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Withdrawing $ in Cambo or buying $ here?


Phatbeets

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Hi all,

 

in 3 weeks Ill take my first Cambodia trip starting from Germany where I reside. 

I was wondering what would the best option for me in terms of exchange rate and fees:

I typicality don't like to carry a lot of cash with me so I'm fine with ATMs. However as I need anyhow to buy some dollars here for

the visa on arrival fees I thought about buying way more. Obviously the Euro is currently strongly raising compared to the dollar and I expect it to continue

so that would speak for Withdrawing $ at some ATMs during the trip.

 

Opinions?

Alternatives?

 

Many thx

 

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The problem with withdrawing from ATMs is that you will run into ATM fees, I think about $4-$5 per transaction. . Also, if you travel off the beaten track, may have trouble finding one (not an issue if you stick to cities). And, the ATMs tend to dispense large bills which can be inconvenient/hard to change.

 

On the other hand you do not want to be travelling around Cambodia with large amounts of cash.

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Not clear to me why you would want dollars here. You can't spend them in Thailand and it's a pain converting them at a bank. You get a worse exchange rate for currency than by using your ATM card. I don't know about Cambodia, but I would expect the situation to be the same -- ATMs giving a better exchange rate for riels than converting dollars at the bank. The ATM for Krung Sri Bank, where I sometimes make a withdrawal, offers to convert my withdrawal to dollars, but I can't imagine why they think I would want to.

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1 hour ago, Acharn said:

Not clear to me why you would want dollars here. You can't spend them in Thailand and it's a pain converting them at a bank. You get a worse exchange rate for currency than by using your ATM card. I don't know about Cambodia, but I would expect the situation to be the same -- ATMs giving a better exchange rate for riels than converting dollars at the bank. The ATM for Krung Sri Bank, where I sometimes make a withdrawal, offers to convert my withdrawal to dollars, but I can't imagine why they think I would want to.

The OP did not mention going to Thailand and the ATMs in Cambodia dispense US dollars.

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My advice = bring cash and use your credit card if necessary.Be carreful when you exchange money.Some are fake and some time people try to give you the tore banknote.Ask your bank for only 100 euros banknote.

 

Best place for exchange euro is Ly Hour shop at street 217 ( Charles de Gaulle Blv ) near Olympic stadium.

 

 

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I have a selection of cards and use whichever gives the best deal when taking into account both exchange rate offered and withdrawal fees. I withdraw 300 dollars at each visit to the ATM which keeps the fee proportionately lower than drawing small amounts. I do take a couple of hundred with me in cash, some of which is needed on arrival for visa and taxi or tuktuk. There are ATM machines available on arrival if you don't take any cash but I find it easier to take some with me.

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I went to Siem Reap Cambodia last year. At customs, for a entry stamp, was the only place I used the local money. Everyone else wanted crisp, perfect USD. No torn, folded or less than perfect USD. Most things like shirts, hats, misc. was $5. Funny how everything seemed to be $5. Hotels took credit cards. Most restaurants did not.

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Thx for the replies -  An alternate approach seems to be the best way so I'll go with that.

One more thing: Are there ATMs from a specific branch which allows to withdraw more than others (like in the case of TH)?

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Just now, Phatbeets said:

Thx for the replies -  An alternate approach seems to be the best way so I'll go with that.

One more thing: Are there ATMs from a specific branch which allows to withdraw more than others (like in the case of TH)?

Most banks have 500USD limit, but I believe Union bank (if their ATMs are not closed coz out of cash) allows 1000USD. My aussie bank only allows 1000AUD (+fee) so I need to do exchange calculations to get close - maybe same for your home bank.

Their bank charges 5USD (I believe that's been increased recently though) for the transaction, another 5AUD to my home bank. Display balance costs another 5USD, so know where your balance is at without asking the ATM.

 

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The problem with withdrawing from ATMs is that you will run into ATM fees, I think about $4-$5 per transaction. . Also, if you travel off the beaten track, may have trouble finding one (not an issue if you stick to cities). And, the ATMs tend to dispense large bills which can be inconvenient/hard to change.
 
On the other hand you do not want to be travelling around Cambodia with large amounts of cash.


Sheryl, i was just doing some research for my upcoming trip to Siem Reap and one of the resident expats there mentioned that the Maybank ATM doesn't charge an ATM withdrawal fee. Will definitely check it out. I have used Canadia Bank in the past but I understand that it now charges about US$4.

David
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13 hours ago, Sheryl said:

The problem with withdrawing from ATMs is that you will run into ATM fees, I think about $4-$5 per transaction. . Also, if you travel off the beaten track, may have trouble finding one (not an issue if you stick to cities). And, the ATMs tend to dispense large bills which can be inconvenient/hard to change.

 

On the other hand you do not want to be travelling around Cambodia with large amounts of cash.

Some banks reimburse ATM fees. Having the cash available when traveling off the beaten path has always been a travelers problem--I prefer carrying enough cash

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By the way withdrawal $10 less than a round figure to avoid another $100 bill, i.e  990 if you want 1000, ATM doesn't give you options of smaller denominations.

Theres a joke in Cambo - you can starve to death with $100 in your pocket coz no-one has that much change, even $10 is sometimes refused. 

Breaking down large notes (but not too large) becomes something you have to be constantly doing when you buy something there.

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3 hours ago, PeterA said:

I went to Siem Reap Cambodia last year. At customs, for a entry stamp, was the only place I used the local money. Everyone else wanted crisp, perfect USD. No torn, folded or less than perfect USD. Most things like shirts, hats, misc. was $5. Funny how everything seemed to be $5. Hotels took credit cards. Most restaurants did not.

I found more things one dollar than five dollars--a beer in a girlie bar, $1; a beer and a baguette sandwich, $1; a fine for not wearing your helmet, not having a Cambodian license and having your lights on in the daytime, $1. $5 bought a bottle of wine.

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Just now, smotherb said:

I found more things one dollar than five dollars--a beer in a girlie bar, $1; a beer and a baguette sandwich, $1; a fine for not wearing your helmet, not having a Cambodian license and having your lights on in the daytime, $1. $5 bought a bottle of wine.

Yep, collect the $1 bills for a night out coz giving change is not their strong suit, and you can be sure your GF has no change.

This is why its best to bring at least some of your home currency to change a bit here and there straight into riel, 20,000 ($5) is my preference.

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4 hours ago, Bikeman93 said:

Yep, collect the $1 bills for a night out coz giving change is not their strong suit, and you can be sure your GF has no change.

This is why its best to bring at least some of your home currency to change a bit here and there straight into riel, 20,000 ($5) is my preference.

My home currency is USD and I get plenty of riels in change, so many that I invariably have them left-over when I leave--not sure where you are going.

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5 hours ago, ericthai said:

you could get traveler checks and then exchange them in Cambodia as needed. 

travelers checks are a pain in the arse ... just bring a bit of cash ... change it at a money changer then use your ATM after that ....  simple ...:coffee1:

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10 hours ago, smotherb said:

The OP did not mention going to Thailand and the ATMs in Cambodia dispense US dollars.

Ah, my bad. You're right. I was reading carelessly. I thought since he was posting here he planned to come here, but I guess he just figured he would be more likely to find knowledgeable people here.

 

I've never been to Cambodia. When I was younger I hoped to visit Angkor Wat, but don't think that's going to happen. I didn't realize the ATMs there dispense dollars.

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34 minutes ago, Acharn said:

Ah, my bad. You're right. I was reading carelessly. I thought since he was posting here he planned to come here, but I guess he just figured he would be more likely to find knowledgeable people here.

 

I've never been to Cambodia. When I was younger I hoped to visit Angkor Wat, but don't think that's going to happen. I didn't realize the ATMs there dispense dollars.

No problem. Cambodia is worth the trip and not just for Angor Wat--you can actually get good beef, wines, spirits, cheeses, bread, and coffee very cheaply and there is little to no hassle for the visa.

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No problem. Cambodia is worth the trip and not just for Angor Wat--you can actually get good beef, wines, spirits, cheeses, bread, and coffee very cheaply and there is little to no hassle for the visa.



Sheryl, i was just doing some research for my upcoming trip to Siem Reap and one of the resident expats there mentioned that the Maybank ATM doesn't charge an ATM withdrawal fee. Will definitely check it out. I have used Canadia Bank in the past but I understand that it now charges about US$4.

David

I can confirm that as of this afternoon, you can do an ATM withdrawal at Maybank on Sivatha Blvd with no fee. I used a US issued debit card. No indication that other cards would be different. When you see the screen that says something like "see your bank for details about fees" just click continue.
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On 22.5.2017 at 4:35 PM, Teelak17 said:

My advice = bring cash and use your credit card if necessary. Be carreful when you exchange money. Some are fake and some time people try to give you the tore banknote. Ask your bank for only 100 euros banknote.

 

Best place for exchange euro is Ly Hour shop at street 217 ( Charles de Gaulle Blv ) near Olympic stadium.

More recommendations for exchange EUR to USD, please. I remember, last year I had run out of USD and urgently had to exchange EUR to USD to pay for bus ticket, and two money exchanges near bus tation did not take my EUR.

 

My home currency is EUR, so I guess it's better to exchange EUR to USD in Cambodia than EUR to THB to USD in Thailand (where I'm now).

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Money exchange

ATMs have a fee of 4 or 5 USD, in addition I don’t know until later what rate my visa card gives. For Thailand, I found bringing cash is the most efficient way. Apply this to Cambodia. Following this lead http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?t=30992, I searched for the place recommended and walked along street 51 (Pasteur) from south to north and checked banks and other places along the way for exchange rates to exchange EUR to USD. Tue 6jun2017 around 9 am on xe.com 1 EUR = 1.12635 USD. Most banks don’t have exchange rates displayed, but if you ask they will tell you their exchange rate (not my style, skip). A place Wing (green, street 51 diagonally opposite Heart of Darkness disco) 1.08. Lang Daro pawn shop (green, near st 144) 1.105. Somnea (gold shop, st 136 between st 51 and st 53, south-east corner of Central Market) 1.121. Or Sovann (gold and jewelry, across st 136 from Somnea) 1.121. Exchange there.

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  • 10 months later...
On 2018-05-07 at 1:55 PM, grkt said:

hello, do you know if we can use Thai debit card ATM cards in Cambodia to withdraw usd ? thanks a lot.

 

I did once in a minor emergency, but got raped on exchange rate and ATM charges. Take Thai baht and change it around the Central Market. But don't go waving around the money. First, ask the THB-USD or THB-KHRiel rate at the several sidewalk exchange services. Gold shops also change money and post their rates on a board. Calculate what you should get first by consulting a Cambodian bank's online rate board (Canadia Bank, ABA Bank) and then poll the sidewalk changers. 

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3 hours ago, Kaoboi Bebobp said:

 

I did once in a minor emergency, but got raped on exchange rate and ATM charges. Take Thai baht and change it around the Central Market. But don't go waving around the money. First, ask the THB-USD or THB-KHRiel rate at the several sidewalk exchange services. Gold shops also change money and post their rates on a board. Calculate what you should get first by consulting a Cambodian bank's online rate board (Canadia Bank, ABA Bank) and then poll the sidewalk changers. 

 

We do not need riel, right ? only US dollar ok ?

 

 

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