Going to Egypt with Russian currency in your pocket, a tourist cannot escape the exchange of rubles for Egyptian pounds or dollars, since ruble payments are not yet accepted at the resorts of the country. In addition, vacationers risk losing a substantial amount on “predatory conversion,” said a Russian woman living in this North African country.
On the Yandex.Zen channel, she compared the available means of payment in rubles for Russian travelers in the main foreign holiday destinations and noted that in terms of payment options, “Turkey is clearly ahead of Egypt,” since the latter does not accept bank cards of the domestic MIR payment system. “Let's see if the MIR cards will work for us at least by September. Well, changing rubles at a low rate through dealers has always been real in Egypt,” she said.
As for the Russian cards of the Chinese payment system Union Pay, the author noted that in Egypt she does not know a single hotel that would offer payment in rubles. However, there are special cases when our compatriots can pay at the reception in rubles, but this will be an unofficial payment bypassing the cash desk and at an overpriced rate. The administrator can accept payment in rubles in cases where he has contact with Russians: his wife/friend from Russia, who may soon need Russian currency.
Here is a quote: “The scheme is simple – they take rubles from tourists at 85 (for example), change them at 65-68 (at this rate they can be exchanged for dollars, for example, at Tinkoff Bank). As a result, we get a net profit of at least 15 rubles from $1. At the same time, of course, they put dollars in the cashier – and they deal with rubles later. From the same Tinkoff account, dollars can be cashed out, but only after September 9th. Some guides, even without Russian wives/girlfriends and without any need for Russian currency, can accept rubles at a very high rate (they used to accept 95-100) and then resell them to the same resellers at 83-85. And those will already be looking for exchange options for 65-70. In such a scheme, two intermediaries earn at once.
In addition, Russian-speaking guides accept payment in rubles, but again at an inadequate rate. Another option – “in Sharm (Sharm el-Sheikh) rubles were accepted at the Mango Market in Hadab. When I asked them in April, the exchange rate was 100. Now I don't know, but I think it's also around 85.”
As for the residents, they exchange money among themselves. The course is individual. “We have to look for good offers, but there are plenty of speculators with a desire to earn money,” the Russian woman noted.
“In general, the scheme is not new: it was always possible to pay with rubles in Egypt, and always at an overvalued rate. You just need to look for options (the easiest way is through guides), and not expect that they will be accepted always and everywhere – even at the airport, even at the reception. Progress has not yet reached this point,” the author concluded and added that two categories of tourists traveling from Russia to Egypt will not need wads of cash.
Firstly, for those who decide to use a prepaid deposit. “This is when a tourist puts a “nth” amount in rubles on a deposit to the tour operator before the trip and can spend this money on buying excursions and other expenses (I believe that only within his hotel). It is impossible to deposit money from Egypt, but you can withdraw the balance upon return. True, at the same time, tour operators take their commission, but these are divine 10-12%. If only hoteliers hadn’t recalculated prices in dollars at a “predatory” exchange rate – around 90,” she added.
Secondly, who went on a “card tour” to Kazakhstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and issued an international card that is accepted everywhere, including in Egypt.
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