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Having read about the trouble some people have had using ATMs I went to the Nationwide where I have my debit card and they say it should work in any ATM in Sri Lanka. We are staying in the Mermaid, Kalutara so can you tell me where the best place to use ATMs are.Should we go to Colombo to the major Banks, also our local American Express money exchange suggested taking US dollar travellers cheques instead of sterling travellers cheques. Which is the best way or should we cover all angles and take cash, travellers cheques and our cards.

Many thanks Walt.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Money

Hi Walt,

Sampath and Commercial Bank in Kalutara South should work perfectly well. No reason to go to Colombo.

Amex is probably wanting to earn some extra money (exchange fees) from you. No reason AT ALL to first buy USD TC and then go exchanging them for rupee, it'll cost you a double exchange fee.

Unless you want to bet on a pound falling against the USD but then for betting on the money market there are easier ways than doing it with cash or TC's...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka, Kalutara, Ahungalla
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2. Re: Money

Hi Walt...

Yes, would agree with Erik here, NO need whatsoever in giving AMEX any of your hard earned cash for Dollar TCs, especially when you can get Sterling ones totally commission free from Nationwide like i do myself.

Sterling very widely accepted in all banks in Sri Lanka, hotels too, although banks do give a better exchange rate.

Not a great believer in ATMs myself, as things do and can go wrong !!, and takes little while to put right after you get home again.



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3. Re: Money

HI clucky,

Firstly, try looking here,


according to that site, there are ATM,s in Kalutara,..

When I'm in Sri Lanka I rely on my Nationwide debit card and atm,s. I also carry a little cash. in £,s sterling, and a card from a different bank just in case of any emergency. Like theft, or card being lost or the machine confiscating it, etc.

So far, none of these events have occured and I've found the nationwide card to be all I need.

There's no point at all in taking American dollar TC,s if you're home currency is Pounds sterling.

If thats the case, then sterling travellers cheques are what to take.

Personally, I've never taken travellers cheques over there, just a little cash reserve but if you feel more confident having the cheques, then by all means take them as a back up.

You can allways change a TC with your hotel but I think you'll find the exchange rate punitive.

For your first exchange.. As you walk out through arrivals at the airport, you'll see several banks there. All want your money and from what I've seen, they all give the same exchange rate, so you can change some money there, either cash, cheque or use the ATM by the door.

Make sure you get lots of small denomination notes for tuk tuk's buses, tipping etc,


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4. Re: Money


What about euro in Sri Lanka? Is the exchange rate good, or should I considers taking USD or pounds?



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5. Re: Money

Hi Augis,

Take which ever is your usual currency.

Euro, Pounds, Dollars, etc are all acceptable but there's no point in changeing currencies twice. If you use pounds at home, take them. If you use Euros ,, then thats what to take.


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6. Re: Money

Hi Rod, thanks

7. Re: Money

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