We Tried These Two Travel Tools To Help You With Exchange Rates - And Here Is Our Favorite

Traveling abroad brings its share of challenges, and keeping track of exchange rates is certainly one of them. A reliable currency conversion app can be a lifesaver. Whether you're an international business traveler or a backpacker exploring a remote destination, being able to convert local currency accurately is a must. We tested two popular apps, XE Currency and Converter+, to help you choose the best one for your next trip. 

Note that XE Currency is available on App Store, Google Play, and its website. Converter+ is not available on Android and doesn't have a website; so throughout this article, we'll only be looking at the Apple App Store version.

XE Currency is a free app that offers live exchange rates for every world currency, cryptocurrency, and precious metal. One of the app's strongest features is the ability to track up to 20 currencies simultaneously, and it updates the rates literally every minute. The app also stores the latest rates so you can access them offline or in areas with limited internet connectivity.

An outstanding feature of XE Currency is that it also functions as a money transfer. You can send funds in the currency of your choice to your personal accounts, friends and family, or a business account located in any of the 200 countries it supports. This can be useful in the case of an emergency or if you don't have a bank account in the country you're traveling in. XE Currency's simple and clean interface is a big plus, allowing even the least tech-savvy users to navigate with ease.

Converter+ vs. XE Currency

Converter+ is more than just a plain old currency converter — it's an all-in-one calculator offering a wide range of conversion tools such as weight, length, temperature, and much more, including currency. This makes it an ideal choice for travelers who need a multi-functional app that also works offline. The regularly updated exchange rate screen allows you to choose up to five currencies in your profile or have them all available at a glance. Other relevant functions for travelers include a tip calculator, cash counter (practical for countries with high denominations), sales tax, and a gas calculator to help budget for those cross-country road trips. 

The app's currency conversion interface is very simple and easy to use. It has a straightforward main screen that lists all the different calculators available to navigate through and select for use. However, Converter+ is a little more old-fashioned in its design aesthetics. It is a free app, but it does come with banner ads that might be distracting for some users — if you want those gone, you'd have to make a one-time purchase of an ad-free upgrade for $2.99.

Which one is the best exchange rate app?

When it comes to currency conversion, both apps are accurate and reliable. XE Currency's focus on currency conversion means it offers a more streamlined experience for those who need specific financial information. Its ability to send money internationally can also be a significant advantage for travelers. Converter+, on the other hand, is ideal for those who appreciate an all-in-one converter tool. Its additional features can be extremely handy for a variety of needs (there's even a dog years calculator!). However, these broad options might be overwhelming for users who want just a simple currency conversion tool.

From a user interface perspective, XE Currency is more modern and streamlined, making it easier to use for quick conversions. Converter+, while very focused, requires a bit more navigation due to its wide range of different functions. Ultimately, app design is all about taste and personal preference — neither user experience deters from the app's functionality or ability to do what it needs to do, which is to help you exchange currency when traveling

After thorough testing and consideration of all the functions of every app, our favorite between the two is XE Currency. While Converter+ is an excellent app with its multi-functionality, XE Currency's focus on doing one thing exceptionally well — currency conversion — makes it the winner for us. Its ease of use, accuracy, and invaluable money transfer feature give it an edge, especially for frequent travelers who prioritize currency conversion over other types of calculations.