Trouble buying dollars.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by peilthetraveler, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. I recently returned to the US from the philippines and before I left I had 100k pesos I needed changing into dollars as they government will not let you leave the country with more than 10k. So I go to a bank near my hotel and ask if they can change my money into dollars. As I am white, the first thing they asked was "do you reside in the philippines?" I said "No, I'm going home and need to change these pesos into dollars" Thats when I got the surprise as they told me they can only change the money into dollars if I live in the philippines. I asked why the hell would I need dollars if I live here? The question seemed to stump the teller as if she had no clue as to why bank policy was like that. This was one of the larger banks in the philippines.

    I eventually got the money changed at another bank that was going to sell to me for 46.85 to the dollar, but after complaining for 30 minutes (in philippines bank transactions sometimes take hours) The manager told the girl to recheck the price and they gave me 45.55 giving me about an exta $50 which was used nicely for the shakedown they give you at the airport with bullshit terminal fees, security fees and all the like that they make you pay before they let you get on your plane.

    I am wondering now if banks over the world are scared about letting dollars get back into the US economy and creating inflation. I cant possibly imagine this is it as it was only a small amount of money, but I guess if you have several thousand people do it at banks all over per day, it could add up.
  2. in most countries the local currency is shit compared to USD so everybody wants to hoard the dollars including the banks.
  3. The crooks in some countries need the dollar/other currencies to move their kickbacks to Switzerland/etc, since their money is not a currency. The currency issue is one of the reasons some countries like to see their people immigrate to other currency countries, so that they bring in currencies.

    If you told them you live in there, I would not be surprised that you would have never gotten your money back. When I travel I use a credit cards/travel checks. At least with the credit cards, you can fight it when you are back home.

  4. Quite common, trav. :)

    Next time just hang on to the original receipt of conversion (or transfer) from USD to local currency (esp. for large amounts). Then when leaving, don't even ask, just hand your local currency WITH your receipt to the clerk and you automatically get your USD.

    These countries love their USD reserves. Its as simple as that.

    Cambodia for instance lets customers pay for anything in USD, anywhere even street vendors. They never heard of the $ death crisis that was so popular at ET in Oct 2009. :)
  5. Oh dont get me started on travelers checks over there. Back in 2006 I tried to cash $1,000 worth of travelers checks at the bank. After 1 hour, they said they could not cash that much money, but they could cash $200 worth. I never used travelers checks again as it was so much of a hassle.
  6. It's hard to imagine an idea more absurd than this...
  7. byteme


    It made me chuckle too.

    This is pretty much standard practice all over the world. What currency is used to pay for imports? Where does that currency come from?

    However, I do agree the terminal fees at the airports in the Philippines are a joke.

  8. jeez trav, you're screwing up left and right. TCs give you a better rate than cash; if stolen you get reimbursed. Cashing them anywhere even in large amounts is eeeeeeaaaaassayyy. don't understand what went wrong in your case.