, 500 & 2000 on the ₹200, ₹500, and ₹2000 banknotes are printed in color-shifting ink. The color of these numerals appears green when the banknotes are held flat but would change to blue when the banknotes are held at an angle.
vi. Fluorescence: The number of panels of the banknotes is printed in fluorescent ink. The banknotes also have dual-colored optical fibers. Both can be seen when the banknotes are exposed to ultraviolet lamps.
vii. Latent Image: In the banknotes of ₹20 and above in the MG-2005 Series, the vertical band next to the (right side) Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait contains a latent image, showing the denominational value as the case may be. The value can be seen only when the banknote is held horizontally and light is allowed to fall on it; otherwise, this feature appears only as a vertical band. In the MG (New) Series banknotes, the latent image exists in denominations ₹100 and above.
viii. Micro letterings: This feature appears at different places on the banknotes and can be seen better under a magnifying glass.
ix. Additional Features introduced since 2015
• New Numbering Pattern The numerals in both the number panels of the banknotes are in ascending size from left to right while the first three alpha-numeric characters (prefix) will remain constant in size.
• Angular Bleed Lines and Increase in the size of Identification Marks Angular Bleed Lines have been introduced in banknotes - 4 lines in 2 blocks in ₹100, 4 angular bleed lines with two circles in between in ₹200, 5 lines in 3 blocks in ₹500, 7 in ₹2000. In addition, the size of the identification marks in denominations ₹100 and above have been increased by 50 percent.
Information about the above security features present in the Indian banknotes denomination-wise is also available on the website www.rbi.org.in>>press releases. Alternatively, information can also be accessed from here
Q. What are soiled, mutilated, and imperfect banknotes? +-
(ii) “Mutilated banknote” is a banknote, of which a portion is missing or which is composed of more than two pieces.
(iii) “Imperfect banknote” means any banknote, which is wholly or partially, obliterated, shrunk, washed, altered, or indecipherable but does not include a mutilated banknote.
Q. Can soiled and mutilated banknotes be exchanged for value? +-
Q. Where are soiled/mutilated banknotes accepted for exchange? +-
All branches of commercial banks are authorized to adjudicate mutilated banknotes (which are legal tender) and pay value for these, in terms of the Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Amendment Rules, 2018.
Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks may exchange mutilated and imperfect/defective notes at their option.
Q. How much value would one get in exchange for imperfect banknotes? +-
Q. What is a forged note? +-
Q. WHow to check whether a note is genuine or not? +-
Q. What are the legal provisions relating to the printing and circulation of forged banknotes? +-
The Government of India has framed the Investigation of High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency Offences Rules, 2013 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. The Third Schedule of the Act defines High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency Note. The activity of production, smuggling, or circulation of High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Notes has been brought under the ambit of UAPA, 1967.