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Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

Toronto, Canada
7 posts
Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

I heard some people said that the exchange rate out of airports is worse than that at airports. Is it true? Do we have to exchange all the money at airports?

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
Level Contributor
19,798 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

No, of course not.

In fact, many visitors simply use the plentiful ATMs. We bring enough USD for our visa and first day's expenses then just use the ATMs - notify the bank so our card isn't swallowed and to minimise fees find out which bank is 'partnered' with out home bank. Can't escape the forex fee though.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
197 posts
2. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

Exchange rates at the airport are much worse than at money changers located at all of the markets in ever town. Hotels are the only places where you'll get worse rates than at the airport. But changing money is generally unnecessary, use your ATM card to get cash out in USD at any ATM in Cambodia. USD are accepted everywhere in Cambodia and you'll get change in Cambodian riel. Here's some more info on how currency works in Cambodia: movetocambodia.com/about-cambodia/currency/

Toronto, Canada
7 posts
3. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

Thanks thmoore and MovetoCambodia, your advice is very useful. Do you know which bank is the best for Canadian cards??

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
197 posts
4. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

There is an ATM at the airport for Canadia bank (not Canadian!) that has fee-free withdrawals for international cards. This is the best bet for any international ATM card, but of course your bank may impose additional fees on their side.

Gosport, United...
Level Contributor
6,320 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

Whenever you use an ATM make sure it's attached to an bank, and that the bank is open for business at the time.

At least that way, if the machine eats your card you can simply go into the bank and [hopefully] get the problem sorted out on the spot.

We used Canadia bank in PP and SR for exchanging cash, and we felt we got the best rate with them.

Do check the notes they give you though. They won't accept torn foreign notes or notes with writing on them off you, so don't accept any torn or too well worn US$ off them!

6. Re: Should we exchange money ONLY at airports?

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