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What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
London, United...
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What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

The best rate I can see in London today is 12.46ZAR. Can someone please tell me what the local rate is in Cape Town today? I'm deciding whether or not to get cash before I travel in early November.

Thanks for your help.

London, United...
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1. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

I researched it thoroughly before going and worked out that despite the 2% charge my bank charged me to withdraw in SA, it was still cheaper than changing money with their very lousy exchange rates. Use atms! You will save 3-8%.

Cape Town
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2. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

Five minutes ago the rate quoted by FNB was 12.4154 but, as all days, the rate goes up and down continuously. https:/…

Today's spread on the Interbank-spot rate has been 12.84 to 12.66. Walk-in rates agaist Spot are around 2 percent less. Pretty similar to Walk-in rates in the UK.

No indication that the Rand will regain it's strength in the short term - all to do with "Emerging Market Currencies" - look also at the Brazilian Real, the Aussie Dollar and the S.Korean Won, all with similar weakness. You can either buy into the rate now or (IMO better) just bring your ATM card and get rand from ATMs as you go. This is of course best if you have a zero or low commission charge on your Bank ATM Forex. See moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-mo…

Edited: 04 October 2011, 18:30
London, United...
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3. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

Thanks for those replies.

I have a First Direct Visa Debit Card. For cash withdrawals there is a 2.75% foreign exchange charge and an ATM transaction fee of 2% (£1.75 minimum - £5 maximum).

I haven't got the head to work out how much I'd lose using an ATM, but I think I resent a double charge by First Direct.....even though they are, otherwise, a fantastic bank.

I still haven't made my mind up, however.

phila
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4. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

You will probably still do better with your ATM and credit card than trying to change money at a money changer. I saw one with - I thought - a great exchange rate at the V & A Waterfront in Capetown. Then they wanted to charge me a $20 US processing fee on a $200 US exchange. Ended up doing better, all in, with my ATM card and credit card.

If there are better places to change money, I'd like to know.

Palma de Mallorca...
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5. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

For convenience, obtain cash from an ATM and pay for restaurants with your credit card or debit card.

In the grand scheme of things you are not really going to make any savings by bringing in cash and then going to a foreign exchange desk to change it to rands.

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

OK, I'm a First Direct customer too.

So, what are your alternatives?

Buying a wad of Rand now, and hoping you don't lose it or it goes down in value (and paying commission).

Buying wad of Rand nearer the time.

Buy some now and some later. Lessens risk of loss due to currency fluctuations.

Get some cash out in South Africa, as and when you need it.

I chose the last option. Took out about £200 twice so paid about £12 for the privilege of easy access to my money and it being 100% safe all the time it was in the ATM.

Maybe I could have saved about £10 by buying the cash in advance, but I really didn't think it was worth worrying about. Unless you are spending thousands, you don't need much cash, and you can always use credit cards for 90% of your spending....

man of kent
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7. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

Hi we are a group of 8 guys in our 40s we visit every year and we all use the atm,s much cheaper also trying to change cash is a palaver in South Africa hope this helps Rupert

London, United...
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8. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

Thanks, again, for all your replies. As ever, TA members are most helpful.

Firstly, for clarification, I was going to change my sterling in London and the 12.46 rate is commission-free.

Secondly, I think my 'need' to always take cash on holiday stems from my Scottish upbringing, where I was told to never be in debt, (ie never to use credit cards).

Of course, things have changed over the years, and I can, thankfully, afford to use credit cards, It's just a hard habit to get into, (using them). when I'm not used to. Maybe it's just a question of changing my mind-set.

I think my background also makes me not want to pay double commission to First Direct. It just feels a bit unjustified, but I guess that's just how things are and I need to get my head around it.

I think that, instead of worrying about losing what isn't really going to amount to mega bucks, I should just decide to take, and use, my cards and concentrate on planning what to do when I'm there. It's just over 4 weeks until I go and I am looking forward to it so very much.

Once again, thanks for all your time and replies. They are much appreciated.

London, United...
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9. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

If your bank charges you £5 max per withdrawal, do fewer withdrawals and take out more with each withdrawal!

Cape Town
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10. Re: What Is The Sterling Exchange Rate Today?

Just one additional suggestion. Which could get you the best of both worlds for this trip - and for all future overseas trips.

As you live in London, go along to the nearest branch of Metro Bank. They have branches in Holborn, Earls Court, Fulham, Borehamwood, Ken High Street, Bromley and Croydon. With more opening soon. Open up a current account. You can do it there and then and you get all your cards issued immediately! Just take along normal ID and proof of address. It takes less than one hour and you walk out with the account set up and all your cards printed and chipped! You even get a cup of coffee while you do it!

https://www.metrobankonline.co.uk/Our-stores/

You do have to open the account in person. Not on-line. Although once the account is open their on-line banking is fine. i can vouch it works perfectly from South Africa!

Now you don't have to do anything with this account, other than transfer into it money to cover your holiday expenses as you go. You can do this on-line from your First Direct Account and using Faster Payments it will be available in 30 mins. Either before you go or top up as and when you want. I can even do transfers via Text on my cellphone. So far all this has cost nothing, except an hour of your time.

Metro Bank is AFAIK the only UK current account which allows you to obtain Cash from your account via ATMs anywhere in the world at the Mastercard Interbank rate. With ZERO charges or commission! All other UK accounts offering this, require you to pay in your salary (minimum £1,000 per month) or to keep a large minimum balance. Metro Bank requires none of this - you can keep the account open with £1 until your next overseas holiday.

If you travel frequently it can save you lots of money. If you live overseas but get paid in the UK, like I do, it can save you thousands over the years!

Edited: 04 October 2011, 23:00
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