Australia has a decimal system with 100 cents to the dollar ($AUD). Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2 dollars. Notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 AUD.
Banks and foreign exchange
Usual banking hours are Monday to Thursday 9am–4pm, Friday 9am–5pm. Major banks ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, and Westpac, have offices in Melbourne and many towns in regional Victoria. In smaller centres, you may withdraw money at a post office or newsagent. Major city branches can exchange foreign currency. Foreign currency exchange bureaux are also available at the airport and in Melbourne's central business district. ATMs (automatic teller machines) are widely available in the city and regional areas.
Plastic bank cards and travellers cheques
Major credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club and affiliates – are widely accepted across Victoria. Some retailers in larger centres also accept JCB cards. ATMs (automatic teller machines) are widely available. Traveller's cheques are not as widely accepted in Australia as in some other countries. American Express and Travelex travellers cheques are recognised in Victoria and can be cashed at banks and foreign exchange bureaux, larger hotels and some car rental agents. Passport ID is required when cashing travellers cheques. Service fees vary.
Tipping is not customary in Australia, and is at your discretion.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent on most goods and services such as accommodation, day tours, guides, translators, food, transport (coach, rail and cruise) and other tourism services. Prices quoted for an Australian holiday will include the 10 per cent GST, payable at the time of ticketing. International airfares are the exception and do not attract GST.
Tourism Refund Scheme (TRS)
Departing travellers may be able to claim a refund for GST and WET (Wine Equalisation Tax) paid on goods purchased in Australia. The refund is applicable to goods, totalling at least $300 AUD (GST inclusive) being taken out of Australia and purchased no earlier than 30 days before leaving Australia. TRS offices are located at international airports and cruise-liner terminals. To claim, make sure you have your passport, international boarding pass, retailer's tax invoice and the goods. Other conditions may apply. Visit the Australian Border Force website for more information on the TRS.
Arriving or leaving with currency
If you are carrying $10,000 AUD cash or more (or foreign currency equivalent) into or out of Australia you will need to fill out a Cross-Border Movement – Physical Currency (CBM-PC) form. If asked at the border, you must also tell a Customs or police officer, if you are carrying any Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNIs) – also known as promissory notes, travellers cheques, personal cheques, money orders and postal orders. Even if the BNI has no face value (e.g. a blank cheque), it still needs to be disclosed to a Customs or police officer on request. You will be given a form to fill out if required.
For more information visit the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) website or call the AUSTRAC Help Desk on 1300 021 037.