South Africa
Forex buying tips
Banking & Digital Solutions

Forex buying tips

Planning an international holiday? Don’t forget to buy your forex. Here are a few tips to help when purchasing currency for your next trip.

Whether you need to pay for taxi fares, tips or small purchases, it’s always a good idea to have the right currency with you on your travels. But when it comes to purchasing your holiday cash, many leave it to the very last minute.

To make sure your trip to the Bureau de Change is timely and as pain-free as possible, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You can buy forex up to 60 days prior to your overseas travels.
  2. South African residents (over the age of 18 years) qualify for a Single Discretionary Allowance of up to R1 million per year. This allowance covers gifts, travel, donations, maintenance, etc. Residents under the age of 18 qualify for an annual allowance of R200 000.
  3. When buying forex, make sure you have your valid passport and proof of travel arrangements (flight tickets and accommodation confirmation), your green bar-coded ID or temporary resident permit, and proof of address (not older than three months).
  4. According to the Reserve Bank, all forex must be sold back to an authorised dealer within 30 days of returning to South Africa.
  5. ‘Commission-free rates’ are not always what they seem. When buying forex, do the math yourself (based on the current exchange rate) to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
  6. Different outlets are likely to have different exchange policies: finding a bureau that charges a flat rate will save you money when changing large amounts of cash.
  7. When ordering forex from your bank, most offer direct delivery to approved business premises within 24 hours of receiving the order (depending on the cut-off time and at a set rate).