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Thread: Egypt currency?

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    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    Egypt currency?

    SWMBO is off to Egypt on an impromptu bargain trip (picking up a place from someone who has paid 90% and dropped out at short notice) at the end of the week and will be in Cairo for a couple of days en route before joining the boat - what do folk normally do about currency?

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    We're off to Sharm on Saturday. Will pick up local currency at airport upon arrival.

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    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    I have not been there for a number of years, but last time, people wanted anything except Egyptian pounds. Always a better haggle with euros, sterling or dollars.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

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    Established TDF Member Doomanic's Avatar
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    Haven't been for ages but always got a better exchange rate in country.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Seriously, forget about sidemount - it's bollocks.

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    I've not been there for years but when I went regularly apart from the airports (where the brit's get ripped off!) where Egyptian Lira (E)* is needed all we ever used was the good 'ole Yankee Dollar.

    * the signs for the airport carts charge was 1 or 2 - the Egyptians loved Brits who thought it was Pounds Sterling not the local currency. Unfortunately you can't get Egyptian 1 Pound notes in this country.

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    When we were there, the airport staff wanted paper hard currency in tips. If it was sterling, that meant a minimum of 5 so dollars are a better bet.

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    Established TDF Member Georgina's Avatar
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    My niece struggled to get Egyptian currency in the UK before she visited this month. You can draw it out of the cash point machines with your card, or put Sterling in the machine and it will give EGP out.
    ..........o ><)))*>
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    Georgina

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    TDF Member JasminNeedsGills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energy58 View Post
    SWMBO is off to Egypt on an impromptu bargain trip (picking up a place from someone who has paid 90% and dropped out at short notice) at the end of the week and will be in Cairo for a couple of days en route before joining the boat - what do folk normally do about currency?
    As of RIGHT NOW (as in the last day or two) the Egyptian pound has come under a massive speculation attack by forex traders, and it's value has dropped by over 30% in the last 48 hours. As a result everything below now applies doubly so. Definitely don't buy any outside of the country and ONLY buy what you'll need, as you could potentially loose a LOT changing it back. Also expect more people to be ready to offer you much better deals for big items if you can pay in hard currency.

    You'll *always* get a better rate locally than outside Egypt. A lot of places still don't take card, even in Cairo (though pretty much all hotels and dive centres will). Get as many small notes as you can astaxi drivers, shops etc. "never have any change", oddly enough (funny, that!). Don't change more than you'll use as changing LE back to any other currency is expensive, and many beureaux de change won't take the often grimy and tatty notes you wind up with fistfuls of.

    Visa and mastercard debit cards work in Egyptian ATMs, as do most credit cards. However, most the transaction will use your home bank exchange rate (which will be MUCH lower than the local beureaux de change) and will also charge a transaction fee, usually 3% with a minimum fee of 2 / GBP1.50 or so. It works but if you do this regularly or for large amounts you'll wind up out of pocket very quickly.

    For major purchases (accomodation and the like, or any big ticket souvenirs like carpets) you'll almost always be able to haggle a better deal using cash in hard currency ( and US $ in particular, but UK pounds and AUS $ are OK too). Banks will need your passport when doing an exchange. In light of the current speculation crisis, this is likely to be even more the case than it was before.
    Last edited by JasminNeedsGills; 21-03-2022 at 07:01 PM.

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    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    SWMBO has returned from a great trip with a stinking cold and retired to bed but for anyone who is interested she said that the most welcome currency was the British Pound - she used ATM to get Egyptian Pounds too - she also said you want to try and ensure you have lots of small notes as no one ever has change!

    Thanks to everyone for their replies
    Last edited by Energy58; 29-03-2022 at 08:00 PM.


 

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