Changing money in Egypt


Aug 25th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Changing money in Egypt

Is it possible to use ATM machines to get local currency in Egypt? Do I need to take travelers checks, too? We will be spending a few days in Jordan, also. Any suggestions for handling money there? I have read that ATM cards from the U.S. don't work in Jordan.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 01:56 PM
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If I recall correctly, the rate of exchange is established by the government in both countries, so if there are ATMs (we didn't see any, or used them on our trip) - we exchanged money at the hotel exchange window.

Regardless where we went, the exchange rate was the same. However, with the exception of exchanging a few USD for a few Jordanian Dinars and Egyptian Pounds for small items, we used USD.

Brought lots in small denominations $1, $5, $10 (don't show large bills until you've settled on a price). We used the $20s for tipping at end of trip only. For any meals not included, we paid by credit card, as I'm sure you can use for a major purchase whatever that might be - jewelry!

While I haven't cashed a travelers check in years (many countries charge a fee to change TCs) I do bring a few hundred dollars in case of emergency only - thankfully, they've never been needed and get redeposited when I return home.

Your hotel will be only too glad to change your USD, and vendors also take USD. Again, it's a fixed rate, so there's no advantage for using ATMs if you can even find them.

Unless things have changed, maybe some other poster can bring us up-to-date.
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Sep 1st, 2003, 05:02 PM
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I learned from a previous post that you are traveling with GCT. When we went with GCT we used the ATM at the hotel in Cairo. When in Jordan our program director had our bus driver stop along the way and the program director walked us to an ATM on the street. I also think there was an ATM at the airport in Amman. We were told we could tip the program directors, bus drivers and river boat staff in US money. We did not realize this and had to use the local currency as we did not bring very much US money. GCT will send you the guide lines for the tipping. The experienced travelers had their envelopes ready when they arrived!
You will need small egyptian money for tipping in the rest rooms. You have to tip in order to get 2 squares of toliet tissue so stuff your pockets with extra before you go out!
Sandi's advice is very good and is accurate from our experience.
Have a great trip. I wish we were going again.
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Nov 2nd, 2003, 06:45 AM
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Don't take travelers checks. They are a real pain in the neck to cash. Take cash. There are atms (in Cairo at least) and also money changing machines that accept all sorts of currency and spit out Egyptian pounds.

If you change money at banks (found in most major hotel lobbies) you shouldn't have any problems but be certain you count your change BEFORE you pick it up. Not all Egyptians are honest, I learned this the hard way.

Exchange rate is the same everyplace. Don't do it here, you will get a very bad deal. There are many banks in airport before cuustoms so you can get plenty of cash then.

While nobody will turn down your American dollars, it is really not the best thing to do for tipping, because it forces the tippee to either save up enough to justify the exchange fee, or try to sell on the street to tourists. When you change money, INSIST that the bank give you plenty of one and five pound notes to use for tipping; they tend to want to give tourists larger notes, and, even with a favorable exchange rate, using tens and twenties gets really expensive in hurry because everybody expects to be tipped for everything.
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