Egypt Tours, Red Sea & Travel

   

Money Matters & Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about money matters when traveling in Egypt. We hope you find it useful.

 

The local currency in Egyptian is calculated in Pounds; also written as LE. 100 piasters equals 1 Egyptian pound. Coins are rarely circulated but range from 10 Piasters up to 1 Egyptian pound. Change (less than 1 Egyptian pound) is commonly used in equivalent notes which range in value from 25 piasters up to 100 Egyptian pounds. Below are pictures of the most commonly used notes for purchases in Egypt.

Egyptian Currency

1 Egyptian Pound (1 LE)

  Egyptian Currency

5 Egyptian Pounds (5LE)

Egyptian Currency

10 Egyptian Pounds (10 LE)

  Egyptian Currency

20 Egyptian Pounds (20 LE)

Egyptian Currency

50 Egyptian Pounds (50 LE)

  Egyptian Currency

100 Egyptian Pounds (100 LE)

Generally most goods and services in Egypt are a good value, but there's a system of bargaining for everything you want, be it hotel accommodations, taxis, clothing or souvenirs to mention a few. Some of the larger tourist shops have fixed prices but not always true in most of the local bazaars or shops; bargaining is a way of life for these merchants. If you plan to shop in the markets you need lots of patience and time - if you want the best deal. Starting prices will usually be very high and drop rapidly; depending on how much interest you show, and walking away will often be the way to get prices reduced. It can be a lot of fun to bargain over rates. In many cases, if you have a lot of patience, you can get their asking price down to a third or less than the original asking price. Keep in mind that Egyptian store owners need to make a living too; pay whatever an item or service is worth to you but let them also make a little profit.

 

Shopping often means having a cup of tea or cold drink in almost every stall in the market and half an hour of general conversation (or translating letters from foreign friends) before getting down to the business of prices. You're under no obligation to buy, so don't feel guilty if you change your mind. If you do buy something,  try to pay with small notes because often store keepers don't have change and you may have to wait while they go in search for your change. Lastly, only accept notes that are in fair condition; notes with large tears or tape on them are often difficult to use or refused altogether.

 

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Table of Contents

  1. What is the local currency exchange rate in Egypt?

  2. Can I use other currency (not Egyptian pounds) for purchases?

  3. What are some of the major banks in Egypt?

  4. What are the normal operating hours for banks in Egypt?

  5. Are there other currency exchange offices in Egypt?

  6. How much cash should I bring with me and in what currency?

  7. Can I use credit or debit cards for purchases or cash advances?

  8. Can I use travelers checks for purchases or to get cash?

  9. Are there extra fees to use credit cards?

  10. Are there ATM's in Egypt if I need to get cash?

  11. How much local currency should I carry with me?

  12. What are the currency regulations in Egypt?


What is the local currency exchange rate in Egypt?

The local exchange rate normally ranges between 5.0 to 6.5 Egyptian pounds for $1 US dollar. To convert your currency to Egyptian pounds click here.

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Can I use other currency, besides Egyptian pounds, for purchases in Egypt?

In most cases yes, any foreign currency is accepted in major cities and tourists areas with the exception of Scottish and Northern Ireland bank notes which are not accepted in Egypt. Most common foreign currencies used are US dollars and Euros.

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What are some of the major banks in Egypt?

Major banks in Egypt include Arab African International Bank, National Bank of Egypt, Bank Misr, Commercial International Bank, and Thomas Cook. Most of these banks accept major credit cards and offer standard banking services.

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What are the normal operating hours for banks in Egypt?

As a general rule, banks are open from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and again in the evening from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Most banks are closed on Friday and Saturday. Banks are also closed on official holiday.

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Are there other currency exchange offices in Egypt?

Yes, and you usually get a better exchange rate in some of the exchange offices in major hotels. Some hotels even have exchange machines which take cash or credit cards.

 

Major credit cards, i.e. MasterCard or Visa, and even debit cards can be used for cash advances in banks, ATM's and for purchases in stores and restaurants.

 

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How much cash should I bring with me and in what currency?

For daily carry around cash, you can usually get by with $50 - $100 US dollars in your pocket. US dollars and Euros is the preferred currency and of course Egyptian pounds. We suggest you carry a couple hundred Egyptian pounds in smaller notes with you at all times for small purchases or tips.

 

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Can I use credit or debit cards for purchases or cash advances?

Most major credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in most restaurants, merchant stores and hotels. Debit cards are also accepted in many places.

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Can I use travelers checks for purchases or to get cash?

Unlike western countries, travelers checks are not widely accepted however, for emergencies they can come in handy. Thomas Cook currency exchange offices are located in major cities and will cash travelers checks. Few, if any, merchants accept travelers checks. Lastly, if you plan to use travelers checks expect to pay a small commission fee (1 - 3%) when you cash them.

 

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Are there extra fees to use credit cards?

We suggest any time you want to use a credit card, first ask about any extra commission or fees. In some cases you may have to pay 3 - 5% on the total purchase if you use a credit card.

 

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Are there ATM's in Egypt if I need to get cash?

ATM's are common and easy to find any where in Egypt, especially in major cities. ATM's accept major credit cards and debit cards for cash advances. They usually dispense cash in the local currency - Egyptian pounds. If you plan to use ATMs we suggest you check with your bank at home about your daily withdrawal limits before you leave.

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How much local currency should I carry with me?

This varies for each person individually but we recommend you keep around 100 or 200 Egyptian pounds on you most of the time. Exceptions to this general rule may be if you're going shopping or to a restaurant.

 

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What are the currency regulations in Egypt?

For visitors to Egypt, there is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency brought into the country; cash, traveler's checks, money orders, bank transfers or letters of credit. Currently travelers are not required to declare the amount of money on a Customs Declaration form.

 

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