Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cheap Macao Money Changer

Tai Fung Bank has the best exchange rates. A 0.8% commission is all they took from me when they changed my Singapore dollars into Patacas. [Update: The commission as of September 07 has increased to 2.5%.]

The best deal is their Hong Kong dollar exchange rate. They offered 1.03 Patacas to the Hong Kong dollar when the official exchange rate was 1.029.
Note: The rates only show up in Internet Explorer.


Tai Fung bank closes at 5pm, leaving you with only the ATM machine and money changers if you arrive late.

For the ATM machine, the minimum commission you need to pay is 1.6%, plus any bank and ATM charges. There may also be "advances" and other hidden charges that your home bank may charge you, especially if you use a credit card. Unless you don't mind spending lots of money, do your homework.

You can try money changers, but if you are changing anything other than Hong Kong dollars and Renminbi, you may be in for a shock. The last time I tried changing Singapore money, they took an 8% commission. However, they may charge only around 1% commission for the former 2 currencies.


A frequent traveler's tip is to change your money into Hong Kong dollars and spend it as equal to Patacas. But beware that you are paying 3% more. It all adds up if you go shopping or visit a hotel.

If you are a budget traveller like me, go ahead and change it to Patacas. Just change any remainder back again before you leave or you may be stuck with them for good.

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