Obtaining Money in Egypt


Oct 20th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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Obtaining Money in Egypt

Will be in Egypt in December and wonder about best way to get money while there. When we travel, we normally just use ATM's but are wondering about both Egypt and Jordan. Is this a wise way to get money or should we take cash and exchange it there--not something we normally would do. I did read that the exchange at a hotel is the same as at the ATM...true? This does not sound logical to me. Thanks for info.
janelp is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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When I was there in 2007 I was told the exchange is regulated by the Egyptian government so it is the same no matter where you exchange. I hope Casual Cairo or another local expert can confirm that is still true. I usually go for the ATM when traveling, but in Egypt I did use the hotel and a bank, as well as the ATM.

If you exchange at a bank be sure to ask for a lot of small bills. You will need those for tips and toilet fees and nobody ever seems to have change.
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Oct 20th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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When we were in Egypt in 2006 we could not get our ATM card to work in Luxor. We ended up exchanging some travelers checks we had just happened to bring. We also exchanged money at the hotel we stayed at in Cairo. We used $1 bills for tips.

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Oct 20th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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We were there in 2008 - the exchange rate was the same regardless where you got money. We first got money at the hotel, but then used ATMs in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor without any problem.
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Oct 21st, 2011, 12:23 AM
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The exchange rate and fees you will pay to an ATM are up to your bank. Talk to them about that. The exchange rate you would get for cash (USD or EUR) at a bank or at an Exchange office will vary slightly from one to another, but by so little that the only time you would see much difference is if you were exchanging thousands of dollars or euros. The rate at any of them will be very near the published rate on the Internet.

The only thing I would caution tourists about when it comes to using an ATM is to carry or pack an additional card, if possible. Only because IF you loose your card inside a machine (NOW I DO NOT MEAN TO SAY THIS HAPPENS IN EGYPT MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE - IT DOES NOT) it is more problematic to get it back out. At home there is probably someone that speaks your language and can get your card out in a matter of hours if not minutes from the machine. If you loose a card to a machine in a hotel in Egypt, it could be a matter of days before they can retrieve it for you. If your schedule has you moving to a different city the next day, that could be a big issue. This is not something to make into a big deal. If you don't have a second card, don't bother getting another unless it is easy. If you are traveling as a couple, each of you might carry one to solve this problem.

Have fun.
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Oct 21st, 2011, 01:48 AM
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I would say have a couple of different cards in case one doesn't work. From memory I think you could get $1000 pounds (US200) at a time from the machine. We had some times where our credit cards would not work at stores so had to leave empty handed to the dismay of the Egyptian sales people. Our Lady Egypt staff were fabulous. At end of our tour we commented to our rep that we could not buy some photographic items we wanted and he said "you should of let me know, I would of gone and paid for them for you and you could of paid me when your card worked or you went to the bank". Now that is service!
MissGreen is offline  
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Oct 24th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the info. We always carry a couple ATM cards from a couple banks. Neither charges conversion or withdrawal fees so we are in good shape there. We also use conversion neutral visa cards--Capital One and Gold Citibank. I take it from what you say Casual Cairo that hotels have ATM machines--right? We will be at the Kempinski in Cairo. Thanks for the help.
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Oct 25th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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We took some Euros and USD and exchanged it at the airport. We converted enough to get us through several days and requested smaller bills to use for tips. We used ATMs twice without incident.
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Oct 25th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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As Casual Cairo, unless talking about thousands of dollars, the exchange rate whether at hotel or ATM will be the same... any difference is negligible. I always used the hotel and got as many small notes as possible. Also, I rarely change money more than twice, obtaining sufficient to hold me for most of the visit unless at the end need additional.

And as others, regardless where I travel it's with more than one ATM card... you just never know when one of them might get hungry
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