Paying is US$

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Paying is US$

Postby Zuleika » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:29 pm

Am i being thick or missing something????

Just wondering because there are umpteen posts on this forum regarding people (usually from North America) asking if they can pay in dollars wherever they go.
Now Im sorry, but when ever I go abroad I expect to pay in the currency of that country Im visiting and I wouldn't dream to be so presumptuous that they would take any other currency, why do Americans feel that their currency is IT! Its so ARROGANT! Or am I missing something???? If I went to the States would they take my pounds??? I DONT THINK SO, so why does that country think that dollars are superior to any other country? Someone please tell me!!!
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:38 pm

Just my humble Canadian opinion but in my travels I've seen many countries post/advertise prices in their local currency as well as USD. So, I'm not sure it's arrogance, it's just the way other countries seem to be willing to do business. Other countries want USD and they advertise as such. Like it or not, it's pretty strong currency. Well, except for the unusually-strong Canadian dollar against it right now :wink:
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby nikimarcotte » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:13 pm

panama AND cambodia use almost exclusively the US dollar....they only have change for under a dollar in their own currency, so it isn't JUST the states. the US dollar was accepted almost everywhere in central america and asia that i have been...other than the odd occasion where they didnt' have enough change for the US bill i had. in egypt they ONLY wanted US dollars for visas, as well as every country i have gotten a visa at the border, the first price they quoted was in US dollars, if you asked what it was in local currency, you sometimes got dirty looks and got charged more. i am canadian and i always check if US dollars are accepted in any country i am going to because they are the cheapest currency to get before i leave, and the easiest to use up if i have any left.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby JaliscoJudy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:28 am

The USD is the currency of Ecuador too.

I don't think arrogance is necessarily the issue here. I think the question usually translates to "What kind of cash should I take with me?"

It's not uncommon for a country to prefer dollars to their own, possibly unstable, currency. In the 80s the inflation rate was so rapid that pesos were worth less every day, but not dollars so people were happy to take dollars. I paid $250,000 pesos for Thanksgiving dinner during that time and I'm sure the the proprietor have gladly taken $75 US. Here in Ecuador, before the collapse of the local currency they were printing 10,000 and 100,000 Sucre notes.

A couple of excerpts from Wikipedia speak to the issue of international currency:

In the period following the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944, exchange rates around the world were pegged against the United States dollar, which could be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold. This reinforced the dominance of the US dollar as a global currency.

Since the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime and the gold standard and the institution of floating exchange rates following the Smithsonian Agreement in 1971, most currencies around the world have no longer been pegged against the United States dollar. However, as the United States remained the world's preeminent economic superpower, most international transactions continued to be conducted with the United States dollar, and it has remained the de facto world currency.


In the period following the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944, exchange rates around the world were pegged against the United States dollar, which could be exchanged for a fixed amount of gold. This reinforced the dominance of the US dollar as a global currency.

Since the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime and the gold standard and the institution of floating exchange rates following the Smithsonian Agreement in 1971, most currencies around the world have no longer been pegged against the United States dollar. However, as the United States remained the world's preeminent economic superpower, most international transactions continued to be conducted with the United States dollar, and it has remained the de facto world currency.


So, soon you might well be asking if the country you are going to visit accepts Euros!

The world economy is changing fast. I´m told that the Chinese yen is widely accepted these days in South America, especially Brazil.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby georginal » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:20 pm

Some other countries also use it as a second currency as the local currency is pegged to the USD, for example, Bahrain and some other countries in the Middle East. There is also Zimbabwe, where its 100% in use and because obviously the Zimbabwean dollar(??) crashed out when the country did the same thing.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby IncaTrail50 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:12 pm

JaliscoJudy wrote:In the 80s the inflation rate was so rapid that pesos were worth less every day, but not dollars so people were happy to take dollars. I paid $250,000 pesos for Thanksgiving dinner during that time and I'm sure the the proprietor have gladly taken $75 US.


Thanks for the memory, Judy! I have a good friend in Mexico who had paid 7,000 pesos years ago for his first car. A couple of years later he was paying 35,000 pesos to fill its tank with gas! :shock:
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby JaliscoJudy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:23 pm

IncaTrail50 wrote:
JaliscoJudy wrote:In the 80s the inflation rate was so rapid that pesos were worth less every day, but not dollars so people were happy to take dollars. I paid $250,000 pesos for Thanksgiving dinner during that time and I'm sure the the proprietor have gladly taken $75 US.


Thanks for the memory, Judy! I have a good friend in Mexico who had paid 7,000 pesos years ago for his first car. A couple of years later he was paying 35,000 pesos to fill its tank with gas! :shock:
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And we think our US economy is bad!

The first time I visited Mexico, the exchange rate was 8.5 pesos to the dollar. On the next visit, it was 300. The next, 3,000+ and food staples were price controlled by the government so that people wouldn't starve.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby rivenriver » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:58 am

I think it is arrogance sometimes though. I understand that in some countries eg Cambodia they prefer to use US dollars than the local currency, so it makes sense to use that. But I have also encountered tourists in small towns in Australia who expected to be able to pay in US dollars. In my mind, that's just stupid and arrogant. Do a little research about the country you are going to - if they take US dollars, fine. But chances are if they have a strong economy they don't, and it's arrogant and pathetic to assume that they do. (I was so angry with those American tourists. US dollars?? In AUSTRALIA?? REALLY??)
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:20 am

rivenriver,

I agree, it's arrogant to assume they can pay in US dollars but the people Zuleika mentions WERE doing their research ahead of time to figure out how much cash to take and what kind to have. I therefore don't think the people asking the questions were being presumptuous but rather trying to figure out if they should worry about exchanging currency or if that would be a waste of time and effort.

I note sadly that some Americans from the WW2 generation do sometimes arrogantly assume US dollars are or should be good worldwide because they were for 10 or 20 years after WW2. Almost every country was more than happy to take US currency back then. I would hope they would have noted that things have changed a bit in the last 50 years but Americans have often had a tendency to be rather insular.

I always note with interest when guidebooks tell me to just take US cash (Ecuador, Tanzania, Zambia) as it simplifies my logistics and sometimes makes it better for the local merchant.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby saor » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:24 am

I am just back from Peru, which is essentially has a dual currency system. The local currency and $USD. I preferred to use the local currency as you never know if you are being ripped off - I was in a cafe at one point and overheard the waitress say 1 dollar = 2 solos, which was not the exchange rate, was 2.7.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby nytim » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:46 pm

Jeez some of these posting are neurotic. In Cambodia and Vietnam the US Dollar is the currency for most transactions above $20.00. It is not arrogant is what the locals want. They would rather have $$s than Dong Rant OVER
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby Zuleika » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:18 am

nytim wrote:Jeez some of these posting are neurotic. In Cambodia and Vietnam the US Dollar is the currency for most transactions above $20.00. It is not arrogant is what the locals want. They would rather have $$s than Dong Rant OVER


Of course its what the locals want - you were ripped off good and proper with the exchange rate - congratulations! I bet they laughed all the way to the bank!
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby kat6942 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:52 pm

Most Americans don't travel or care what happens outside of their borders, so partially ignorance, partially arrogance, and partially exposure. Those that do travel a little tend to go to resort towns in the Caribbean and Mexico that gladly take American dollars. As some people noted, the locals prefer US dollars in some parts of Asia. I hear Burma really prefers a stable currency to their own.
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby nytim » Sun May 05, 2013 5:23 pm

If they laughed all the way to the bank it was with my knowledge. As far as I could understand, we paid $ at the current exchange rate. By the way I am not a Yank. I happen to live here for better or for worse. Bread and buttered in Scotland
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Re: Paying is US$

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon May 06, 2013 3:20 pm

I found a lot of areas in Africa and South America preferred to get US currency to local even to the point of offering favorable exchange rates (i.e., sometimes better for the buyer than the official rate). As I said before, it may be arrogant to assume they can pay in US currency but asking the question ahead of time isn't presumptuous at all. In fact, I think it's just as arrogant (in a I'm-the-worldy-traveler-sense) to assume the opposite in many areas of the world.
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