This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.
Considering that the local currency in Egypt is not held in high esteem, and the dollar is very popular among locals as a means of saving and for settlements, there will be no difficulties with exchanging this currency for local Egyptian pounds. You can exchange it almost at every step in banks, ATMs, exchange offices and private money changers. The euro is not so popular, but it can also be easily changed in exchangers, banks or ATMs, less often from private money changers.
As for the ruble, Russian money is not in high esteem in Egypt, and you will not be able to officially exchange it anywhere, unless other tourists or rare street money changers will buy rubles from you at a very unfavorable rate.
We will tell you about all the ways, how and where to change the currency in Egypt, which way is better and how not to get deceived when exchanging:
Exchange at ATMs (ATM)
ATM exchange is, in our opinion, one of the most reliable and affordable ways for tourists to exchange currency. Fraud is practically excluded here, the commissions are clear and honest, the courses are profitable and differ by only a fraction of percent from the official ones. There are a lot of ATMs, there are street and round-the-clock ones.
It is very easy to use an ATM in Egypt for currency exchange, but this can be done at ATMs of only certain banks. We checked Banque Misr, Credit Agricole and CIB, but according to tourist reviews, the exchange works in some others. To understand whether a particular ATM changes cash, just look at its welcome screen (sometimes you need to press any key to make the screen saver disappear), and if there is a "Cardless operations" "Cash service" or Exchange item there, then you need it.
The menu has English, and the procedure itself is very simple and will be understandable, even if you know only the most basic words. The conditions (exchange rate and commission) at different ATMs, even those located tens of meters from each other, are different, but fortunately, even at the very last stage, when you have already put money into the ATM, you can cancel the operation, and the machine will return the money to you. So feel free to go around several ATMs and request conditions to choose the best option. In our experience, of the three listed, the most profitable was the ATM of CIB Bank (Commercial International Bank Egypt).
There are not very many separate exchange offices in Egypt, but they are found in large resorts. These can be either small private shops with a blackboard and a calculator, or large modern exchangers with electronic scoreboards.
The exchange rates in exchangers are even better than in banks, and they work at a more convenient time for tourists. But, unfortunately, there is a possibility of running into deception, including honest. Most often it is a hidden commission indicated on the scoreboard in small letters, the substitution of bills, the issuance of fakes.
Of course, do not, you should think that in the first exchange you will definitely be deceived. But to prevent this from happening, before the transaction, make sure that the exchange rate corresponds to the one announced on the scoreboard and there is no hidden commission, and after receiving the money, carefully recalculate them and double-check, among other things, the value of the notes so that instead of pounds you do not slip piasters.
Exchange at the airport on arrival
This is the most unprofitable of all methods of exchange. And although the difference between the exchange rate in the city and the airport is small, about 3 percent, but there is no big point in changing money at the airport, since all transport from the airport can be paid in dollars. If you still want to exchange it at the airport, you can do it at the visa reception desk (pay for the visa in dollars, and ask for change in pounds) or at bank branches in the arrivals hall. But bank branches are not everywhere. At least, we didn't see them at the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, but maybe we just didn't find them.
Exchange in banks
This is one of the most reliable options, and we advise you to change large amounts in bank branches, because here it is least likely to get a fake bill or get on a hidden commission. If you need to exchange a small amount just for a rest, then there is no great point in exchanging in banks, since you will first have to look for a bank where they change the currency and adjust to inconvenient working hours. The fact is that banks in Egypt, as a rule, work only in the morning, do not work on Friday and Saturday, on holidays. Usually working hours in Egyptian banks are from 8:30 to 14:00, others are additionally open from 18:00 to 21:00. But almost all banks (except Misr Bank) are closed on Friday and Saturday.
Exchange when buying
If you are buying something for dollars or euros, then the seller will almost certainly try to give you change from the purchase in pounds, if you have not discussed this issue in advance. This is not bad in principle, however, and here, of course, it is necessary to discuss the exchange rate in advance. If you do not do this, then you will definitely be given change at an undervalued rate. In our experience, we received an even better course in the form of delivery than the official one, but after haggling with the seller in advance about this.
Street money changers
And finally, the most profitable, but also the most dangerous way to exchange. Street money changers in Egypt are not at all people in leather jackets and black glasses who hang around the exchange offices and earn a living from it. A street vendor, a guide, a souvenir shop seller, and, in general, almost anyone who works with tourists can offer to change the currency in Egypt at a more favorable rate than the official one.
There is a danger of being deceived by street money changers, but if you exercise reasonable caution and vigilance, then everything goes well and you will get a very good course. For example, at the end of 2022, we successfully changed small amounts several times from a street seller of cigarettes and souvenirs at the rate of 25 pounds per dollar, while the official ATM rate was about 24.6 pounds.
How not to get deceived during the exchange
And now that you've learned all about how and where it's profitable to change money in Egypt, read the tips so that the exchange goes without trouble.:
- Do not change large amounts for the future. Egyptian pounds are constantly falling against the dollar and the euro, and therefore, even by the end of the trip, they may become a little cheaper, not to mention your possible next trip to Egypt in a year or more.
- In order not to change large amounts at once, you need a "trifle" in US dollars, for example, $ 5 or $ 10. If you have only 50 and 100-dollar bills in your hands, it is better to immediately take care of their exchange for smaller ones. The easiest way to do this is at the airport when paying for a visa on arrival, which costs $ 25 (in fact, tourists are bred at airports to pay $ 27). Pay for the visa with a large bill and demand change in dollars, not in pounds.
- To avoid unexpected commissions, do not give away the currency until you are sure that you will receive exactly the amount you expect. To do this, ask on a calculator or a piece of paper to show exactly how many pounds you will receive when exchanging your bill specifically, and if everything suits you, then change it.
- When receiving money, carefully and in full view of the employee / money changer, recalculate the amount and make sure that smaller piasters are not slipped to you instead of pound notes. To do this, look for the inscription "Pounds" on the bills.
- For transactions in a bank or an official exchanger, you may be asked for a passport, and in its absence, they may refuse to exchange.
- Install the Currency calculator app on your smartphone. There are a lot of them, choose the right one for yourself. These applications allow, if you have access to the network, for example, via hotel WiFi, to download current official courses, and then during the day to recalculate and check courses even without access to the network.
And finally, here is the official exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against popular world currencies and the ruble:
Курс обмена валюты (египетский фунт) на сегодня ()
* - При включенном виджете, курс обмена выбранной валюты будет отображаться в правом сайдбаре на каждой странице сайта, пока вы его не отключите сами.
Чтобы выгодно и безопасно рассчитываться во время путешествий и отдыха, рекомендуем оформить одну из карт банка Тинькофф, созданных специально для любителей путешествий. С картой Тинькофф можно выгодно конвертировать валюты онлайн, получать мили и кэшбек за покупки. Оформление и доставка карты совершенно бесплатно. Узнать больше и оформить карту Тинькофф для путешественников онлайн можно здесь:
🎁 С 18 сентября по 8 октября Tinkoff проводит акцию по кредитной карте All Airlines: при оформлении карты вы получите бесплатное обслуживание на весь срок действия карты. Бесплатно оформить карту и получить ее с доставкой можете по ссылке 🎁
- 💳 Кредитная Tinkoff All Airlines - бесплатное обслуживание на весь срок действия карты