Foreign Currency Exchange
Welcome to Bretton Woods
Bretton Woods Foreign Currency Exchange has been located in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles since 1992. Conveniently located just off the 405 freeway, we are a retail foreign currency exchange that takes pride in fair pricing and honest service. In the 30 years that we have been in business we have consistently offered the most competitive rates in Southern California. To find out how competitive we are please call (310) 447-6234 for a rate quote or to get answers to any questions that you might not have had answered in our FAQ section below. Validated parking available. Methods of payment: cash or a cashier’s checks made payable to Bretton Woods. Please note that we do not buy foreign coins.
We will be closed October 13th and 14th.
More than a few people have stated that it is hard find us. Although our address is 11659 San Vicente we are part of the Brentwood Square. Since we sit back from San Vicente it is easier to find us using the Brentwood Square address, which is 11661 San Vicente. Union Bank (white, ten story office building) is also part of the Brentwood Square. We are on the east side of the bank in the back left corner (looking from San Vicente) of the courtyard area behind the Baltaire Steakhouse (formerly the Cheesecake Factory). The parking entrance is on the west side of the bank building. After parking take the elevator to the Lobby Level then walk outside the main building (away from Orange Theory). We’re the first shop on the left just outside the lobby doors.
Is it better to buy my currency here or in the country that I’m visiting?
It is our opinion that no matter where you are it just depends on finding the foreign exchange that has the best prices. The best rate found here in Los Angeles isn’t going to be much different than the best rate found in Paris, for example. But, here you have the advantage of time. You have time to shop around, and time to watch currency movements that allow you to take advantage of any dips in prices that may occur. If you wait until you get to the country you are visiting there is a good chance that you will do your exchange at a place that is the most convenient rather than a place that has the best exchange rates. Generally speaking, you pay for convenience.
Why are your rates different than what I see in the paper or on the internet?
What you are seeing is known as interbank spot rates. They are the rates that are set when banks trade currencies between themselves on large multi-million dollar transactions. They are not retail rates nor are they rates that you would expect to find in the country that you are visiting. All foreign exchanges like Bretton Woods base their own pricing on the spot rate, but the percentage differences can vary widely so it is important to shop around. The way various exchanges quote can vary also: some might offer the spot rate but then charge a commission fee; others, like Bretton Woods, have their commission built into the exchange quote and so there are no other fees; and, still others have some combination of the two. Regardless, it is important to know what your bottom line costs are out the door.
Why don’t you post your rates on your web site?
We believe that the market is too fluid to post our rates. By requiring our customers to call we hope to eliminate any confusion regarding what rates are actually being offered. Having said that, all quotes given over the phone, once agreed upon, are guaranteed for the rest of that day. As an aside, for larger transactions it’s best to call before 2:00 PM.
Do you keep all currencies in inventory?
For well traveled countries we always try to maintain a healthy inventory. However, the cost of some currencies is somewhat prohibitive and so the only time we have them in stock is when other customers sell them to us. We can always order a currency that is not in inventory, but we often discourage it because of the costs involved. We never want our customers to feel like they have been cheated. Unfortunately, Mexican pesos are included in this category.