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Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

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Wagga Wagga...
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Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Hi,

Me and my partner are travelling to Samoa in September.

We plan to hire a car. Do petrol stations/cafes/restaurant/shops accept credit-cards or cash-only?

We are staying for 6 nights on the main island. I read somewhere that WST100 is more than enough per person per day. Should I convert WST1200 worth of AUD at the airport and carry around the cash all the time?

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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3,787 posts
31 reviews
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1. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Malo lava

Most restaurants and shops will take credit cards but the majority of petrol stations, markets and cafes don't have the facilities so you'd be wise to have some cash on you. You don't need to change it all at the airport, just enough until you get to Apia where you'll get the best exchange rate at one of the 3 Western Union offices.

How much you spend each day depends on where you're staying, what meals you want and what activities you have planned but 100 tala is reasonable. If you are eating at a resort/hotel they will take credit cards. It's always handy to have cash on you though just for unexpected expenses.

Hope this helps

Manuia le aso

Deb

Wagga Wagga...
2 posts
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2. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Thanks Deb.

Do Western Union accept debit card transactions? I am quite apprehensive carrying around cash, be it AUD or WST!

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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3,787 posts
31 reviews
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3. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Sorry, I'm not sure, I've only ever traded in cash with them but I would think they do. You could check their website.

Which bank are you with? If it's Westpac or ANZ you can withdraw from ATMs and not cop the local bank fee which is up to 15 tala on top of the fee your bank charges for o's withdrawals.

I can understand you not wanting to carry large amounts of cash around, we wouldn't do it here in Australia either. If you're staying at one of the more popular resorts then you can use both credit and debit cards.

Manuia le aso

Deb

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2 posts
51 reviews
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4. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Hi

We just arrived back from 10 days in upolu and had a great experience with blue pacific car rentals who have the latest Hyundai car

The manager there is michaela who is very helpful and provided us with a great package

Be aware that most petrol stations only take wst$ tala and are mostly located close to Apia itself so keep an eye on your fuel gauge so you don't get caught out somewhere remote

As for money you can withdraw wsr$ from either the Watpac or Anzio ATM though we took ausd$ and changed at western union in Apia CBD giving a much better exchange rate than buying through traveled in Australia

Enjoy your trip

Ben

Geelong
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11 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Hi Ben, WE are also going to Samoa in August and are also trying to work out the whole money thing eg, use c/c or debit cards or cash, and exchanging cash here, or airport or Apia etc, but when you said its cheaper to change it at westion union compared to changing it in Australia, what about changing it at a western union in Australia, would that be just the same as doing it at western union in Samoa? Cheers ,

Victoria.

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6. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

HI Victoria,

Quite exciting getting everything together :)

We found buying online through Travelex in Australia was about the best Aud to WST rate and no commission fees attractive so proceeded to get at least WST500 tala before leaving for Samoa.

From experience - the Western Union in Apia provides a slight better exchange rate than at the airport

We didn't need to use our credit card apart for bond on the rental car and staying at the Tanoa. Be aware that many places charge an additional surcharge fee of 3 to 5% when you use credit card.

Hope this helps and enjoy your trip to paradise

Shanghai
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48 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Hi Ben,

I am also going to visit Samoa next month.

Could you share some daily cost range for me? Like how much for dinner or lunch in Tala.

Thanks!

Kawerau, New Zealand
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492 posts
99 reviews
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8. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

it very much depends on what type of travelling you enjoy and where you intend to eat- e.g local shops about 5tala lunch, budget fales ,& value restaurants about 10-20 for lunch 15-30 for dinner,nice resorts & good restaurants 20-30 for lunch & 20-60 for dinner

Thats just a guide, things vary a bit depending what type of food you eat i.e local (fish & vegies) are cheaper or imported (steak etc) is more expensive

Shanghai
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48 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Tha's right!

I think I love local food and normally I choose budget style

Thanks for your information!

Apia, Samoa
7 posts
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10. Re: Cash transactions or CC in Apia?

Yes, Samoa is mostly a cash based society but all the major establishments take cc. That said most govt departments dont, so for example booking a ferry to Savaii is best done with cash. ANZ has a good ATM network with Cirrus etc so your NZ/AUS debit card should also work here (i've used mine many times).