Best online currency exchange services in Malaysia

Claire Millard
Minami Ishii
Last updated
25 June 2024

Exchanging money online or through an app is quick and convenient - and increasingly popular. In Malaysia you can choose from a few different services, depending on whether you need online currency conversion to send a payment to someone, to hold a foreign currency balance, to get money for yourself from an ATM, or to spend conveniently when you travel.

The range of services available means that the right provider is out there for you - but it also means that you’ll need to do a bit of homework to pick the perfect provider for your specific needs. This guide to the best online currency exchange services in Malaysia has you covered.

Online currency exchange providers:

Here are the providers we’ll explore in this article, and a quick word on why we picked them:

  1. Wise - convert 40+ currencies with the mid market exchange rate, spend with your Wise card, and send payments to 160+ countries

  2. Travelex - order 30+ currencies online to collect travel cash at a nearby location or at the airport

  3. Bigpay - hold your money in MYR and tap to pay with your BigPay card wherever you are in the world

  4. MAE card - get preferential exchange rates from MAE by Maybank when you spend internationally with a MAE card


Wise is a global financial technology firm which allows Malaysian customers to open accounts online or in app to hold and exchange 40+ currencies. You can use your Wise account to send foreign currency payments to others, to convert a balance you hold, to make overseas ATM withdrawals to get cash in foreign currencies, to pay for things abroad with your Wise debit card, or to receive money internationally from others.

When you convert money with Wise you get the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.35%. There are no fees to maintain your Wise account and the exchange process can be entirely managed online or with your smartphone app, making this a low cost and convenient option, for people who travel, send and receive foreign currency payments, or shop online with international ecommerce stores.

Go to Wise

How to exchange money online with Wise

Set up a Wise account online or in app by entering your personal and contact information, and getting verified with your normal ID documents. You can then add money to your account in MYR, and convert within your account by following the on screen prompts. You can also get instant currency conversion when you tap to pay with your card, make a withdrawal or send a payment to someone else overseas.

  • Exchange rates: Mid-market rate

  • Card availability:  Available

  • Safety: Regulated by the Central Bank in Malaysia, and globally by a range of other bodies

  • Speed: Conversion can be instant - if you’re sending a payment to someone else, it can often arrive instantly, or within 24 hours

  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play, from 868k+ ratings; 4.7 out of 5 stars on Apple App Store, from 67k+ ratings

Wise pros and cons


✅Mid-market exchange rate

✅Hold and exchange 40+ currencies - both business and personal accounts available

✅Debit card for international payment and withdrawals

✅Send money to 160+ countries

✅No ongoing account fees

❌Variable currency conversion fee

❌Transfer delivery times are usually quick - but can vary

❌No cash delivery option

Go to Wise


If you’re looking for online currency exchange for an upcoming trip abroad, and need cash in your hand before you travel, you could consider Travelex. With Travelex you’ll be able to order your travel money online, and collect it in a Travelex location either near to you, or in the airport as you pass through. 30+ currencies are offered, and online orders get preferential rates compared to simply walking into an office and exchanging on the spot.

How to exchange money online with Travelex

You can order currencies online with Travelex to collect in a store or in KLIA on your way to the plane. Simply head over to the Travelex website and select the currency and amount you want to order, to see your options for pick up, a quote for the costs and exchange rate, and when your travel money will be ready for you.

  • Exchange rates: Mid-market rate with a markup

  • Card availability:  Not available

  • Safety: Large, global brand which is trusted and safe to use

  • Speed: Order travel money online to generate an estimate of when your order will be prepared for you

Travelex pros and cons


✅Online orders get better exchange rates than walk-ins

✅Collect your cash from a convenient location near you

✅Airport pickup service available

✅30+ currencies offered

✅Large global brand

❌Exchange rates include a markup

❌No home delivery option

❌No option to send payments overseas, or to open a multi-currency account


BigPay is a popular local ewallet and card, which offers ways to manage your money, split bills, and view your budget - as well as digital currency exchange options. Use BigPay to convert from MYR to the currency required when you pay or withdraw with your BigPay card, or to send money to a bank account overseas. BigPay card spending uses a fairly low 1% foreign transaction fee, so you can leave your money in MYR and just tap to pay when you travel.

How to exchange money online with BigPay

You can use your BigPay card to spend overseas, and to make international ATM withdrawals. Your MYR balance is instantly converted to the required currency with the network rate and a 1% foreign transaction fee. You can also exchange money when sending a remittance - remittances are available for varied fees, to key countries in the region and globally.

  • Exchange rates: Network rate with a 1% foreign transaction fee

  • Card availability:  Available

  • Safety: Large local provider in Malaysia and Singapore, well liked and trusted

  • Speed: Convert instantly when you make a card payment - international remittances may take a day or two but you’ll be able to track them in the app

  • Customer reviews: 3.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play, from 28k+ ratings; 4 out of 5 stars on Apple App Store, from 7k+ ratings

BigPay pros and cons


✅Hold your balance in MYR and spend overseas with the network rate plus a low foreign transaction fee

✅Manage your money right from your phone’s app

✅Overseas remittances available to key markets in the region and globally

✅Get analytic tools to manage your money

✅Popular local provider which is well known and trusted

❌20 MYR fee to get a physical card

❌10 MYR or 2% international ATM fee

❌1% foreign transaction fee

MAE Card

MAE from Maybank offers an app and card you can use to convert funds when you spend overseas. All you’ll need to do is to use your MAE card overseas just like you would at home, and the card will instantly convert your ringgit to the currency you need wherever you are. MAE also has a few extra features such as ways to send and request domestic payments, options to split a bill with friends and features to let you manage your money and your budget with just your phone.

How to exchange money online with MAE Card

You can exchange your MYR to the currency you need to pay or withdraw instantly and automatically with MAE by Maybank. Just tap to pay, or use your physical card in an ATM and Maybank will use their preferential MAE rate to convert your balance.

  • Exchange rates: Preferential rates set by Maybank - likely to include a markup

  • Card availability:  Available

  • Safety: Backed by Maybank which is fully licensed and regulated

  • Speed: Convert instantly when you make a payment

  • Customer reviews: 2.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play, from 86k+ ratings; 1.8 out of 5 stars on Apple App Store, from 80+ ratings

MAE Card pros and cons


✅Spend globally with your MAE card

✅Manage your money in the MAE app conveniently 

✅Get preferential exchange rates when you spend in foreign currencies

✅Send and request money, split and pay bills

✅Backed by Maybank - a large and trusted institution

❌8 MYR annual fee

❌Exchange rates are likely to include a markup

❌No multi-currency balance option

How to exchange currency online?

If you need travel money and want to get cash before you leave home, you’ll have a couple of key options: stand in line at a physical exchange office, or order online and collect your cash at an agent local to you, or as you pass through KLIA airport.

Travelex is a good bet if you’d rather order your money online and collect it. This can also net you a better exchange rate compared to simply walking into a store, and guarantees the location you visit has the currency you need on hand.

If you want to exchange currency online for travel, you’ll need to:

  1. Head to your preferred website, such as Travelex, and order online for collection

  2. Pay by FPX bank transfer or using a card

  3. You’ll be shown how long it takes to get your money prepared

  4. Your money can be collected at your nominated store or location

Things to consider when choosing an online currency exchange service

Different online currency services have their own features, benefits and costs. Often you’ll find that providers have a particular target customer in mind - which may be someone sending money to a friend overseas, someone getting travel cash before a break, someone paying overseas bills, or someone looking for easy ways to spend with a card when they travel.

Picking the right provider for you will need a bit of thought. Depending on what you need to do, one provider may offer significantly better value than another. Here are a few considerations when you’re choosing:

  • Exchange rate - the exchange rate will be important in dictating how far your MYR goes when you’re spending in a foreign currency. Exchange services set their own rates, so looking for one with the mid-market rate or as close as possible to it will usually net you the best deal 
  • Fees - depending on why you need to convert funds you may find there are fees to pay. These could be transfer fees, commissions or delivery fees for example. Providers should show these charges transparently, but sometimes costs can be buried in the exchange rates used - so do look at both fees and rates when you pick a service

  • Convenience - if you’re converting currency online you need a provider which is convenient to use, with a good app or website. It’s also worth considering how convenient it’ll be to get your cash. Collection services can be a bit of a hassle, but having a digital multi-currency account and card from a provider like Wise can be a convenient alternative

  • Speed - currency conversion in a digital account can often be done instantly, but if  you’re sending a payment to someone overseas delivery times can vary widely, so comparing a few is a smart option

Understanding exchange rates

We’ve mentioned that it’s important to check the exchange rate a provider will offer you before you convert currency online. But what does that really mean?

To know if an exchange rate is any good or not you’ll need to know the mid-market currency exchange rate for your currency pair - so for MYR to SGD for example. You can find this on Google or with a currency exchange calculator. What you’ll be shown is the mid-market rate, which is the one that’s used as a benchmark by banks and currency exchange services trading on wholesale markets. However, this rate isn’t usually passed on to customers.

Generally providers will add a markup - a fee - to the mid-market rate to calculate their rate for currency exchange. This is hard to spot, and can mean you’re paying fees you weren’t expecting. Looking for a provider which offers the mid-market rate with no or low markup is the best bet.

Where to avoid exchanging currency

As tempting as it may be, it’s usually best to avoid exchanging currency at the airport. Airport currency exchange desks tend to have little competition, and know that travellers just want to get their money sorted, and won’t be scrutinising the costs at this stage. That can lead to a high markup fee being added to the exchange rate, which ultimately means you pay more than you need to for your travel cash.

When should I use my bank to exchange currency?

Some banks in Malaysia offer travel cash services which allow you to walk in and exchange ringgit to the currency you need instantly. In some cases you may need to already hold an account with the bank before you can use this service, but some banks do let anyone exchange funds.

Using a bank may not be the cheapest option for some common currencies - but they can be handy if you’re in a hurry and need to get your money quickly, or if you’re looking for a more unusual currency. Maybank as an example has 27 currencies in stock at its travel booths which you can pick up instantly even if you don’t normally bank with them.

Alternatives to online currency exchange providers

If you don’t want to exchange your money online, some alternative options for currency conversion include:


✅Convenient face to face service

✅You may be able to exchange instantly

❌Exchange rates are often pretty poor

❌Some banks require you to have an account with them to exchange cash

Exchange stores

Exchange in cash, or pay by card, and get your money instantly

Rates can be driven down in areas where there are lots of similar services

Exchange rates may not be the best available

Exchange stores often do not stock a big range of currencies

Conclusion - Best Online Currency Exchange Services

Exchanging currency online is convenient and fast. You’ll often find you need to register an account before you can make an online exchange, but this can be done with just your laptop or phone. There are a few different online currency exchange services which could work for you depending on what you need.

If you want convenient ways to exchange a foreign currency balance, spend on card, and make cash withdrawals as you travel, consider Wise. If your priority is keeping your balance in MYR and spending while you’re away, either MAE or BigPay could help. And if you want travel cash in hand before you leave Malaysia, try Travelex. By comparing a few options, you’ll find the right service for your unique needs.

Go to Wise

FAQ – Best Online Currency Exchange Services

1. What is the cheapest way to get foreign currency in Malaysia?

The cheapest way to exchange currency really depends on what currency you are buying, how much and where you are. If you need cash instantly, a physical bank or currency exchange store is your best bet - choose one in a city centre where there’s lots of competition if you can. If you have more time, get a digital account from a provider like Wise for great exchange rates and low cost ways to spend and withdraw overseas.

2. Where can I get money exchanged at the best exchange rate?

Wondering where to exchange currency in a store? Use these city (CBD) and suburb guides to help you get the best exchange rates deals