Getting currency for S. Africa trip

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Jul 17th, 2013, 12:30 PM
  #1
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Getting currency for S. Africa trip

My daughter is going on a research trip to S. Africa. I've looked on a number of different sites that getting money out of an ATM at the airport is the best option, as opposed to getting $ through a bank or AAA here, because though she'd be paying the fees for the withdrawal, they're far less than the hit on the exchange rate.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 12:50 PM
  #2
 
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Yes, ATMs are right in the airport terminal and she should be able to get money out easily. She may also want to take some cash just in case, there is any problem with her ATM card.

Also make sure she alerts her credit card company that she is going to S. Africa before she leaves the US or she can run into problems using her credit card while there.

She will love S. Africa.
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Jul 17th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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I've always used my ATM card. The last time we traveled to S Africa we had trouble, so call the bank to tell them she'll be traveling, and then call again right before she goes to verify. It was very inconvenient. I don't like to take a lot of US$, as I don't want to carry cash around and have to worry about it (no matter if I'm on vacation or at home).
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Jul 17th, 2013, 08:20 PM
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ditto above replies

regards - tom
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Jul 18th, 2013, 05:27 AM
  #5
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Thank you all so much for your help.

I am also wondering - will it be safer for her to get $ out of the ATM in the hotel or is it OK to make the withdrawal at the airport ATM. Just in terms of number of people around and potential for robbery.
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Jul 18th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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We've always used the airport ATM, and then during the trip we've used the ones at banks and in shopping malls. We just use the same cautions we do here at home. If there's a line at the ATM, the people behind you are pretty good about standing back a proper distance.
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Jul 18th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Concur with Celia.
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Jul 18th, 2013, 03:03 PM
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NO you cannot get USD from a South African ATM. You get South African Rand. People in queue at an ATM tend to stay back, but be sure she covers her pin (needs only be 4/digits ... there are no letters on most foreign ATMs) and always takes her receipts.

Be sure you daughter has more than one card just in case one is rejected or eaten by the machine... which is known to happen. Visa is most readily accepted worldwide, then Master... Amex can be issues some countries, but not sure if SA is one of them. And, best to use ATMs indoors, as a bank, market, mall... than out on a street, which I won't even do at home.

And to save any fees from her home bank (foreign banks don't assess fees), have her withdrawals sufficient for more than a few days... enough for at least a week of expenses.
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Jul 18th, 2013, 09:22 PM
  #9
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Thanks all.

Sandi - sorry I was not clearer, she will be wanting to get Rand from the ATM, not USD. Thanks for the other tips as well! I'm so nervous about this trip, but she's so excited!
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Jul 19th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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No problem, knew you were thinking ZAR, but the fingers input USD.
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