bank foreign currency exchange

South State Bank Foreign Currency Exchange and Better Alternatives

Nov 18, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

South State Corporation does not offer currency exchange services that allow you to hold foreign cash. It has a cross-border payment platform for making payments in foreign currencies and for saving foreign-denominated bank notes. However, these solutions are designed for business clients and customers who want to risk investing their wealth in foreign currencies.

Banks use weak exchange rates and often charge commission fees. South State Bank currency exchange will not be your best option for currency exchange when you need foreign currency for your travels abroad and for sending money abroad. Even for business clients, better international business solutions exist for you. In this guide, we will show you cheaper, faster, and more user-friendly currency exchange services for travel, cash exchange, international money transfers, and business payments.

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Here are better options based on your needs:

  • Travel: Instead of exchanging cash from South State Bank, we think Revolut is the cheapest and most convenient way to get foreign currencies at the live exchange rate. | Read the full review.
  • Money Transfer: Remitly consistently ranks on Monito as one of the cheapest services worldwide, making it one of the best for international money transfers.
  • Business: Unlike South State Commerical, Revolut Business offers transparent mid-market rates for cross-border payments and quality team management software. | Read the full review.

Foreign Currency For Travel

If you are a retail customer who wants foreign cash for your travels, then we highly recommend you avoid using South State Bank currency exchange services. Large American banks and credit unions like South State Bank charge two very large fees, one that is transparent and another that is hidden:

  • Bank Fee: This is a transparent fee that banks charge for the service. South State Bank generally only offers foreign exchange services to business customers.
  • Exchange Rate Margin: While some banks may waive their flat fee, all of them will levy this hidden fee. At any given moment, there is a live mid-market rate between two currencies. South State Bank does not transparently publish their exchange rates, but will exchange your currency at a weaker rate (averaging between 4-7%) and pocket the difference.

Hands down, the best way to get foreign currency is with a multi-currency account offered by a fintech platform like Revolut. Digitally accessible via a smartphone app, Revolut uses an industry-low exchange rate.

For popular corridors, like USD to GBP, Revolut's margin may be as low as 0.02%. It even comes with a debit card, which instantly accesses your 30+ pots of foreign currencies. Revolut allows you to withdraw up to $1,200 per month from out-of-network ATMs without fees. After that, there will be a 2% fee per withdrawal.

The Revolut Multi-Currency Card offers multi-currency debit cards to customers for free when they sign up. Your card should be shipped to you for free within 7 business days. If you need foreign currency for travel, plan this ahead of your trip if possible:

  1. Link your bank account details to the multi-currency account;
  2. Top up money into the account online or by mobile app;
  3. Convert the balance into your desired foreign currency;
  4. Pay zero fees per conversion;
  5. Exchange at the mid-market rate if under your free limit;
  6. Use your card like a local, paying no foreign fees.

Monito Currency Exchange Travel Tips

The above-mentioned digital multi-currency accounts are excellent options for buying foreign currency. To make your money go as far as it can, keep these additional travel tips in mind.

  1. Use Debit Cards at ATMs:
    We recommend using debit cards at ATMs abroad because the exchange rate used by MasterCard, Visa, and others will be stronger than South State Bank currency exchange, airport kiosks, and credit unions.
  2. Use Cards That Waive Foreign Transaction Fees:
    Two of the best on the market are the Revolut Multi-Currency Debit Card and the Wise Multi-Currency Debit Card.
  3. Don't Use Credit Cards at ATMs:
    Feel free to rack up those credit card points at point-of-sale transactions. Just avoid using credit cards at ATMs because cash advances accrue a higher interest.
  4. Pay in the Local Currency:
    If prompted by a payment machine, always choose the local currency (i.e. USD in the US, EUR in the EU, GBP in the UK, etc). Learn more about how to avoid dynamic currency conversions.
  5. Avoid Airport Bureaux de Change and ATMs in Tourist Areas:
    Instead, find a trustworthy Allpoint ATM or a Global ATM Alliance bank for free withdrawals. As a general principle, withdraw cash from ATMs connected to a legit bank and pay the fixed $2 to $5 fee instead of using a machine on a street corner.

Sending Money Abroad

You can also use South State Bank foreign currency exchange to send money abroad via international wire transfers. If you have an account with South State Bank, then you can go to your local banker to enact a wire transfer.

Just the like the cash exchange services, South State Bank will charge you two expensive fees for sending wire transfers by SWIFT:

  1. Bank fee: $50;
  2. Hidden exchange rate margin: Mark-ups typically range from 4%-7%.

Online money transfer services are cheaper, faster, safer, and more transparent alternatives to South State Bank currency exchange, which is why we recommend them without reservation. They are excellent options for online payments abroad or sending remittances to family members overseas.

On Monito's comparison engine from November 2021 to November 2022, Remitly ranked as the overall cheapest for transfers from the United States.

While MoneyGram ranked second overall and Wise ranked third overall for transfers from the USA, rates often vary by destination. And since fee schedules change all the time, we recommend using Monito's comparison engine to find the cheapest exchange rates in real-time:

Find cheaper rates than South State Bank:

Business Payments

Big American banks, like South State Bank, have access to global capital markets. You can also get credit, loans, and other debt instruments for important corporate activities. To do so, you will need to contact a South State Bank representative directly to get a quote for South State's FX solutions and wealth management services.

For other business owners, South State Bank might not be the best option for you. Neobanks (also called challenger banks) offer some of the easiest-to-use and lowest-cost international business bank accounts on the market today. Their accounts will help you do business with suppliers overseas and transact with your customer base abroad.

International Business Alternatives to South State Bank

All the neobanks we review on Monito are fully regulated and manage segregated bank accounts with licensed partner banks. Read our full article on the best international business account solutions to learn more about these providers:

  1. Revolut Business — 🏆 Best Overall for International Business Banking
  2. Payoneer — Best for E-Commerce
  3. Wise Business — Most Bank Account Details
  4. Novo — Best All-Rounder in the USA
  5. Brex — Best for Neobank Business Credit Card

Frequently Asked Questions About South State Bank Currency Exchange

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