Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

India: What's the best currency for Exchange?

India: What's the best currency for Exchange?

May 27th, 2009, 09:55 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7
India: What's the best currency for Exchange?

My daughter's going to India in a couple of weeks. Last time I was there 15 years ago, US hundred dollar bills was the most sought after and commanded the best exchange rate. Probably not now.

What currency would be best and what denominations? Have dollars, pounds and euros.

BMN John
frankgross is offline  
May 27th, 2009, 11:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,924
I never heard of "hundred dollar bills" commanding the best exchange rate, but maybe I don't go to the same place as you to change my money.
Jaya is offline  
May 27th, 2009, 12:57 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 300
safest and best way to carry money... is to use an ATM in India IMO...they are everywhere.

Good exchange rate too.
magical is offline  
May 27th, 2009, 06:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,680
It is true that if you want to use US dollars to exchange, you'll get a better rate for US$100 bills than you will for smaller bills. That's been my experience all over Asia. But really, you'll get a fair exchange rate for pounds or euros as well. Magical's recommendation for ATMs is the way I go, but do make sure you know what your bank will charge you.
Kathie is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 02:41 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7
Especially in rural areas, $100 bills were the best for the shop keepers. They would give a much better exchange (black market). I believe that the laws were changed, and the black market incentive was removed.

But still, we were wondering if one currency is better than another. I went once with the previous year's "right" travelers checks and it caused a big problem as they had turned into that years "wrong" checks.
frankgross is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 09:57 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 300
FG,
In my experience, the black market exchange differential is not worth the trouble.

These days the best way to carry money overseas is (1) ATM (2)$100 cash bills (3) travelers checks. IMO steps 2 & 3 are good as back-up only.

I think, the USD is still king as far as acceptability and ease of conversion. Of course, the exchange rate varies all over the place.
magical is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 10:25 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
15 years ago India had quite severe foreign exchange controls. It was very difficult to bring in foreign currency, one could not have a bank account in foreign currency, and credit cards were not widely accepted, so anyone with foreign cash had some bargaining power. None of those are true any longer. For example, you can reserve and buy train tickets with a credit card now, as well as charge for airlines, hotels and many restaurants and other purchases, which will offer a good exchange rate, if not the best, compared to cash (even when surcharges are factored in, plus there is the convenience factor). 15 years ago India had no ATMs. That is no longer the case. As safe as I find India to be, I personally would not want to walk around with a lot of US$100 bills on me. I would make sure your daughter has an ATM card, a credit card, and then give her small amounts of cash primarily to exchange when she first arrives or for emergency back up in very small places where no ATM would be available. I don’t think you will find much of an exchange rate difference among Dollars, Sterling or Euros and wouldn’t exchange Dollars for Sterling, for instance, in hopes of obtaining a small advantage when converting the latter to Rupees.
Cicerone is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 10:45 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Having just looked at some exchange rates, I see that US$1 would get you around 47.2 Rupees. That equivalent in Sterling would get you about 47.3 Rupees, and that equivalent in Euros about 47.6 Rupees. So the “difference” in exchange rate is infinitesimal, if it exists at all. If you have those other currencies already, then she can bring them, but as I said I would not exchange US Dollars for other currencies to then exchange those for Rupees, as the initial exchange is going to cost you something in the first place, and the exchange rate difference is so minor.
Cicerone is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 11:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,199
Here is a tie-breaker: give her the currency you get paid in. There was no conversion cost like the others. Or give her the currency you are least likely to use. I'd take three to five one-hundred unit notes. Maybe use one or two on arrival the rest as backup for the ATM and credit cards.
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 11:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,199
I'd do that based on the ATM and cc advice you got in earlier posts.
mrwunrfl is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:04 PM.