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XE.com: Track Exchange Rates Online

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XE.com: Track Exchange Rates Online:

One concern that is common to novice and expert international travelers is exchange rates. Budget travelers of every experience level fret about where to make the best currency exchanges and how much the rates will change during their trips. Quick access to reliable exchange rate information is important for planning a budget trip overseas, and the currency trading company XE.com provides an easy-to-understand Web tool for determining value.

The Basics:

There are several layers of detail for your search. The first chart on the home page shows exchange rates for the top 10 currencies. Below that chart is a pull-down menu with links to 21 currencies and an additional link to "more." A final link gives you "every world currency." These layers of service appear to be geared toward ranking of currency usage. XE.com says after the top 50 or so, the remaining currencies together account for less than 2 percent of total usage.

Other Major Services:

There is a tool for tracking historical rates (starting 11-16-1995). A service called XEtrade allows you to wire funds overseas from your bank account--handy for paying small hotels that don't take credit cards. A travel expenses calculator helps you plan your budget. It's possible to configure XE.com to your wireless device for quick checks of exchange rates on the road. Care to receive a free tracking report for a given currency? A service here enables tracking windows on your computer that update automatically. There is also an email service that will send daily rate information to your inbox.

A Few Competitors:

CNNMoney.com provides a quick conversion link for 20 major currencies.

Oanda.com is a popular site from another currency trading company offering similar services and handling (according to its claims) one million searches per day.

Yahoo Finance provides a handy currency search among its pages of daily financial news.

What makes XE.com noteworthy:

The company pioneered the trademarked "Universal Currency Converter" in the early days of the Internet. That service made it possible for travelers to check exchange rates in real time with a few mouse clicks. The Web site remains very popular with travelers and offers information on all of the world's currencies. Many of the most convenient competitors only provide service for a few top currencies.

A Brief History:

The name and Web address "XE.com" is derived from the company's original name, Xenon Laboratories. It was formed in 1993 and gained a foothold in the marketplace after developing the Web's first services for finding exchange rates.

Ownership:

XE.com is a Canadian company with headquarters in the Toronto suburb of Newmarket, Ontario. A list of email addresses is available on the site. The company's mailing address is 1145 Nicholson Rd, Suite 200, Newmarket, ON L3Y 9C3 Canada.
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