Sterling or Dollars

Nov 18th, 2004, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 199
Sterling or Dollars

Going on holiday to Egypt. Am I best taking sterling travellers cheques or dollar cheques and will I need much egyptian currency.

Many thanks.
surich is offline  
Nov 18th, 2004, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
I haven't been to Egypt so you'll probably think it's weird for me to respond BUT anywhere where I have been that has a thriving market economy tends to favour US dollars.

I remember going to Moscow (when it was still USSR) and I was the only one who took US$ instead of UK£. My friends would ask how much something was in £ and be told "five pounds". I'd ask in dollars and be told "five dollars".

This has happened to me in countless countries around the world in markets and other places where people aren't too fussy about exact exchange rates.

Don't know if it helps or is relevant in Egypt.
Kavey is offline  
Nov 18th, 2004, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
But this of course relates to cash not TC.

My bad...
Kavey is offline  
Nov 18th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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If you read threads on all of the boards regarding "what to take" you will find that Travelers Checks are not recommended. In most countries these days you will find you get the best exchange rates using ATMs.

In the case of Egypt, the rate of exchange is just about the same regardless where you exchange funds. You can easily exchange USD or Pounds at the airport on arrival, at your hotel, or thru ATMs.

It is a good idea to have Egyptian Pounds in small denominations for tipping and purchases at most tourist sites. Rarely are credit cards taken here. However, we found that USD were welcomed regardless where we were spending money. We used credit cards only at hotels, large restaurants or major shops... otherwise, local or USD.

Travelers checks are used mainly as a backup, in case of an emergency and should be purchased in your own home currency. If not used, which is more than likely, they can easily be redeposited into your account.
Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3
Are ATMs common throughout most cities in Egypt? Do most of the tourist areas have ATMs nearby, or do I need to bring extra cash when I leave the big cities?
daveptc is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 300
daveptc: I recently returned from 2 weeks in Egypt and had no problem finding ATMs throughout the country. When you get money from the ATM, it is generally in large denominations, however, I found that most merchants in Egypt rarely have change. So you may want to have the larger bills broken down to 5, 10, or 20 (at the largest) just to make things easier.

Like Sandi mentioned, credit cards are generally only used at hotels and larger stores and restaurants.

US dollars are good for tipping. When I arrived in Egypt, I asked my guide for the acceptable tipping and he said to follow the general rule that whatever you'd tip in US dollars do the same in Egyptian Pounds (ex. if you'd tip $5 to a bellman in the US, tip 5 Egyptian Pounds in Egypt). It seemed a little low to me but then I realized 5 Egyptian Pounds is a lot to them...however, I do think I over tipped on many occassions.

If you're curious to read my trip report, please see

Have a great time!
travelgirl_67 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 207
Countries typically do not accept coins from Foreign countries. When we were in Petra, merchants were trying to get shoppers to trade Pounds / Euros for larger paper bills. With that in mind you may want to use US dollars, since you can have smaller values in bills.
JackieSun is offline  

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