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best way to obtain foreign currency for international travel

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posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 04:54 PM
i am going to south africa in january so i need to have a bunch of rand to spend. i want to bring about $500 worth of rand.
some people and my bank says i should just use my debit/credit card but there i things i want to buy and places i want to shop where credit will not fly. i need local currency so i can barter.
so i was going to order it from my bank...nice and simple. figured thats what people did. i asked them about it a while back and they said i could but i didnt tell them what currency i wanted. well i went in yesterday to get into it further and apparently south african rand is not one they can order.
kind of stuck on where to go from here.
any help is much appreciated.

looking to order 7,000-8,000 rand.
only going to be on the ground 6-7 days

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 05:00 PM
Use an ATM when you land. I have been to some places like Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. Also all over Europe, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. It always works and you get the best translation rate. Don't use the airport exchanges if you can help it because their commission will take a bite out of the cash. But don't worry about it. All the ATMs have an English option. You should have no problem is SA.

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 05:09 PM
you can use an ATM when there, but check your card, Some may have fees, Also check the banks in your area and see who has the best rate to exchange, here in the UK the post office and tesco ( its the UK version of walmart ) have excellent exchange rates at times, the US may be the same? As the other poster stated, Stay clear of airport exchange booths.

Also parts of Africa are more than happy to accept dollars, in fact some places would PREFER dollars than their own currency.
edit on 11-9-2016 by ColaTesla because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 05:25 PM
a reply to: schuyler

i did not even think of the atm.
so simple...thanks

bank said i just have to let them know that i will be in south africa and they will make sure my card is ok to use

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 06:13 PM
a reply to: TinySickTears

I went to Zimbabwe in 2001, hyperinflation time. The advice from the travel company was to take cash dollars. (I live in Holland so had to change guldens to dollars at the local bank)

Upon arrival in Zimbabwe I tested my atm (PIN for Dutchies) card at a Barclays Bank machine. The rate the machine gave me, in contrast to a perfectly legal Bureau de Change on the other side of the street, was phenomenal. The bank gave me 50-60 Zimbabwe dollars per $1 US. The Bureau de Change gave 110+ Zim dollars per $1 US. It indicates the level of corruption I guess...

As always, caveat emptor but a little backup green never hurts. Just don't carry too much around at once.

Good luck and have fun!

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 07:25 PM

originally posted by: TinySickTears
a reply to: schuyler

i did not even think of the atm.
so simple...thanks

bank said i just have to let them know that i will be in south africa and they will make sure my card is ok to use

Very important to remember!! I failed to do that in Vegas 10 years or so ago and luckily, me and the boys did very well on our football bets - I was counting on them for cash after Chase put a security hold on my card.

Next morning I call, "We're showing $x,000 in cash withdrawals and 'Light at Bellagio." Me: "How much?!... Nevermind, yeah, that was me. I'm in Vegas."

Forgot to do it again for our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, luckily, due to all-inclusive, we never used a card while there except to pull out a bit of DR currency on our way out.

posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 09:50 PM
If you can get some Rand before u go over do it but dont get a heap, its one of those currencies that once its out of its country its worthless, Im speaking from experience, I have about $400 worth of Laos Kip that is basically toilet paper.
U can use credit and eftpos like u would at home but be careful when you withdraw overseas as the bank conversion fees can be very high.

Enjoy your trip mate

posted on Sep, 12 2016 @ 04:17 AM
a reply to: IkNOwSTuff

thanks man.
im going with the $500 worth.
if i run out i can can more and if i have any left i will just leave it for my buddy. no big

posted on Sep, 13 2016 @ 04:08 PM
so i googled a bit and there is a currency exchange in cleveland. they charge no fees. only the exchange rate. you can order online and have the currency shipped to your house via UPS.
thats happening.

they were quoting me at 13 rand per dollar last night

now it is 12.83.

posted on May, 27 2017 @ 08:13 AM
well the trip did not happen but it is back on for december.

going to leave the day after christmas and come back on january 8th.

if it does not happen this time it never will. my buddy from durban is here in 2 weeks. personal visit and to sit down with management at our foundry.
our metallurgist is retiring next year and my buddy had an intern at his division in durban for 18 months and they put her on permanent so it looks like there is a good chance he will be moving here.

i have to make this trip happen.

december/january is a terrible time for weather in ohio but it is prime in south africa

as of right now 1 dollar gets you 11 rand. not buying now though
edit on 27-5-2017 by TinySickTears because: (no reason given)

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