In the foreign exchange market and the world of international finance, currencies play the vital role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.
Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are widely used around the world as a means of making payments. Some companies that offer financial services have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable developers to integrate currency exchange, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.
The world of finance depends heavily on APIs. Security is an indispensable part of the financial system. APIs must be protected against hackers and malicious actors. With the growing popularity of APIs, API security is getting attention. Our primer on API security introduces readers to the topic.
We evaluated different currency APIs based on the following four main criteria:
- API features: We assessed the distinguishing features of each of the currency APIs.
- Data coverage: We evaluated the number of currencies supported, data sources, frequency of updates, and other data coverage features of the APIs.
- Price: We looked at the cost of using each of the APIs.
- Ease of use: We looked at the ease of integrating the APIs in applications.
Ultimately, we created the following list of top 10 best currency APIs. You can check out Rakuten RapidAPI’s full selection of currency and forex APIs here.
- Currency Converter
- Currency Exchange Rates
- Neutrino Convert
- Coinmill Currency Converter
- Open Exchange Rates
Top 10 Best Currency APIs
TL;DR: Here’s a table summarizing what we found out.
Ease of Use
|Live & Historical Rates||Currency
|Other Features||Currencies Supported||Update Frequency||Free Version||Minimum Monthly Price||Online Documentation||Output Formats|
|Currencylayer||Yes||Yes||Yes||160||60 mins or 60 seconds||Yes||$9.99||Yes||JSON|
|Xignite||Yes||Yes||Yes||170||Real-time||7 days free trial||Based on use case||Yes||CSV, JSON, or XML|
|XE||Yes||Yes||Yes||170||Daily or 60 seconds||7 days free trial||$799||Yes||CSV, JSON, or XML|
|OANDA||Yes||Yes||Yes||200||Real-time||30 days free trial||$400||Yes||CSV, JSON, or XML|
|Currency Converter||Yes||Yes||Yes||150||60 mins or 15 mins||Yes||$5||Yes||JSON|
|Currency Exchange Rates||Yes||No||No||30||60 mins||Yes||None||Yes||JSON|
|Neutrino Convert||Yes||Yes||Yes||40||Real-time||Yes||$10||Yes||JSON or XML|
|Coinmill Currency Converter||Yes||Yes||Yes||80||Real-time||Yes||None||Yes||HTML|
|Open Exchange Rates||Yes||Yes||Yes||200||30 mins or 5 mins||Yes||$12||Yes||JSON|
|Fixer||Yes||Yes||Yes||170||60 mins, 10 mins, or 60 seconds||Yes||$10||Yes||JSON|
Table of Contents
The Currencylayer is a REST API that uses the JSON data format to deliver reliable currency exchange rates as well as currency conversions for individuals and businesses.
API features: The API provides five customizable endpoints for completing various types of tasks. These are the live endpoint for getting real-time exchange rates, the historical endpoint for getting historical currency rates, the convert endpoint for converting different currencies, the timeframe endpoint for getting exchange rates for a specific period, and the change endpoint for getting any currency’s change parameters.
Data coverage: The Currencylayer API supports 160 global currencies and precious metals. The data is gathered from various commercial forex data providers and banks and blended algorithmically before dispersing to users. It provides frequent data updates, ranging from every 60 minutes to every 60 seconds.
Price: You can try the API for free, but you’ll access only limited features, such as 1,000 requests per month. To access more features, you’ll need to go for any of the paid plans, which start from $9.99 per month.
Ease of use: The Currencylayer API is very easy to use. It has comprehensive documentation that makes it easy to integrate into any application.
The Xignite API provides an extensive variety of global currency data for powering your applications.
API features: The API comes with various methods for accessing real-time forex rates, historical forex rates, forward rates (expiration, bid, mid, ask, spot rate), bars (open, low, high, average, volume), currency conversions, and minute-level ticks for currency pairs.
Data coverage: It provides data for 170 currencies as well as other assets such as Bitcoin, metals, and options. To provide reliable and accurate data, the API amasses data from the major financial institutions around the world. The data is refreshed in real-time, as new quotes are received from the market participants.
Price: You can try the Xignite API for free for 7 days. Thereafter, you’ll pay depending on your specific use case.
Ease of use: Integrating the API is easy. It supports REST and SOAP and returns data in CSV, JSON, or XML format. It has an easy to follow technical documentation full of code samples.
The XE Currency Data API serves as a hub for tracking the exchange rates of several currencies in real-time.
API features: With the API, you can access daily or live currency rates as well as historical currency rates from 1998. Furthermore, it offers endpoints for listing different currencies, converting one currency to another, and getting various statistics information.
Data coverage: The XE API supports more than 170 currencies. To ensure that the API delivers accurate output, the rates are collected from more than 100 credible international sources. The XE daily package option provides updated exchange rate data on a daily basis. On the other hand, the XE live package option delivers the latest rates within the previous 60 seconds.
Price: XE offers a free 7-day trial period for the API. Thereafter, it has various pricing plans, starting from $799 per year.
Ease of use: XE provides a test environment where you can familiarize yourself with how the API works. It also has a non-technical quick start guide, and technical specifications document to assist you in getting started. You can get the currency outputs rates in your desired data format—JSON, XML, or CSV.
OANDA is a financial company that provides a wide range of currency products, which encompasses currency trading and currency data analytics. You can use the OANDA APIs to access its trading engine and escalate the functionality of your application.
API features: OANDA’s exchange rates API allows you to access real-time currency rates 24 hours a day. Its historical currency converter allows you to access historical exchange rates from 2005. With the market data the APIs provide, you can open and exit trades, manage account settings, and retrieve your trading history.
Data coverage: The APIs provide data covering more than 200 currencies. OANDA collects the data from more than 25 central bank exchange rates and delivers the output automatically to API clients.
Price: OANDA offers a free trial period of 30 days for testing the API. To continue using the API, you’ll need to go for any of its paid plans, which starts from $400 per month.
Ease of use: To assist users in getting started quickly, OANDA has a comprehensive collection of developer resources, including code samples, documentation, and forums. Furthermore, its REST APIs are language-agnostic, and the outputs can be returned in different formats—JSON, CSV, or XML.
5. Currency Converter
Currency Converter is an easy to use API that allows you to convert one currency to another.
API features: The API provides the bare-bones features for converting currencies online. It provides endpoints for listing currencies, listing countries, and getting historical currency data for a maximum of 365 days.
Data coverage: It supports more than 150 currencies. The free version of the API refreshes the currency values data every 60 minutes. By default, the paid versions update the data every 15 minutes.
Price: The API is provided for free. However, you’ll be limited to 100 requests per hour. If you want premier features, such as minimal downtimes and near real-time currency values, you can go for any of the paid plans, which starts from $5 per month.
Ease of use: The Currency Converter API is simple and easy to use. It provides an easy to follow documentation with quick sample codes of how to start integrating the API using any of the popular programming languages. The output is returned in JSON data format.
6. Currency Exchange Rates
The Currency Exchange Rates is a simple open source API that allows you to access current and historical currency exchange rates as made available by the European Central Bank (ECB).
API features: The Exchange Rates API provides the basic features for getting foreign exchange rates data. Additionally, it allows you to get historical rates back to 1999—for any day or period you want.
Data coverage: By default, the currency rates are quoted against the Euro. If you want to quote against another currency (it supports more than 30 currencies), you’ll need to change the base parameter value to suit your requirements. The API refreshes the currency rates every 60 minutes; it downloads the previous 90 days accumulated data every 60 minutes.
Price: The API is free to use.
Ease of use: The API comes with a lot of simplicity that allows you to easily integrate it into your application.
7. Neutrino Convert
The Neutrino Convert API is a simple tool that allows you to convert one currency to another.
API features: The API enables you to access an accurate international currency feed for converting currencies. Furthermore, you can use it for converting the most common types of measurements, such as length and time.
Data coverage: The Convert API supports about 40 currencies. It provides up-to-date data that you can use for converting currencies.
Price: The API is provided for free—for as long as you want. However, you’ll be limited to 25 requests per day. To utilize more features of the API, you’ll need to go for any of its paid plans, which starts from $10 per month.
Ease of use: The Convert API is easy to use. There are helpful guides about how to use the REST API that accepts either HTTP GET or HTTP POST request parameters. The API returns data in an easy to follow JSON or XML format.
8. Coinmill Currency Converter
The Coinmill Currency Converter is a simple API for integrating the latest currency rates on your web application.
Data coverage: The Coinmill Currency Converter API supports more than 80 currencies. It provides up-to-data data about the currency exchange rates.
Price: The API is provided for free.
9. Open Exchange Rates
The Open Exchange Rates API provides developers with easy access to live and historical forex rates.
API features: The API provides endpoints for getting the latest exchange rates, getting historical exchange rates from 1999, getting a list of all supported currencies, getting time series data, and converting any money value from a specified currency to another.
Data coverage: The API supports more than 200 currencies and digital currencies like Ethereum and Litecoin. It gathers data from several reliable providers and blends them algorithmically before dispersing to users. With the paid plans, you can get frequent rates updates, from 30-minute to 5-minute updates.
Price: You can try out the API for free, for as long as you want. However, you’ll be limited to 1,000 requests every month and hourly currency rate updates. To access better features, you can sign up for any of the paid plans, which starts from $12 per month.
Ease of use: The Open Exchange Rates API has helpful documentation with basic code samples to assist developers in getting started integrating its features into their web applications. It returns data in an easy to implement JSON format.
The Fixer API provides a simple way to deliver real-time foreign exchange rates as well as currency conversions to website visitors.
API features: The Fixer API has several endpoints for completing various tasks. You can use the endpoints for getting real-time exchange rates data, listing all the available Fixer currencies, returning historical currency rates back to 1999, converting any amount of money between single currencies, and retrieving daily fluctuation data.
Data coverage: The API supports 170 currencies, including silver, gold, and Bitcoin. It collects exchange rates data from more than 15 external data sources, including the European Central Bank. The currency rates data are updated every 60 minutes, 10 minutes, or 60 seconds—based on your chosen subscription plan.
Price: The API is available for free. However, you’ll be limited to 1,000 requests per month and 60-minute updates. The paid plans start from $10 per month and come with better features.
Ease of use: Fixer has exhaustive documentation, intuitive code samples, and an easy to integrate API structure. Therefore, starting to use the API is easy and straightforward. Furthermore, the API returns data in the JSON format.
That’s Rakuten RapidAPI’s list of top 10 best currency APIs. We hope you’ll find an API that you can implement into your web application and display currency exchange rates, carry out currency conversions, or create other awesome stuff!
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