Currency Exchange in Los Angeles: Places for Currency Exchange, Rates and More

Los Angeles, popularly known as LA is the largest city in California. The key contributors to the economy of LA are international trade, fashion, tourism, petroleum and aerospace technology. Los Angeles was ranked to have the 19th most financially competitive centre in the world as well. With such a booming and flourishing economy, money plays a major role in the whole system of LA and so knowing how to handle your money when you are in the city either on a business trip or a vacation is very essential.

Here is all the information you’ll need in the arena of money and foreign exchange you keep you up and going on a trip to Los Angeles:

Currency Exchange Rates

The currency used in Los Angeles for transactions is the US dollar. The dollar bills come in the denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins come in the denominations of one, five-ten twenty-five, fifty and hundred. They are known as penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half a dollar and silver dollar respectively. Although the use of half-dollar coins, silver dollar coins and the two-dollar notes are very rare.

 Following are the exchange rates of certain currencies across the globe with respect to the US dollar. 

1 EURO 1.20
1 POUND 1.33
1 UAE DIRHAM  0.27

Best Places for Currency Exchange in Los Angeles

Currency exchange
Typically banks in the city offer the best exchange rates but you will also see services at the airports and in hotels that offer currency exchange. Usually in the city, banks are open from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 6 pm while on the weekends they are open from 10 am to 3 pm. Banks and other centres usually charge a nominal fee for currency exchange. Also, there are multiple licensed currency exchangers and foreign exchange offices in and around the city. Here is a list of spots for currency exchange in the city: 

1. Foreign currency express

Foreign currency express has served the tourists and locals of LA for 25yrs now. They do not take any commission or fees. They provide some of the best exchange rates in all over Los Angeles. They buy and sell currencies from all over the world. It is recommended that you call them to know the rates and place your order beforehand so that the process can be speeded up and they can make sure they have the currency and amount that you are looking for.
Location: 350 S. Figueroa St. Suite 134, Los Angeles CA 90071
Timings: 9am-4pm

2. Currency exchange Hollywood- LaCurrency

They have been serving in Los Angeles since 2010. They have only one goal, that is to provide spot-on service when it comes to foreign exchange. They are one of the most trusted organizations in all of LA. They have some of the best rates and very friendly work staff as well. They also offer money order and money transfer services. It is suggestible that you call in to know the rates although walk-in services are offered too.
Location: 7095 Hollywood Blvd Unit 204 Los Angeles, CA 90028
Timings: 9 am-5pm

3. La Currency downtown

At La currency downtown they are constantly striving towards providing the best rates. The location has paid parking facilities. They are very transparent about their exchange rates and they update it regularly on their website as well. Generally, they do not have long lines so you can expect really quick services. For currencies like euros or pounds, you can walk in and collect it but for the others, it is advised that you call them prior your visit so they can make sure they have the currency and amount.
Location: 406 West 6th St Los Angeles, CA 90014
Timings: 9am-5pm

4. Currency exchange international

They have locations all over North America with over 100 branches inclusive of agent and retail locations that are open on all the days of the week. They have very friendly and helpful staff and extremely quick services as well. You can book your currency on their website and collect it at their location. They also provide most foreign currencies on demand so no waiting! And plus it is located at a citadel so you can shop and grab a bite to eat too.
Location:100 Citadel Dr Ste 480 Los Angeles, CA 90040
Timings: 11 am- 7 pm

ATMs and cards

Most places like restaurants, hotels, shopping complexes, coffee shops and bars accept payments through debit and credit card. ATMs are easily available in the city and around important locations and tourist attractions as well so withdrawing money isn’t an issue. Also, most ATMs are open 24/7 i.e. around the clock. Cards are often required for making reservations like at a hotel or restaurant or booking a ticket for a show.

Sometimes small businesses and shops may engage in transactions only in cash, so if you are into shopping at small artsy shops and local fairs and markets, it is suggestible that you carry a certain amount of cash at hand. Traveller checks and non-local checks are rarely accepted around the city though personal checks are widely accepted.

Money and daily costs

An individual’s expenses and daily costs depend largely on their lifestyle and their tendency to spend. The daily costs can range from anything less than $150 to more than $300 in the city. If you are planning to live in a dorm room, get a metro pass, get takeout meals,  attend free events and concerts then you can live on under $150 per day.

If you are planning to holiday on a mid-range between $150 and $300 per day,  then you can afford to live in a double room hotel, dine in two-course restaurants with wine and maybe even attend a live music event. On the other hand, if you are planning to live at Three-star beach or Hotel downtown and have your meals at destination restaurants then you will have to spend over $300 per day.

How much to tip?

1. Tipping is mandatory in LA: It is just not a part of the ‘LA culture’, but it is an essential part of the earnings of the people in the service sector. So unless the service was terrible, it is suggested that you do not withhold the tips. Following is a list of acceptable and average amounts of tips at various places in Los Angeles:

2. Hotel bellhops: You can pay approximately a minimum of $5 dollars per cart of luggage or $2 for each bag

3. Concierges: You need not give tips for simple information that they provide you but for tickets to a sold-out show or reservations to a restaurant you can tip around $20

4. Housekeepers: A tip of $2 to $5 dollars per day can be left under the card or on the pillow. You can tip higher if you are messy or something specific needs to be taken care of.

5. Restaurant Servers: You can tip around 18% to 20% of the tip unless a gratuity is already charged on the bill. This is generally the case in situations when you travel in a group of more than six people. 

6. Valet parking: An average amount to tip is at least $2 dollars when your car is brought and keys are returned.

7. Bartenders: You can either pay 15% on the whole bill or minimum $1 per drink

8. Taxi/cab drivers: You can either choose to pay 10%to 15% of the bill or round it up to the next dollar as the tip

9. Airport skycaps: You could tip either $2 per bag or $5 per cart of luggage.

We know that planning a holiday can be tough especially in the financial arena. But don’t worry, our article’s got you covered! Here we tried to provide you with an average idea of how spending in Los Angeles can be so that you can map it out accordingly. We have covered everything ranging from tips to foreign exchange, so what are you waiting for? Plan your next vacation to LA

This post was published by Devarchita Sen

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