Currency in South Africa

Old Aug 17th, 2006, 01:43 AM
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Currency in South Africa

Hi Everyone,
I will be leaving for South Africa...Capetown,Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, Jp'burg, planning on taking my Am Ex card and MC. Question is cash or travellers checks? Better to use USD cash in Zim? Need advice...tks..
malaysia is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 05:08 AM
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In South Africa the South African Rand ZAR, easily obtained at ATMs throughout CPT and at the airports. Have an ATM card (not a cc for these machines). Your credit cards can be used to pay restaurants, souvenir purchases, if you wish.

In Zimbabwe, USD are most welcomed.

Old Aug 17th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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One note is that service stations in SA do not accept credit cards as a rule, so when you have the opportunity to use an ATM or cash a traveler's check, make sure you cash enough to pay for fuel as well as everything else.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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As far as I know both credit cards and debit cards will be accepted by S.A. ATMs. The criterion is whether the card is cleared by the issuing bank to be used in foreign countries.

That would be similar to when I travel abroad myself. I have two credit cards, Mastercard and Diners, and the former doubles as my bank's ATM card. My bank also issued me with an ATM-only card, but I never use it and don't even know where it is. (Yes I know, but it's probably buried somewhere at home.)
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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I think what sandi might have meant is that with a credit card, a withdrawal is considered a cash advance and starts to accrue interest right away.

In the US, I think we tend to refer to a Visa/Mastercard that doubles as an ATM card (i.e. withdraws directly from your bank account) as a debit card.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Credit card purchases here in South Africa don't attract interest unless the statement they're on is not paid by due date. So giving up to about 55 days interest-free/ And I assume that's the case in other parts of the World. But yes, any cash drawings against a credit card start attracting interest immediately. But then that's effectively the same for a debit card. If the debit card allows an overdraft, then that too will presumably attract interest, although perhaps typically at a lower rate. And if one loads cash up front into a credit card account, then until that cash is expended, that shouldn't attract any interest.

But I guess there are all sorts of variations across banks and countries, and here in S.A. our bank charges are generally considered exorbitant compared with most (all) other countries. There's currently a much-publicised investigation into that.

Just wanted to make sure it was understood that there is no local (S.A.) differentiation between credit and debit cards.
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