What currency will I need?
The currency used in Cape Town, South Africa, is the South African Rand (ZAR). It is recommended to have some local currency on hand for small expenses, such as transportation, food, and shopping.
The South African Rand (ZAR) is divided into smaller units called cents. The denominations of South African Rand banknotes are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Rand. Coins are available in 1, 2, 5, and 10 Rand, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.
Should I use travel cash or a card?
According to Mintel, 90% of British travellers take some travel cash with them. It’s perfect for tips, taxis, street-side vendors and locations which do not have card machines (or where they are not working). It’s easy to budget with, and share with other members of your party. It’s also not prone to technical faults, does not require internet access, and you won’t be charged to use it.
Having a debit card is also a great idea as backup – just make sure you know what fees the card issuer charges to make payments in the foreign currency (better still, find one that makes no charges at all). Bigger purchases should be made on a travel-friendly UK-issued credit card to get that additional Section 75 protection (see https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/credit-and-purchases/how-youre-protected-when-you-pay-by-card). Make sure when paying by card that you ALWAYS pay in the foreign currency – do not let the card processor do the conversion to GBP as you will always get a worse rate. That applies even if the foreign currency is already loaded onto a prepaid multi-currency card – the card issuer will decide whether to settle from your foreign currency wallet or not.
Where can I buy currency?
You will typically get a better deal buying your travel cash here in the UK before you travel. Look for the highest possible foreign currency exchange rate to indicate the best deal. For example, a rate of ZAR 22.7028 is better than ZAR 22.2110 when buying South African Rand (ZAR). Airports tend to offer the worst rates – especially if you have not pre-ordered – and you may find a bureau de change on your High Street, in a supermarket or department store, in many travel agents, and at major transport hubs.
You can also buy South African Rand from Travel Money Club for next business day despatch to home via fully insured Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm. Unlike the competition, we don’t hide fees and charges in our exchange rates – you just pay a fair and transparent handling fee based on how much you are exchanging. Get an instant quote now at https://yourtmc.link/quote-zar.
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