Thursday, February 08, 2007

Changing Money

Marquesan carved coconut shell containers

July 18, 2011 Update - Bank of Socredo no longer does currency exchange for non-clients.  Banque de Polynésie no longer changes travelers checks.  Banque de Tahiti still changes both currency and travelers checks. 

There is no longer a 24 hour currency exchange at Tahiti's International Airport. There are (unreliable) ATMs and currency exchange machines at the airport.

Please be aware that your ATM card may not work in French Polynesia. There have been so many reports of travelers stranded with no money. I tried two different ATM cards at both the Socredo and Bank of Polynesia machines and neither worked. However, if yours works then it is where you will get the best rate. Note that ATM withdrawals are limited to 30000 per week.

Travelers checks may be old school but it's strongly suggested that you have an alternate source of currency. They get a 1% higher exchange rate than cash. It has been reported that some banks charge a small fee for each TC changed so it is better to go with larger denominations. Regardless of what you use there is a transaction fee of approximately 500 for exchanging money (each transaction).

Update 2011 : The Bank of Polynesia at Faaa Airport no longer accepts traveler's checks. You will need cash or risk using their ATMs. Here is the Tahiti Explorer forum currency exchange thread.

The Bank of Polynesia is open at the airport for all international arrivals. Bank Socredo, at the airport, has the reputation for having better rates but is only open during the day (their ATM rates are reputed to be better also).

Some islands, such as Tikehau, have no banks. No problems on Bora Bora and Moorea. Hotels and resorts (not pensions) will exchange money at less favorable rates. They don't charge a conversion fee.

I would recommend getting the money that you need in Tahiti before setting off for the outer islands.

Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard especially) are accepted by the larger hotels and shops.

CFP stands for Comptoirs Français du Pacifique Francs. XPF is the designation used by currency exchanges. It is at a fixed rate to the Euro (1 Euro = 119.332 XPF). Sometimes pensions will quote rates in Euros also.

Photo courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme.

No comments:

Post a Comment