exchanging venezuelan currency
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2012 9:04 PM Last Post By: markharf
Dec 19, 2012 4:51 PM
exchanging venezuelan currencyim moving to nicaragua next week. My friend went to venezuela recently, and got a bunch of cash. When he left the country they refused to exchange it back to US dollars. When he got back to the US, the US told him there was an embargo or whatever, and its illegal to exchange venezuelan money in the US.
Does anyone know if this ban is all over? could i bring it with to Nicaragua and exchange it for cordobas there? There is literally thousands of US dollars worth of venezuelan money here, and it would come in handy to be able to exchange it there if possible.
Is there any way to find out ahead of time?
Dec 19, 2012 6:15 PM
Dec 19, 2012 6:58 PM
2I just know what I read in the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications. The official exchange range is currently 4.3 bolivars to the dollar, but the actual value is something like 17 or 18 to the dollar.
I didn't realize there was a U.S. ban on exchanging, just that nobody wants Venezuelan currency at anywhere near the official overvalued rate. The Venezuelan government does have a ban on exchanging at anything other than the official rate through official channels.
There seems to be some disagreement as to whether a planned devaluation will go through now or if Chavez's severe illness and expected death will change that for the time being.
Dec 19, 2012 7:22 PM
3I think he (Chavez) just cracked down on all the currency dealers, trying to support the official rate, fruitless, people going to Colombia with suitcases to get USD. There is actually 3 exchange rates, the official everyday one, 4 to 1, the essentials one 2-1, and the black market everyday one 19-1. It is nearly impossible to get the Bolivar converted to USD officially, bank request go in the trash...Why did your friend convert so much USD to VZ? Also, you need to watch out for Customs, you are only allowed to leave the US, and enter another country, with less than $11,000 I think...at what rate they value the currency at is anyones guess, but the most likely the official rate...large sums of currency can draw attention to you in Customs...
Dec 19, 2012 11:20 PM
4You can change bolivars at any border town: that means Colombia or Brazil plus probably one or two Caribbean islands (e.g., Trinidad). In Nicaragua, I doubt it very much. Sometimes distant bus terminals with service to the borders will have moneychangers. Sometimes the same is true of airports, so check airports with good connections to Caracas.
One other possibility: advertise. I've bought and sold leftover foreign currency a couple of times. You need to advertise someplace where Venezuela-bound tourists will see it, then offer a good rate. Trust is a key component when arranging a deal--I provide details about who and where I am, verifiable by Google search, and require the same from anyone I deal with. It's been working so far. Note that it's forbidden to do this on the Thorntree, but I've done it here and so have others.
I had no trouble getting rid of my bolivars when I left Venezuela: I got a reasonable rate buying Colombian currency immediately after crossing the border. That's what your friend should have done; if no one jumped, that just mean he needed to offer a better price. Everyone's desperate to buy dollars, not bolivars, so the right price would be pretty bad. On the other hand, I sure wasn't holding "thousands of dollars" worth of bolivars. That makes it sound like your friend is either very naive, running a scam (maybe on you), or in other respects worth keeping your distance from.
Dec 20, 2012 4:34 AM
5You might be able to do this online. Look at this carefully http://www.transfermate.com/?lng=en
Because I did not but what I did see that within two business days they exchange most currency but at what rate or commission ? and this will be at most the rather dismal official rate.
Dec 20, 2012 3:44 PM
6indeed he was holding thousands of dollars of bolivares.....and now i am. I am not being scammed cause now i have them in my hand (unless they were obtained illegally or something, which i could care less about i guess). And i didnt have to do anything for them except let him haul away stuff i was giving away for free anyway.
But he is a super rich guy that works for a large corporation here in the states that sends him to foreign countries with very large amounts of discretionary funds that he can do what he wants with. So its not really his money, and the corporation never asks for it back, they just assume he spent it.
must be nice, and i wish i had his job!!!
anyway....thanks for the input and suggestions and hopefully i can turn these useless pieces of paper into something!
Dec 20, 2012 5:12 PM
Dec 20, 2012 9:04 PM
8Simple answer if you were just gifted thousands of dollars worth of bolivars: visit Venezuela. It's a great country with plenty to see and do. I bet it's even more fun with a fat wallet in tow.
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