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How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Bridgwater, United...
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How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Going to Hyatt in Oct,seen so much in the forums about paying/tipping etc in various currencies, but I can't still make out which is best!

What do you Guys who have just been recommend?

We shall probably be using travellers cheques to change into whatever currency at the Hotel,so any advice would be most welcome, especially regarding restaurants.

Swansea, United...
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for Sharm El Sheikh
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1. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Hi Darcy

We're all different, so you will probably get amny answers. I always take sterling and change it there, better rates, no extra cost, never take travellers cheques, there are safes in the rooms of most hotels, I would think the Hyatt would be one of those.

I always tip in LEs, don't want too many currencies, it becomes confusing. The only time I tip in pound coins, is when I arrive to tip the bellboy, if I've run out of LEs at the end of the holiday, I will give the boy who cleans the room his tip in sterling notes, tip in restaurants in LEs, check that the service charge isn't included.

Regards

barbarah

United Kingdom
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for Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea and Sinai, Side
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2. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Hi,

Then I expect you will still get a mixture of replies! There is no definitive answer; read & decide which suits you best. Extract from the tips thread, which is comprised of lots of points / links from various members:

MONEY:- Some hotels have atm machines in the grounds; there are several atm’s around Na'ama.

Take a little local currency to tide you over, then the rest in sterling, & exchange there - better rate by about 10%, usually.

Visa, Visa Electron, Plus Card, MasterCard, Maestro, and Cirrus are all acceptable in almost all ATM's in Egypt. In addition, all cards carrying "123" or "NAPS" ATM network logos are also acceptable.

One of the best ways to get money is to open a Nationwide Flexi Account. You get free ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world.

I’ve heard that the bank next to Ghazala Gdns, in Na’ama changes Scottish notes, but you will struggle to get them, & N. Irish ones, changed in general.

Don’t flash hard currency about; pay in local. If you use dollars or sterling, you leave yourself open to be ripped off re: exchange rates. They believe that all the tourists are rich & seeing hard currency in use only re-enforces this belief. They always ask you what currency you’re using, in the hope that you say “dollars” or “sterling”!

www.luxortraveltips.com has the rate updated every day ~ fellow poster Kazl2000 – 6th April ‘08

…infonow.net/locator/…SearchPage.jsp locates atms for you.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294200-i9124-k171…

Local currency is “Livres Egyptiennes”, or LE for short.

TIPPING:- People report differing experiences on the locals’ expectations of tips. I think the majority’s opinion would be: If you receive good service, then tip, if you don’t, then don’t tip. If you want to tip a little as you go along (to ensure good service) then do so; it’s up to you.

There have been debates on the forum about which currency to use for tipping. It’s another emotive subject so I will try to put forward what I’ve understood to be the majority’s point of view. Where possible, tip in local currency. They do accept dollar notes & £1 coins but will have to save them up & ask a tourist to exchange them for local notes, as they can’t get them changed any other way. The wages are low & £1 is quite a lot to them. This over-inflates their economy & makes a mockery of what a waiter will then have earned in comparison to a city Dr. or teacher, for e.g. It also increases the expectation of high tips.

Small denomination notes are hard to come by in Egypt so it may be that you feel obliged to tip the bell boys in another currency at the start of your hols. When you get some small notes; hang on to them! Generally, don’t tip if you don’t want to! The English are perceived as being softies.

Regards

Bridgwater, United...
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3. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Thanks Barbera & Neph!

I think it will be take sterling and change there, sounds like a better rate, also some pound coins as well.

You comments about over-inflating the economy are well noted Neph. Thanks XXX

Not too long now,sigh!!!!

Cannock, United...
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4. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Hi all, I read all of the above replies and I am wonering why you should not take travellers cheques, we always take travellers cheques as i thought they were 'The safest way to travel'?

Tracey

LIVERPOOL
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for Makadi Bay, Hurghada
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5. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Hi Darcy & Tracy

Firstly you will only be able to exchange travellers cheques for Egyptian pounds (le) and secondly if you are travelling all-inclusive the only money you will need is for tips and trips, Obviously if you do expensive trips this could be a lot of money but in the majority of cases you can put this on credit or debit card, In all of our trips to Egypt we have spent very little money in Egyptian pounds we have never had a problem with dollars or sterling as the Egyptian mentality is money is money.

If you do not want to take a large amount of cash and are concerned about security then the best and cheapest way to go is with a nationwide flex account and credit card as they are the only U.K. bank not to charge for cash withdrawals at ATM'S and also tend to use a commercial exchange rate which is far better than tourist rates.

With regard to travellers cheques you may find that some hotels will not even change them and you will then need to search for a bank.

In short take cash,use the ATM'S and have a credit card ready for expensive items.

Darcy you are not going until Oct so plenty of time to sort out a nationwide account, We did this a couple of years ago and have never looked back, we only use the account for holidays and keep the cards in our passport then just add funds before we go away and remove anything that is left at the end of the holiday, and bear in mind there no charges deal applies anywhere in the world so wherever you go on holiday it is the cheapest and safest way to take you funds

John

United Kingdom
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for Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea and Sinai, Side
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6. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Tracy,

We have taken trav cheques too; sterling ones. My reply wasn't meant to exclude them for those who still like to use them : )

Regards

Cannock, United...
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7. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Thanks focusvon & Nepthys and sorry UKDarcy for butting in on your post.

We go in 9 days. We are A.I.

I havent got a credit card, Everyone keeps trying to send me one, but i know how easily it is to get in debt, so never had one.

There is a pop up on here about a Tesco Mastercard pre-pay thing, just links to a debit card and you can top it up,

Do you think if I can get one in time that is better than a halifax visa debit card?

Do they charge mega for using ATMs ?

That HSBC advert always comes to mind, (the dodgy fat banker that says did you draw money out abroad? well then we have to take our share, or how ever it goes).

Is there any reason why we shouldn't take sterling travellers cheques, other than the fact that they will only give us LE?

Are travellers cheques a thing of the past, am i living in the stone age? lol

East Meadow, New...
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8. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

As a frequent world traveler, I have to share my experiences on this topic.

Do not plan to use your own currency for anything since you will be perceived as the inexperienced tourist and that will make you more likely to be cheated, overcharged, and as a target for selling anything to. When vendors quote prices in dollars or euros or sterling, or when they ask you what currency you use, INSIST THAT YOU USE THEIR EGYPTIAN CURRENCY WHILE IN THEIR COUNTRY. This will be a cue that you know how to use their currency and what it is worth.

Travelers checks are totally old fashioned and many many places do not cash them or have a poorer exchange rate. They can be stolen too and even if you can get the value back later on, it will be a hassle.

USE ATM MACHINES. Even if you have to pay a small fee, it is nothing as compared to the cost of your trip and peace of mind. Why would you want to carry a lot of cash and worry about it, weigh yourself down with sterling coins, and look for places to exchange it. Just get cash as you need it from ATM machines which are in virtually every city and country. If you are going to a totally off the beaten track place for the day or for a few days, get cash before you go but don't carry useless travelers checks or tons of cash. Enter the modern world of 2008.

As far as not having a credit card, I think you are wise if YOU are the kind of person who would run up all sorts of credit bills and have no personal discipline but then you should have a debit card that takes deductions from money you already have on deposit but works like a credit card for paying. I use my credit card for hotel bills when traveling and can even send them a deposit in advance or pay online from my bank if I am to be gone a long time. I pay the total balance every month so I don't get into debt but the convenience of having a credit card is huge. Another factor to be aware of is that your credit card company will actually pay attention to where and when you charge so I let them know where I am going beforehand. I have had the experience of phone calls from my credit card company when very large unusual purchases were processed as a form of protection.

To check the daily rate, go to www.oanda.com and insert the exchange currencies. Do an FX CONVERSION and print out their cheat sheet. I bring two index cards with the conversions from dollars to local currency on one side and local currency to dollars on the other side and put it in with my money since it is no bigger than a bill. My husband has the other card and we find it very easy to immediately determine the price in our own currency.

Go on vacation. Don't worry. Be happy. Use an ATM.

Cannock, United...
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9. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Thanks larktrav.

Bridgwater, United...
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10. Re: How to Pay: Sterling,Dollars or Egyptian

Real good sound advice from you all here, I have made up my mind as to exactly what we shall do, as stated before, I shall use the local currency wherever possible.

As to the comments regarding travellers cheques, yes they are now "outdated", I was only considering them as an alternative if nothing else worked out!

I have no probs with anyone "butting in" on this thread, after all, if you have sound advice or an opinion to offer, go ahead, that's what TA is about.

Thanks all again!!!