How to buy Indian rupees with a credit card

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 22nd March 2022

Want to get some Indian rupees (INR) banknotes to take with you when travelling to India?

You can use a credit card to purchase Indian rupees from here in Australia or while you’re travelling in India. However, there are a few important things to bear in mind since some options may be costlier than others. Find out how it works with this guide.

Before travelling

Buying Indian rupees with a credit card in Australia

Even if you have used your card to buy foreign currency before, you may not be aware of all the fees involved. Here are a few of the most important points about using your credit card to purchase Indian rupees in Australia.

What cards you can use

  • American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. You can buy Indian rupees using any Australian credit card. However, banks typically classify purchases of foreign currency as a cash equivalent. That means it gets treated the same as a cash advance. Interest at the cash advance rate will begin accruing immediately on the transaction and you’ll be charged a one-off cash advance fee.

Where you can buy Indian rupees with a credit card

  • Your bank's local branch. Using your bank may be one of the easiest ways to get Indian rupees, but their exchange rates are not the best. Also, smaller branches may not have rupees.
  • Currency exchangers. Exchangers are widely available where you can buy Indian rupees (and many other foreign currencies. They’re exchange rates are typically better than what you’d get at a bank.
  • Money transfer services. You could use an international money transfer service to buy Indian rupees with your card and then send them to a recipient in India. Money transfer services typically have the best exchange rates of all the available options.

While overseas

Buying Indian rupees with a credit card while in India

Here’s how you can buy rupees with your credit card if you’re already in India.

  • At a bureau de change. Finding an exchange bureau where you can buy Indian rupees will not be difficult. However, most banks will classify transactions made at a bureau de change as a cash equivalent This means they will be treated as a cash advance. Interest at the cash advance rate will begin to accrue from the day of the transaction, you’ll be charged a one-off cash advance fee, plus a foreign currency transaction fee if your card charges one.
  • Withdrawing from an ATM. Getting cash from an ATM may be convenient, but it is a very expensive way to get Indian rupees and is best avoided if possible. Not only will you be charged interest at the cash advance rate and the cash advance fee, you’ll also incur a fee for using an overseas ATM. Depending on the card used, there's also the possibility of an additional foreign currency transaction fee.

What it might cost

Fees

Type of feeIncurred in Australia?Incurred overseas?Cost
Cash advance interestYesYesAround 20% (daily, no interest-free period)
Cash advance feeYesYes2 - 3% (one-off)
Foreign currency feeYesYes2 - 3% (one-off)
Overseas ATM withdrawal feeNoYes2 - 3% (one-off)

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FAQs

Can you earn credit card points when buying Indian rupees?

No. Buying Indian rupees — or any other foreign currency such as Sri Lankan rupees or Fijian dollars — will be classed as a cash equivalent and won't earn any points.

Can you get cashback when buying Indian rupees?

No. Since it will be treated as a cash equivalent, it won’t be eligible for cashback.