Information about Tunisia

Money in Tunisia

currency exchange - ATM - credit card - precautions



Money exchange

In Tunisia, all major currencies (Dollar, Euro, Pound, Franc, Rubel, Franken, etc.) can be exchanged into and from the tunisian currency Tunisian Dinar (TND).
The Import and Export of tunisian currency is forbidden.

The exchange rate is similar, but different in each bank and changes daily according to the interbank money market.
So, it is well posssible to save the equivalent of a dinner by picking the exchange with the best actual rate.
The average/medium exchange rate is published each day by the Central Bank of Tunisia and are usually close to the rates that have been determined by international systems (see eg. on the TunisPro Homepage).

There are exchange counters in all bigger hotels and numerous banks in Tunisa exchange currencies as well. Banks are usually open from monday-friday noon.

In all international airports in Tunisia, there is always, around the clock, at least one open bank counter, usually near the arrival/departure zone.

Changing money in-officially, eg. with a private citizen is illegal - and will not offer better exchange rates!


ATMs in Tunisia


ATMs are, at least in the tourist areas and big cities, available in large numbers.
The machines accept most credit and debit cards of VISA, MASTERCARD and MAESTRO (please note that V-PAY cards are usually not accepted).

The maximum amount that can be withdrawn throughout a day depends on the daily limit of the card holder (ask your card issuer). Experience has shown that withdrawals of 300-600 Dinars per transaction are not a problem with tunisian ATMs.

Only Tunisian Dinars can be withdrawn from an ATM!

The mobile terminals in some banks seems to work differently than the fixed ATM machines and reject cards/PINs sometimes.


Credit Cards


The major credit cards (eg. VISA and MASTERCARD) are being accepted in most major hotels, supermarkets and shops in the tourist zones. Car rentals companies usually require a credit card (security withhold).

For overland travel and paying in small shops, carrying cash is absolutely indispensable, though.


Precautions

Showing off large amounts of money or credit cards in the public for no good reason is strongly discouraged - because this will quickly attract thieves and fraudsters.

Instead, it is recommended that a small amount of cash, like 20-30 TND, is stored separately and payments are made only from this cash depot - so that one appears to carry only change or a small sum of money with him!

Many shops will not be able or willing to give change on a 50 and even 20 Dinar banknote, so carrying small denominations (10 dinar or coins) is recommended anyway.

Refuse any "help" or "assistance" from "friendly natives" when withdrawing money from an ATM or bank or when exchanging money. Chances are good, that, during the process, not only the helper will be gone, but also your money with him.

When using an ATM, make sure that the machine appears and works as you would expect it and that no fake installations or cameras in unusual positions (eg. above the keypad) are present!


Bank account


Non-tunisian citizens who live in Tunisia, can, without any problems, open up bank accounts. These bank accounts are called "convertible currency accounts" or "single foreign currency accounts".

To open up a bank account, there are just the passport and a renting contract for an house/apartment required. In addition, a small sum should be deposited on a new bank account.
Since 2011, some banks require a residence permit (Carte Sejour) as well to open up a bank account.

All deposits on this account can only be made in foreign currency (not in Tunisian Dinars!) - either by cash or by bank transfer from an account in another country. The funds will be converted into Tunisia Dinars either at the time of the deposit (convertible currency account) or at the time of withdrawal of Tunisian Dinars (single currency account).
It is also possible to withdraw from such an account any currency (convertible account) or the single foreign currency (single currency account). These amounts are then considered to be (customs) "declared", but you need to keepĀ  the receipt for it.



Please see also:

Customs regulations in Tunisia, money import and export

Fraud in Tunisia

Currency of Tunisia
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