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Egypt currency and tipping (going there again)

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Egypt currency and tipping (going there again)

1. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 7y

Should Ibuy Egyptian pounds or even Euros before i go or should I buy when I am there, everything is inclusive apart form diving so shoudl I simply use my card? And tips. how much/often should I tip thanks!

Thanks

2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Just buy the Pounds when you get there. You won't have to look for a bank. Just about every hotel has a stash at reception - oh and sometimes the hotel next door offers a better rate too!! The currency offers a little more once in Egypt - and there's rarely commission added. Forget the Euros - they'll work, but you'll need to exchange them twice, as from your currency, then again into Pounds quite a lot of times.
Up to you whether you choose to use your card. Many say it's safer, but I've suffered with credit cards abroad, when I've been ripped off. I've got my wedge back (eventually), but not without a lengthy battle with the bank. It's not always as straightforward getting a refund, as they pretend it is.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jun-2009, at 12:04 by Redpaddy ]

3. Posted by C.Glynn (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

Can you also just take Egyptian Pounds out of an atm? I found that to be best when traveling in Europe last summer. Is it not so in Egypt? Curious as I will be trekking all over Egypt in a few weeks...

Regards,
Cynthia

4. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y

Hey there,

Really easy to get Egyptian Pounds at ATM's in the bigger centres. Never had a problem with the card as long as it has the Maestro or Cirrus emblems on the back or are Visa cards. Make sure you let your home bank know though so they don't think something weird is happening to your account. That is the only time I have had a problem in Egypt... when MY bank stops the card as they think it is stolen.

It is not often possible to buy local items/groceries/meals and pay with a card so have some cash on hand.

USD/EURO/GBP are easily exchanged at good rates both at the airport and at hotels in town. I have found that the dodgier the hotel the better the rate! All other decent currencies (NZD/AUD/CAN$ etc) are also easily exchanged but often at not such a strong rate.

You tip for everything all the time. Restaurant staff will be OK with about 10% of the bill and I work on 15EG for private drivers, 50EG for local guides and dive masters/instructors at 10% of the forex cost of the dive package (I travel with big groups though so it might be a bit less for you). If they have done a great job and you are really impressed you can tip as much as you like but be prepared to have a 'discussion' when they think you have not tipped enough - especially taxi drivers who make a fortune out of you anyway. Speaking of taxi drivers, agree on a rate BEFORE you get in the car and pay when you arrive at your destination.

Have a blast!
Tania

5. Posted by C.Glynn (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

Awesome Tips on the TIPS Tania, thanks!