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Morocco

Money & costs

Money

» The Moroccan currency is the dirham (Dh), which is divided into 100 centimes.
» You will find notes in denominations of up to Dh200.
» Coins come in denominations of Dh1, Dh2, Dh5 and Dh10, as well as, less frequently, 10, 20 and 50 centimes.
» The dirham is a restricted currency, meaning that it cannot be taken out of the country and is not available abroad.
» The dirham is fairly stable, with no major fluctuations in exchange rates.
» Euros, US dollars and British pounds are the most easily exchanged currencies.

Tipping
» Tipping is an integral part of Moroccan life; almost any service can warrant a tip.
» Don’t be railroaded, but the judicious distribution of a few dirham for a service willingly rendered can make your life a lot easier.
» Bear in mind that unskilled workers in Morocco earn less than Dh100 per day.

ATMs
» ATMs (guichets automatiques) are the easiest way to access your money in Morocco.
» A common sight even in the smallest towns, virtually all accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards.
» BMCE (Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur), Crédit du Maroc, Banque Populaire, BMCI (Banque Marocaine pour le Commerce et l’Industrie), Société Générale and Attijariwafa Bank all offer reliable service.
» ATMs sometimes run dry on weekends.
» The amount of money you can withdraw from an ATM generally depends on the conditions attached to your card.
» The daily ATM limit on most cards is around Dh2000.
» Most banks charge you for withdrawing money from foreign cash machines; check with your bank.

Cash
Nothing beats cash for convenience – or risk. If you lose it, it’s gone forever and very few travel insurers will come to the rescue. Nonetheless, you’ll need to carry some cash with you.
» Keep a handful of notes of small denomination in your wallet, or just in a pocket (but never a back pocket), for day-to-day transactions.
» Put the rest in a money belt or another safe place.
» If you’re travelling in out-of-the-way places, make sure you have enough cash to last until you get to a decent-sized town.
» Keep an emergency stash of euros in small denominations.
» The endless supply of small coins may be annoying, but they’re handy for taxis, tips, guides and beggars.

Credit Cards
» Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centres.
» They often attract a surcharge of around 5% from Moroccan businesses.
» The main credit cards are MasterCard and Visa; if you plan to rely on plastic cards, the best bet is to take one of each.
» The best option is a combination of credit and debit cards plus cash; this gives you something to fall back on if an ATM swallows your card or banks are closed.
» Most large bank branches will give you cash advances on Visa and MasterCard.

Travellers Cheques
» Travellers cheques are not recommended in Morocco – even large city banks often do not accept them.
» If you want to carry some anyway, as a fallback in the event of theft, American Express (Amex), Visa and Thomas Cook cheques are the most useful, and have efficient replacement policies.
» Keeping a record of the cheque numbers and those you have used is vital when it comes to replacing lost travellers cheques.
» Make sure you keep this record separate from the cheques themselves.
» Almost all banks charge commission on travellers cheques.
» Normally the commission is around Dh10 to Dh20 per cheque; check before changing.

Moneychangers
» Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into the country.
» It is illegal to import and export dirham.
» Banks and exchange bureaus change most currencies, but Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars are often not accepted.
» Moroccan banking services are reasonably quick and efficient.
» Rates vary little from bank to bank, although it doesn’t hurt to look around.
» You’ll need your passport to change travellers cheques (plus the travellers cheque receipt in some places), to get cash advances and, sometimes, to change cash.
» Hang on to all exchange receipts; you’ll need them to convert leftover dirham at most Moroccan banks and bureaux de change.

Black Market
The easy convertibility of the dirham leaves little room for a black market, but you’ll find people in the streets asking if you want to exchange money, especially in Tangier, Casablanca and on the borders of (and just inside) the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Avoid these characters; there’s no monetary benefit to be had from such transactions and scams are common.

CEUTA & MELILLA
» In the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla the currency is the euro.
» The Moroccan banks on the enclaves’ borders exchange cash only.
» Banks in Ceuta and Melilla deal in dirham, but at rates inferior to those in Morocco.