Money/Credit Cards, Cairo
If you are planning to live for an extended period of time (study abroad, work abroad etc.) then there are some money issues you will need to know.
- Have two bank accounts in your home country, each with their own ATM card and access (make sure they have FOUR digit pin numbers, not more or less, and I prefer to also have Visa or Mastercard privileges).
- Give power of attorney over these accounts to someone you trust (parent, sibling etc) so they can make any needed changes in case your cards are lost/stolen.
- The reason you should have two accounts is that if you lose one card and have to cancel it, you can have your power of attorney transfer money from that account to the second one. Also bring several cards for each account and leave one of each with your POA.
PS Actually this advice is useful for those travelling to any foreign country.
Sounds funny, but you should always keep some smaller notes in your pocket otherwise you will be ended up paying too much tips. I had a 50 lbs notes And the bear price was 8 lbs. The waiter gave me like this 10, 20, 30 and 35 okay? (with a smile!)
Those in the picture are fractions of pound (too small to carry)! But you gotta carry enough notes of 1 and 5 pounds to make the bill handy for tea and koshari joints. Also, unlike other places, shop attendants don't have change for bigger notes beginning of the day. They depend on the change from the customers.
Miscellaneous: ATMs and Plastic money: they are the most convenient way to take your money abroad. You get lots of benefits and (almost!!) no problems. You'll get lower exchange rate than if you were to exchane your cash, and you will pay lower commissions than if you came up with a travel cheque. But, above all, you'll get safety: you will not be crying over money lost forever even if your ATM card gets stolen. And, even more than that, you can pay in many shops by a plastic card. So, I am always travelling with my ATM cards in my pocket. And in Cairo there are plenty of ATM machines: in banks, in shops, hotels and along some streets, too. But, however, here are some important rules to keep in mind: 1) Do use Electron/Cirrus/any other debit card for withdrawals, as any other thing will be considered a cash advance, 2)Try to take out money few times but in bigger sums so as not to accumulate fees, 3) If you loose you card call the issuing company immediatley and better call you bank, too, to block the card.