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Currency exchange

posts: 296
reviews: 3
Currency exchange

Much has been written on this and various other boards about exchanging U.S. dollars for local currency at black market rates which are apparently higher than official rates.

Perhaps the best approach is to just use U.S. dollars and if the item you wish to purchase is too expensive simply don't buy it. If you walk away from an overpriced item or service the vendor will come down in price. I suspect the same approach will work for vendors wishing to levy a surcharge for credit card payment.

I don't see the point in spending precious vacation time attempting to be an amateur currency trader. I suspect the locals know the exchange rate and as a tourist you would be well advised to also.

Marathon. Ontario...
posts: 21
1. Re: Currency exchange

Hi Your point is well taken i would be interested to know if you can do that or if they insist that you change your money. As far as getting change back if you take enough smaller bills it might not be such a problem. What do you think? Interesting to know. Trudy

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 92
reviews: 7
2. Re: Currency exchange

You just have to do the following calculation:

Let's say a daytour costs 50 $. If you pay cash in dollars, then that is exactly the amount you paid. Now if you use venezuelan bolivares you would pay 50$ * 1916 Bs/$ (current official rate) = 95800 Bs.

Now, if you go to the black market to get 95800 Bs you would need (95800 Bs )/2400 Bs/$ (approximate current rate, it fluctuates) so you would need only 40 $ .

That means you saved 10 $ or in other words you would save 20 percent (the difference between the official and black market rate) on everything you buy.

When you use a credit card they apply the official rate, so you'll miss these savings.

The difference between the black market and the official rate makes everything cheaper to foreigners but more expensive to locals (importers use the black rate to calculate items value, while salaries are static because the "currency is not being devaluated" )

posts: 296
reviews: 3
3. Re: Currency exchange

Believe me they will take U.S. dollars as payment, it' merely a question of how many dollars for the item in question. Trudy I intend to take $100 U.S. in 10's, 5's and 1's plus another $400 in 50's. Since we will be on an all inclusive trip that should cover our needs for side trips.

If I need more I will use a VISA. I realize the conversion on the credit cards is at the official rate but I don't intend to run around playing "currency trader" trying to save $50 dollars on a trip that has cost my wife and I $2,500 at the travel agent anyway. Fred

P.S. At this time of year Trudy it's worth a few bucks just to get away from the weather in Burlington so it must worth a fortune to get out of Marathon.

posts: 31
reviews: 3
4. Re: Currency exchange

Glad to hear someone else from Burlington is heading to Margarita! We plan to do the same thing, F, take so much in U.S. dollars (quite a few $1.00 U.S. bills for tipping) and any side trips we'll use a credit card. Any other trips we've taken, this is what we have done and it has worked out fine. Especially if you're going all inclusive, I wouldn't be worrying about nickle and diming, just enjoy the trip!

Marathon. Ontario...
posts: 21
5. Re: Currency exchange

Okay Fred you made my day i laughted so hard about the cold weather and your right about Marathon. Thanks for the help everyone and i know we will all have a great time while we are gone and just suck up the sun. I am leaving in Aprill so if anyone goes before then please let me know the in's and outs.


posts: 12
6. Re: Currency exchange

The only one making any sense on this whole subject is Caraqueno from Chicago.

All this info will be carefully described to you by your Tour Operator when you arrive at your hotel.Be sure to attend your Tour Operators briefieng shortly after you arrive at your hotel.

The concept of using a credit card makes no sense at all.

The current exchage rate is 1900 Bolivars to US 1.00.Right at youyr hotel you will be able to get at least 2700 Bolivars to US$1.00

Leicester, uk
posts: 4
7. Re: Currency exchange

I will be visitig margarita on 2nd march and i can't wait but i wa wondering if it is best to get american dollars or bollivars? I am from UK.



Leicester, uk
posts: 4
8. Re: Currency exchange

I am going to margarita on 2nd March and was wondering what currency it is best to take? i am from the uk


Stoney Creek
posts: 118
reviews: 1
9. Re: Currency exchange

Hi Sharon. Bring US Dollars. Dollars are the easiest to exchange and you may not get the best rate for any other currency. Dollars are King on MI.

Ontario Canada
posts: 5
10. Re: Currency exchange

Hi, We are going to MI in Feb./05 and I bought U.S. currency and Travellers cheques. I tried buying Bolivars but you can only purchase them in Venezuela. Will make sure I have lots of small bills in U.S. dollars too. Bernie in Ontario,Canada

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