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Changing Money

New York City, New...
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Changing Money

Hi!! Is it advisable to exchange money prior to our trip?? Can we pay with most things using our credit card? (much easier of course..) Any advice would be great. We are just starting to pack this weekend... CAn't wait!!

New York, New York...
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11. Re: Changing Money

Why bother digging up such an old thread? Tips are not customary or expected in Iceland.

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Icelander in...
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12. Re: Changing Money

Well, tipping tour guides and bus drivers is Customary, and has been for the last 30 years I have been in this business.

And tipping waitresses and restaurant servants is quite common, as are "tipping jars" in restaurants.

Why wouldn´t you tip Icelanders ? It´s not like we are overpaid or something.

It´s not mandatory, but always nice when the customers show their gratitude and appreciation in that way.

And yes, all major currency is accepted with a smile, thank you.

Seattle
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13. Re: Changing Money

While credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Iceland, it is important to know the terms of your card when you make a purchase in a currency other than the currency of the issued card. Often, a card will charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, which will cost you more than just using cash.

Debit cards are a convenient way to obtain ISK, as ATMs are easily found throughout Iceland, but again, know what fees will be charged.

You can always bring your home currency and exchange for ISK at a bank in Iceland.

I would take exception to the post that says to never exchange at the airport bank. While the exchange rate is less favorable than a bank in town, you get the convenience of making the exchange upon arrival, and not having to wait for normal banking hours (0900-1600 M-F). This can be important if you are arriving in Iceland late at night, or on a weekend, and will need ISK before normal banking hours.

A bank at the airport (2 branches) is open 0500-1880 and 2100-0200, everyday. The exchange rate is less favorable because you are paying for the convenience of a bank branch that has such extensive hours, primarily for currency exchange for travelers.

If going the cash route for ISK, do not exchange all your home currency there, but know that it is available, if waiting for normal hours at a bank in town interferes with your travel plans.

Above all, know the fees you cards will charge you, and know how best to exchange your home currency, depending on what you plan to do in Iceland.

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Arlington, MA
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14. Re: Changing Money

We used an airport ATM upon arrival, and had no use for the cash for the rest of the trip. Everything we charged on our Visa card, with the exception of donating some Krona in a church to light a candle. There is no tipping. By the last day of our trip, we were using cash only to get rid of it.

The only need we might have had for cash would have been if we took a local bus.

jjo
Chicago
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15. Re: Changing Money

If you are driving, I'd suggest having some cash for gas. Many gas stations require a card that uses a PIN, which American credit cards don't. We were able to use a debit card for gas. However, gas stations can be a bit far apart, and I wouldn't want to have a problem with that. You don't need a lot, but a small emergency fund tucked away gives, at least, some comfort.

Icelander in...
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16. Re: Changing Money

Muffy49 why do you say that there is no tipping ? Even if you didn´t do it, it does not mean that´s right !

Drivers and guides on tour buses have been tipped as long as these tours have been done, 40 years at least. And many restaurants have jars for tips, but you probably managed skillfully to "avoid" seeing them. And why shouldn´t you tip, if you wanted to show your gratitude for good service, beyond expectations. And don´t try to hold thaty old lie alive that: "Icelanders are to proud to take your money", and they have good salaries. You came here only because there were laws set to force people to work in the travel industry for low salaries !

And I bet you went into the cellar of that church, but did you pay as expected ? You needed cash for that.

Please do not try to change what has been a rule here for ever, even if you didn´t follow that rule.

Vancouver, Canada
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17. Re: Changing Money

I have been travel!ing through Iceland for ten days now. I have never seen a tip jar anywhere. I was in a high end restaurant in Stykkisholmer when an American customer tried to add a tip to her Visa charge and the waitress informed her that tipping was not a practice in Iceland. I have not done any organised tours so cannot comment regarding those. But tipping is clearly not a practice in restaurants and bars in my experience.

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18. Re: Changing Money

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