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Changing money

Fort Worth, Texas
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78 posts
18 reviews
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Changing money

This may be a stupid question.... when people talk about "changing money" (different from withdrawing from an ATM), does this mean you are taking USD or whatever other currency as cash and changing that into egyptian pounds? This may be silly... I was just wondering if I should be planning on taking some USD in cash instead of relying on my debit card to withdraw from. Thank you!

England, United...
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1. Re: Changing money

Yes, it refers to taking cash (Dollars, Euro's, Sterling etc) into a bank or bureau du change. The advantage of this is there are no extra charges unlike using a debit/credit card which can incur quite high costs. If taking cash to change it is useful to have a card for back up in case of emergency but it's also advisable to let your card operator know in advance that you will be travelling to Egypt and when so that they don't flat up suspicous use and block it.

Taking cash and changing it in Egypt as opposed to before you go will usually get you higher rate of exchange - certainly that is the case for Sterling.

Australia
Destination Expert
for Cairo, Egypt, Nile River Valley, Luxor
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9,689 posts
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2. Re: Changing money

If you do take cash, make sure they are in good condition, I had a lot of trouble changing a US $20 in Cairo because it had a small (miniscule) rip on one side.

Cairo
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272 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Changing money

Even though these days I mostly use debit/credit cards to withdraw local currency in the countries I travel, I always carry some cash in one of the three major currencys(USD, EUR,GBP) as a backup. There is nothing worse than finding that your cards don't work, or they get retained by the ATM. At least if you have some cash, you can exchange, so you have some money until you get your cards sorted out.

Brisbane, Australia
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1,689 posts
46 reviews
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4. Re: Changing money

I always carry some cash where ever I travel. When I was in Kenya the ATM ate my card , luckilly I had some cash to change until I could collect it from the bank

Nefertari I tried to cash some USD in Kenya and they said the date printed on it was old. and refused to cash it for me. Yet the note was in perfect condition. I have had trouble in Thailand changing AUD that had a slight crease in it (damn plastic money lol )

New York City
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478 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: Changing money

The fees to use ATM debit cards are really high internationally. For each transaction I've been charged a flat fee of $5-$10 and then 3% of the total transaction in a currency exchange fee. I think its best to take some USD with you and change it there. Some banks or currency places here will order Egyptian pounds for you for a small fee or sometimes free if you have an account.

Fort Worth, Texas
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78 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Changing money

I am trying to figure out what to do that will cost me the least amount of money as possible, but I also feel weird about walking around with hundreds of USD in my money belt. I am also going to Istanbul for a week after Cairo and Luxor. Would it be advisable to get some traveler's cheques? Thank you all for the responses so far.

Mystic, Connecticut
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530 posts
92 reviews
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7. Re: Changing money

DramaQueen- I have always used ATM cards without the high fees you speak of. These are not Debit cards but regular ATM cards.As far as credit cards go Capitol One Visa has no foreign exchange fees.

Edited: 15 October 2010, 07:50
Fort Worth, Texas
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78 posts
18 reviews
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8. Re: Changing money

Uhh what is the difference between a debit card and an ATM card?

Cairo
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272 posts
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9. Re: Changing money

DramaQueen

Check with your bank before you leave as most banks have Global ATM alliances, and there is usually there is no fees to use ATM's of the banks that are members of the alliance.

Julie

Travellers cheques can be a nightmare. Check this thread tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294201-i9404-k396…

New York City
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478 posts
16 reviews
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10. Re: Changing money

Debit cards usually have a Visa or MC logo and can be used like a credit card or a regular ATM card. Either way the money comes out of your bank account. Unfortunately its not always easy to find a foreign bank that will accept your ATM card but most will accept your debit card because Visa/MC is more widely accepted. I have used both overseas and found that the fees are high with both. I wouldnt recommend TC they can be hard to cash and you'll still get charged fees anyways