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Taking funds?

London
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Taking funds?

I am going to Sri Lanka in 10 days time - I am planning to take a small amount of cash for tips etc. - the rest of the time I am planning to use ATM's / Credit Card as required - Are ATM's and Credit Cards acceptable and used widely enough - or should I be taking trav. cheques?

Brisbane
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1. Re: Taking funds?

Matt

If you do that, you would be doing the opposite of what I do. I seldom use a credit card these days in Sri Lanka after having one scammed quite some years ago [ 5, I think] when I used it only once, at Hotel Suisse in Kandy. There are ATMs in the main places eg Kandy, Colombo . . . I take cash and change at the airport and money changers as necessary. Of course care needs to be taken carrying cash and also checking the moneychanger, getting receipts and so on.

A credit card can be scammed even when you think your eyes have not been off it.

Archi

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
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2. Re: Taking funds?

I totally rely on ATMs when I go to Sri Lanka. You can find an ATM in almost every town.

You can e.g. use this locator to find ATMs.

http://www.sampath.lk/branch_atm_locator.php

Only bigger shops, restaurants an hotels accept credit cards.

Hans

Colchester
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898 posts
190 reviews
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3. Re: Taking funds?

See my reply to the posting "money."

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Taking funds?

That post will soon disappear down the list, so here is the link:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293961-i8983-k5…

Hans

newcastle upon tyne
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5. Re: Taking funds?

I take mainly cash to exchange when I want to, & use ATM cards as back-up. Haven't yet used a credit card in Sri Lanka, although I carry them as back-up. Travellers Cheques, never used them anywhere

Colchester
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898 posts
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6. Re: Taking funds?

Thanks Hans and to clarify further I looked on my bank's website (Lloyds TSB) to find the exact charges they make for using a DEBIT card in an ATM overseas. I imagine that other British Banks will have similar charges.

This is what the website says:

"When you withdraw cash abroad normally we convert a withdrawal to sterling on the day it is processed by Visa using the Visa Payment Scheme Exchange Rate. We will charge a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.99% of the value of the withdrawal and we will charge a non-sterling cash fee of 1.5% of the value of the withdrawal which will be a minimum of £2.00 and a maximum of £4.50."

So beware, every time you use an ATM in SL (or any other foreign country) you will be charged £2 at least and up to £4.50. Two fees totalling 4.4% of what you withdraw. I feel sure that this is more than you will pay exchanging TCs or cash in SL.

London UK
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26 reviews
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7. Re: Taking funds?

Thanks for a useful thread. It has confirmed my decision to use a pre-paid debit card, which in my case exchanges at the contemporary inter-bank rate less 2.75% commission and no charge by the card issuer for using the ATM.

newcastle upon tyne
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9,855 posts
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8. Re: Taking funds?

Excessive ATM charges abroad, is why I take a lot of cash, to exchange when I'm there/abroad

London UK
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9. Re: Taking funds?

jayne, lose your cash and you have lost the lot. With a pre-paid debit card, you can easily stop the card and have a new one delivered very quickly. In addition when you change cash in a bank the exchange rate will be at the buy rate and you will pay commission too. If commission free then expect a poor exchange rate. With my card the exchange rate is the inter-bank rate ( ie half way between the buy and sell rate) at the moment of use, less 2.75% commission which makes it more attractive and economic than changing cash in a bank. In addition my card provider does not charge me for using the ATM, so I do not suffer from excessive ATM charges. Banks are only open during office hours, ATMs are open all the time.

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Taking funds?

Banks in Sri Lanka do not charge commission for changing cash and you get a fair exchange rate.

You can get a slightly better rate at authorized money changers. They stay open longer than the banks - usually from around 8 am to 7.30-8 pm.

Hans