First Direct exchange rates: What you need to know

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Jan 2, 2019

First Direct Exchange Rate Photo

CurrencyFees » Fee Guides » First Direct exchange rates: What you need to know

First Direct offers convenient ways to spend, send and receive money in a multitude of different currencies. Foreign exchange rates represent a major pricing point and there is often little clarity around them. We researched First Direct’s exchange rates to provide you a table showcasing their currency rate spread.

First Direct exchange rates: Information and tips

Know the latest interbank rate for your currency pairs

The interbank rate (also called mid-market rate) is the midpoint between the buy price and sell price of two currencies on the currency markets. First Direct does not offer the interbank rate but instead adds a margin to it, which makes the foreign currency transaction more expensive for you. Before using First Direct for international transfers, card payments abroad or your travel money needs, make sure to know the current interbank exchange rate. That way, you’ll be able to calculate FX losses on a foreign currency transaction. You can find the latest interbank rates using our currency converter.

How to calculate exchange rate loss

Here’s what you need to do in order to determine how much First Direct’s exchange rate spread is going to cost you:

  1. Multiply your original amount by the current interbank rate (find it on
  2. Multiply your original amount by the exchange rate First Direct offers
  3. Subtract the first amount from the second amount
  4. This is the amount you’ll lose through currency conversion with First Direct

Exchange rates can vary

Banks often offer different margins depending on the product and the customer. Commercial exchange rates offered to a business customer are usually better than exchange rates for individuals. For example, the currency conversion rate on an international transfer will differ from a card payment overseas. FX rates also vary by currency and destination countries. Ordering currencies with low market liquidity is likely to be more expensive.

Beware of currency conversion fees

For most types of currency transactions, there are usually more conversion fees that apply. These can either be administrative/service fees coming from First Direct, or third party fees from credit card providers or correspondent banks. Always make sure to ask your local branch manager for the full scope of fees before making a transaction involving foreign currency exchange.

Make use of alternatives

New providers and startups in the FX space have emerged to compete with traditional banks. These companies often provide better foreign currency rates than traditional banks. Make sure to compare First Direct’s exchange rates with the rates of other currency providers to ensure you get the best deal.

For the best exchange rates, we highly recommend TransferWise. Enjoy your first transfer for free on transfers up to £500.

First Direct exchange rate table

The exchange rate spreads below are for ordering foreign currency in cash / international money transfers / remittance. Rates on other services might differ. Those exchange rate margins are indicative at the time of research. Use the First Direct currency converter or visit the nearest branch to get the latest rates.

Currency ISO Code Exchange Rate Mid-Market Rate Markup %
Euro EUR 1.0705 1.12619 4.94%
U.S. Dollar USD 1.2261 1.28697 4.73%
Australian Dollar AUD 1.6447 1.77169 7.17%
Bahraini Dinar BHD 0.4516 0.4839 6.67%
Barbadian Dollar BBD 2.359 2.57394 8.35%
Brazilian Real BRL 4.3109 4.83469 10.83%
Brunei Dollar BND 1.6375 1.76632 7.29%
Bulgarian Lev BGN 2.0169 2.20265 8.43%
Canadian Dollar CAD 1.6089 1.70204 5.47%
Chilean Peso CLP 745.7594 863.47341 13.63%
Chinese Renminbi CNY 8.2264 8.93463 7.93%
Costa Rican Colon CRC 679.9572 800.83975 15.09%
Croatian Kuna HRK 7.7374 8.36682 7.52%
Czech Koruna CZK 27.1383 29.32134 7.45%
Danish Krone DKK 7.8758 8.40457 6.29%
Dominican Peso DOP 58.9065 64.1973 8.24%
Egyptian Pound EGP 17.6039 23.05429 23.64%
Fijian Dollar FJD 2.4599 2.71429 9.37%
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 9.3799 10.07992 6.94%
Hungarian Forint HUF 334.6595 362.05562 7.57%
Icelandic Króna ISK 142.0605 158.81695 10.55%
Indonesian Rupiah IDR 16,941.87 18780.52003 9.79%
Israeli New Sheqel ILS 4.3994 4.78688 8.09%
Jamaican Dollar JMD 146.99 160.89773 8.65%
Japanese Yen JPY 136.5775 144.77847 5.66%
Jordanian Dinar JOD 0.8255 0.91246 9.53%
Kenyan Shilling KES 117.5619 132.03487 10.96%
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 0.3639 0.39124 6.99%
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 4.8077 5.38637 10.74%
Mauritian Rupee MUR 40.6086 44.44392 8.63%
Mexican Peso MXN 24.0615 26.32637 8.60%
New Zealand Dollar NZD 1.7474 1.88354 7.23%
Norwegian Krone NOK 9.9664 10.9893 9.31%
Omani Rial OMR 0.4611 0.49484 6.82%
Peruvian Nuevo Sol PEN 3.8259 4.34559 11.96%
Philippine Peso PHP 57.2918 67.51701 15.14%
Polish Zloty PLN 4.5334 4.87103 6.93%
Qatari Riyal QAR 4.3242 4.68458 7.69%
Romanian Leu RON 4.7309 5.25544 9.98%
Russian Ruble RUB 75.8158 84.7692 10.56%
Saudi Riyal SAR 4.414 4.82614 8.54%
Singapore Dollar SGD 1.6199 1.76632 8.29%
South African Rand ZAR 16.8267 18.14001 7.24%
Swedish Krona SEK 10.60 11.63777 8.93%
Swiss Franc CHF 1.1677 1.27776 8.61%
New Taiwan Dollar TWD 35.4909 39.80305 10.83%
Thai Baht THB 39.128 42.42784 7.78%
Trinidad and Tobago Dollar TTD 7.92 8.61086 8.05%
Turkish New Lira TRY 6.3776 6.96838 8.48%
UAE Dirham AED 4.4002 4.7264 6.90%
Vietnamese Dong VND 25,010.72 30020.75469 16.69%

First Direct’s exchange rate was collected from First Direct’s website on 20/11/2018. Interbank rates collected from on 20/11/2018. The information displayed on this site is subject to change at any time and we do not guarantee 100% accuracy of the information. For the today’s rates, visit First Direct’s website, contact First Direct’s customer support or log into your online banking and search for their exchange rate calculator. is not liable for any financial decisions based on the above information. is supported by referral compensations by some of the companies listed in our articles.

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