Egyptian currency! What currency do they use in Egypt? Amazingly Egypt does not use the Dinar, like pretty much all of their neighbours, but uses pounds.
I remember my father taking a cruise down the Nile, being presented his bill and nearly fainting. Alas, the bill was much cheaper than he expected as it was in Egyptian Pounds. Egyptian Pounds are not worth as much as pound sterling!
Egyptian currency – Why does Egypt use the Pound and not the Dinar?
Before becoming a defacto British colony the Egyptians had the geneih which replaced the piaste and essentially was based on the Gold Standard. This was again replaced after the first world war when the Egyptian pound was introduced. One Egyptian pound was thus set at one local pound to 1 pound and 6 pence UK pound. This meant that Egyptian currency fell into the sterling zone, but they did not have to go through all of that silly decimilization.
In 1962 the Egyptian pound left the Sterling zone, and was briefly pegged the dollar, before being given the independence to go into as much free fall as it wanted! Syria also still uses the pound, despite not having been a UK colony.
Egyptian pound denominations
Egyptian currency is divided into 100 piastres, or ersh, or 1,000 milliemes. Piastres are therefore the equivalent of pence in GBP.
There are currently no coins, or notes available in any detonation below 5 piastres.
Whats is the currency code for the Egyptian Pound?
The currency code for the Egyptian pound is EGP. The Egyptian pound is frequently abbreviated as LE or L.E., which stands for livre égyptienne – the French Translation of Egyptian pound.
You will also see E£ and £E in order to make a clear distinction with GBP, or Pound Sterling.
Egyptian currency – how much is Egyptian pound worth?
At current exchange rates $1 will get you about 16 Egyptian Pounds. 1 GBP will get you almost 22 EGP. I can definitely understand how this has scared some English folk!
What denominations are available with Egyptian currency?
Coins are currently in circulation. for 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, piastres (Egyptian pence). This makes the lowest denomination available in Egypt, the 5 piastres coin at a value of around 0.0032 USD.
Want to get extra geeky? 2 Piastres will get you One North Korean Won. There’s one for the google rankings! Although good luck changing that in Rason.
In 2007 they introduced an EGP 1 coin.
Banknotes in Egyptian Currency
There are banknotes for 25, and 50 Piastres. The only notes below an Egyptian Pound.
For the E£ and £E/EGP notes are available in the following denominations. E£ and £E 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200.
Therefore the highest value note in circulation the E£ 200 is worth just under $13.
For up to date currency exchanges check out XE.com )link).
Are there ATM’s in Egypt?
Once a rare sight you will see ATM’s throughout the country now. As a touristic place, Egyptian banks tend to charge high fees to withdraw money.
Can you use UnionPay, etc.. in Egypt?
There are a few banks that you can withdraw money with UnionPay in Egypt, such as the Arab African International Bank (AAIB).
Can you you use visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.. in Egypt?
High end resorts and the like will take cards. Generally speaking, Egypt is not card friendly and for everyday costs you will need Egyptian pounds.
How to exchange money in Egypt?
Changing only in Egypt is largely straightforward and there are money changers galore. Generally there are no fees. The easiest currencies to change are Euro, USD and Pound Sterling. For larger transactions it may be possible to pay in USD, or Euro.
And that is the skinny on how to deal with money when you travel through Egypt!
We currently run our wonderful Alternative Egypt Tour, which you can read about here.
We also offer a number of independent tours to Egypt. For those interested in visiting Bir Tawil, it is also possible to go via Egypt.