Banks and money


The Dirham is officially only available in Morocco, however there are reports of Dirham being sold and bought in Agencies in several countries. Officially, however, it is a closed currency. The import and export of the currency is tolerated up to a limit of 1000DH. Currency purchased during a visit to Morocco must be converted back before departing the country, with the exception of the 1000DH level. Most of the main foreign currencies may be exchanged at a Bureau de Change in the airport or port upon arrival, at a bank or in most hotels, although smaller hotels in more remote areas may not be able to exchange large amounts at one time without prior notice. Most hotels will exchange at the same rate as the banks, and without charging commission. Exchanging money in the street is illegal, so travelers should look for official Bureaux de Change, identifiable by a golden sign. Travelers should be advised to keep the receipts of currency exchange, as these will be required for the conversion of Dirham back to foreign currency prior to departure; this rule is not always adhered to though. When bringing U.S. Dollars, British Pounds, Euros etc., make sure that they are in good condition – not torn or scribbled on. Do not bring Scottish or Irish Sterling notes as they are impossible to cash as are Australian and Canadian Dollars. Some tourist places quote prices in Euros rather than Dirhams, when there were 10 dirhams to the euro it made conversion easy, now the Euro has strengthened to around 11 to the Dirham it makes conversion harder. Some traders prefer to use the rate of ten to one perhaps to extract more money from the tourist, in essence, by overcharging. Current exchange rates can be checked at http://www.xe.com/ucc However, please remember that the rates provided by this website are for wholesale transfers, but are generally close to the exact rates of exchange found in Morocco. Credit Cards Most credit cards are accepted (especially Visa, MasterCard), although surcharges will likely apply, as the cost of Credit card processing in Morocco is fairly expensive for businesses. DO be aware that only a relatively small amount of businesses in Morocco have the ability to accept Credit cards, though the number is growing, slowly. Advise your bank or card issuer that you intend to travel abroad so that no block will be put on the usage of your credit or ATM cards. Notify the issuer and give them a ‘phone number where you can be contacted abroad. Before travelling, ensure you make a note of all credit card numbers and associated contact numbers for card issuers in case of difficulty. The numbers are usually free to call as you can reverse the charges, make it clear to the operator of your hotel, riad etc that you wish the call charge to be reversed. Preferably get a pre-paid card, with good exchange rates,and low withdrawal fees eg fairFX.