Top 4 Online Currency Converters

May 7th 2016

Keeping track of global currencies may not be something you do often, but there are times when you need to convert money to another currency, whether you're traveling overseas or making an inter-currency transaction. 

The Internet is filled with free, web-based tools that can help you. In fact, there are so many that it can get overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for. As much as these tools are helpful, they vary in features and functionality. Here are some of the best currency converters on the web today, and how you can benefit from each one.

XE.com

XE is a pioneer in free, online currency conversion and claims to be the world's favorite currency and foreign exchange site. The website was included in Alexa's Top 500 most visited websites worldwide in 2013. 

When you go to the site, you get live foreign exchange information for US, EUR and GBP currencies. Below it is the currency converter, which is set to convert U.S. dollars to the euro. You only need to do four things to convert currencies in this section: enter the amount, specify the origin currency, select the currency to convert to and click the convert button. You should get a conversion in a few seconds.

Google Search

A quick way to convert currency is to simply Google "convert x to y" wherein "x" and "y" are the currencies you want to convert. 

The results page should give you a text area where you can enter your amount, with your given currencies already indicated. The page should refresh with the converted amount, which appears below the currency. 

There is not much information other than the converted figures, so this method is best when you just want to convert a specific amount but don't want additional information, such as conversion rates.

X-rates.com

X-rates.com offers more than just simple currency conversion; it takes its services further by calculating conversion graphs, rates tables and historical data. 

Although the extra information is impressive, it may not be useful to the everyday user who just wants to convert across currencies. The conversion tool, however, is straightforward and easy to use once you know how it works. After filling out the tool on the left-hand side, be sure to click on the tab for "Currency Calculator" to get the results.

The website is great for foreign exchange experts and other advanced users as there are some elements that are not clearly explained, such as graphical and historical data comparisons between two or more currencies. These are helpful if you want to know how the value of certain currencies fare with others, and how they've decreased or increased their value over time. Although these data are extremely detailed and can be useful to more advanced users, they are presented with little explanation which, as a result, can confuse average users.

Oanda.com

Oanda's website is not strictly a currency converter tool; it's a homepage for its main business, Forex Trading. The conversion tool is located on the bottom-left corner of the page. Although there's no indication of what it is, a first-time visitor can understand its function because of the phrases, "I have," and "I want," preceding a drop-down list of world currencies. 

Once you've entered the needed information, the converted amount immediately appears without refreshing the page. While the converter's purpose in the homepage is not clearly stated, it does give fast results. There's also a "See More" link below the converter that directs you to the full converter page.

Knowing what to get out of these web services is essential for you to save time and effort. If you want a quick conversion, Google search is the best way to do it. However, if you require a more thorough look at currencies and their conversion rates, go with XE.com for the most current data and user-friendly interface.

Image Courtesy of bradipo via Flickr

Sources:

XE.com http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/xe.com X-Rates.com Oanda.com http://www.weitzenegger.de/content/?page_id=10521

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