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Old 14-11-2012, 17:39   #1
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What Denomination $$ to Carry

I know I saw this somewhere, that someone said what currency denomination is best to carry offshore for folks from the USA. Cant remember, and I looked using the search feature. Can someone clear this up for me? Thanks
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Old 14-11-2012, 17:47   #2
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Re: What denomination $$ to carry

Funny you should ask. I just tried to exchange US twenties in the Philippines. I have a box-full of them. And I was quoted only 30 pesos per dollar. Ouch! She would have given me the common rate of 40 pesos if they were US hundreds. So I have a box full of twenties if anybody wants them.

It really helps to bring crispy clean hundreds from your bank in the US. Or beg the exchange for new ones. They often try to pawn off the old bills. Bring about a briefcase full to maximize your fun.
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Old 14-11-2012, 17:59   #3
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Re: What denomination $$ to carry

I seemed to have no trouble with 100's, however, if you are not going to be in a place long, you may not want that much of that place's currency, so some 20's etc are nice. a bad exchange rate on a 20 is better than a bunch of rubles you'll never use!
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Old 14-11-2012, 18:22   #4
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Re: What denomination $$ to carry

100s are what you will need, smaller denominations are not accepted, usually. Whether you are dealing with legitimate money changers or the gray markets. You can usually get a better deal at the airport. For gratuities the smaller denominations can play a role there, even a single can carry a lot of weight, though it would be better to use the local currency.
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Old 14-11-2012, 18:38   #5
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Re: What denomination $$ to carry

In Mexico they didn't want anything bigger than US 20's in the local stores.
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:23   #6
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In Mexico they didn't want anything bigger than US 20's in the local stores.
But you will get a better rate at the exchange offices, and they will prefer 100s
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:53   #7
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But you will get a better rate at the exchange offices, and they will prefer 100s
Not always, many smaller places in Guatemala and Mexico won't take them. 20s only.
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Old 14-11-2012, 19:58   #8
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Re: What Denomination $$ to Carry

In Mexico I've been having good luck with Pesos. Go to an HSBC ATM, pull out a bunch of pesos, and you're golden. Better exchange rate than per-item purchases with visa/mastercard, and cheaper. A lot of places have USD-Peso prices but rarely is the exchange any good.

As far as "how much" that's a bit loaded. If you need a bunch of fuel in distant places you'll want cash to cover that.

If you take the bus or any local transportation, you'll be using local currency.
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Old 14-11-2012, 20:46   #9
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Re: What Denomination $$ to Carry

In Asia, the established money changers that offer best rate will only give best rate for $100’s, because the smaller denominations are more often counterfeited.

If you pick up USD 100’s from Bank they come with 2 copies of a print out of serial numbers.
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Old 14-11-2012, 20:56   #10
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Re: What Denomination $$ to Carry

In some countries you will get a better rate with crisp new hundreds. Really old ones may not even be accepted. On the other hand, we have started to get foreign currency from ATMs more often and use US cash less often.
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Old 14-11-2012, 21:18   #11
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Re: What denomination $$ to carry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
In Mexico they didn't want anything bigger than US 20's in the local stores.
Allow me to explain this policy. In the smaller mercados, the cashiers will know precisely what a $20 bill equals in local currency. Using that figure, they can easily figure out what your change will be in pesos.

In larger mercados the cashiers will have a calculator and know how to figure more complex transactions.
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Old 14-11-2012, 21:29   #12
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Re: What Denomination $$ to Carry

When using the 100s, you'll want to use bills printed in 1994 or later, the bill design was changed then, 1996 and newer is a good practice. I understand that some debit cards/credit cards will give you the market exchange at the instant that you use it. It is always a good idea to have small denominations of the local currency at hand for smaller purchases.
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Old 14-11-2012, 21:33   #13
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In some countries you will get a better rate with crisp new hundreds. Really old ones may not even be accepted.

I know an iron will take old $ and make it look new (if I had an iron). Makes birthday present money prettier. Maybe a pan warmed on the stove to press the money?
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Old 14-11-2012, 22:04   #14
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I'm not sure where your travelling to but from my experience we took U.S dollars to parts of Africa and Asia but where advised to get as new as notes as possible due to counterfeiting. Not sure how true this is but have always found it easy to change U.S $. We can exchange AUS dollars in most countries but some prefer US.
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Old 14-11-2012, 22:10   #15
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Re: What Denomination $$ to Carry

Take 2 different ATM/debit cards and cut down on the cash. The most US cash we spent was coming up the Red Sea, and that was less than $1000. They really won't take any old or torn bills.

YMBAL if you spend your last day in each country trying to spend all your local cash.
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