Notes from ATM

#1 Jun 2nd, 2012, 13:06
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  • IndianOlive is offline
#1
Hey all

My husband and I are preparing for our first trip to India this October. We are beginner travellers and apart from an upcoming trip to NZ this coming July, India will be our first "real" overseas trip (we are from Australia).

I have been researching the best ways to access money while in India, and ATM's seem to be readily available. We are planning on getting a 28 degrees mastercard and accessing funds by a cash advance at ATMs. We are not bothered by the interest rates, as we will be putting our own money on the card so that we are in credit and therefore don't get charged cash advance fees.

Sorry I am rambling, what I am actually wondering is whether the notes dispensed from the ATM will be too large to be able to use for day to day purchases. I have read on this forum that ATMs only dispense Rs100 or 500 notes, and sometimes vendors request exact money or do not have change readily available.

All of our accommodation, domestic flights and transport has been pre-arranged through a car and driver company (India by Car and Driver) so apart from a balance payment to them during our trip, we will only be paying for entrance fees to monuments etc, food, shopping, tips.

Are we going to get ourselves into a pickle with money we cannot use for these type of small purchases? Are we better off going to a foreign exchange counter when we arrive to withdraw money in smaller denominations?

We also have to transfer 65% deposit to the tour company as they are booking our domestic flights and hotels for us. We are looking at doing this via a Commonwealth Bank international money transfer. Has anybody ever had any issues doing such a transfer to India? The tour company uses ICICI Bank.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my ramblings!
#2 Jun 2nd, 2012, 13:22
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  • zamba is offline
#2
Hi Indian Olive. At ATM's you will likely get mostly 1 thousand notes or 500 notes with 5 100 notes thrown in. This happened frequently on my trip when getting 5000 or 10000 rs from ATM's. The change issue is there but in my experience it is not as much of a problem as some will have you believe. Of course tender larger notes first always and hang onto your smaller notes ie 100's and 50's to use when necessary. good luck. zamba.
#3 Jun 2nd, 2012, 13:23
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  • steven_ber is offline
#3
Can you use the card to get money inside a bank?

Can you request the tour company to give you change of Rs1000 after your first visit to an ATM?

I can't remember the ATM limits, but if it's Rs20,000 can you request Rs19.900 to guarantee Rs100 notes? (I can't remember)

The trick in India is to always use the biggest note you can whenever you can, and find a spare pocket in your luggage to put all coins and small (Rs50 or less) notes, and always act as if you've not got the small money unless you've no choice but to use it.

Use the small shops to get water, tooth paste, soap, shampoo etc., a different shop for each thing, and you'll soon have loads of change, I just buy 10 cigarettes at 5 different places and suddenly have all the change I need.

Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
#4 Jun 2nd, 2012, 13:54
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#4
I found the large notes to be a problem for me.The ATM
limits were 10,000 rupees a day.Steven_Ber is right,if you go slightly under eg 9,900 rupees you will get some 100 notes. I took some Canadian cash to a money changer and got myself 1000 rupees in 10 rupee notes and 1000 rupees in 50 notes.He was a little annoyed by my request,but I got what I asked for
I never tried going into a bank,probably a good idea.

Actally,on the subject of ATMs I had problems I went with 2 different Canadian bank cards and one credit card.I was assured that if the ATM had the "plus" symbol I would be ok. This was not the case. My cards only worked at ICIC ATMs.It was inconvienient and Khajuraho didnt have an ICIC ATMs. Next time I will take more cash,and perhaps travellers cheques as well.
#5 Jun 2nd, 2012, 14:44
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  • IndianOlive is offline
#5
Thanks for the replies and tips Indian Mikers.

Steven_Ber, that was my next question. Has anybody used their credit cards to withdraw rupees from a bank in India (particularly Delhi Airport)? Not sure if this is possible...but would solve my problems.

Good idea, I will check with the tour company to see if they can do this. In case they can't at the time, I would like to have a back up plan through : )

Worse case, can I withdraw rupees from an ATM and then go to a foreign exchange counter and exchange say Rs1000 of it into smaller denominations as Goddess75 did with her Canadian dollars? Or I guess I could just carry some AUD with us through Singapore, into Indian just for exchanging at the foreign exchange counter to get some small denominations....

Goddess75, thanks for the heads up on your card not working. Was it a mastercard by any chance?

I appreciate everybody's help
#6 Jun 2nd, 2012, 15:03
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  • zamba is offline
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Indian Olive, I changed $50au into rupee at singapore airport no problems so I had some rupee on me when I arrived. Not a great exchange rate but good to have some local currency ready to go. If someone wants you to buy something from them it will amaze you what change they can muster if you appear to be slipping away without a purchase. Ha Ha. zamba.
#7 Jun 2nd, 2012, 15:40
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  • avi.uvce is offline
#7
yes Indian atms give away 90% of withrawel in 500 INR notes and remaining in 100 INR notes..

but finding change is no issue.. people will help yu in lending 100 rs notes in exchange of 500 rs notes..

and yu can spend 100 rs notes easily on yur day to day spendings..

and local banks, shop keepers, auto rikshaw people... temples.. tourist guides.. people selling things near tourist spot.. anybody will help yu with change..

ya if yur card doesnt work with any atm or gateway then its a problem.. so always carry some AUD or travel checks in back up..

Welcome to INDIA.. !
#8 Jun 3rd, 2012, 11:03
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  • Keith H is offline
#8
IndianOlive,
I've never found the notes dispensed by ATMs to be a problem. Obviously you're not going to pay for, say, a glass of chai with a 500/- note so as people have said above, use the bigger notes first to get smaller change at a hotel or restaurant. Watch out for rickshaws and taxis, though, as quite often the might tell you that they don't have change.
Going into the bank to colect money is something I haven't thought of before and it sounds like a good idea. Let us know how you go.
Have a great trip!
#9 Jun 3rd, 2012, 15:04
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  • Nick-H is offline
#9
Quote:
Going into the bank to colect money is something I haven't thought of before and it sounds like a good idea.
I tried it once, when I was having ATM problems. I thought they would "swipe" the card with one of those old machines that imprints the embossed card details on the slip (apparently, there are a lot of them about still).

They just said No.

I think this was 2004.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
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#10 Jun 3rd, 2012, 15:25
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  • steven_ber is offline
#10
Another option for getting coins......

Outside many Temples and Mosques you get people selling coins, 9 rupee coins for Rs10, I once give a Rs100 note for 90 coins, only later did it dawn on me that those coins are meant for the beggars at the Temple/mosque.
#11 Jun 3rd, 2012, 17:52
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#11
Thanks everybody for all of your help, it is much appreciated.

I now have a few ideas of how to handle my money, thank you.

No doubt I will be back again with some more questions over the next few months.

Many thanks.
#12 Jun 3rd, 2012, 19:00
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  • DrRudi is offline
#12
@IndianOlive,

Just a couple of repeated points from a fellow Adelaidean.

I'd suggest a Mastercard or Visa branded debit card (4 digit PIN) linked to your bank account for cash withdrawls from ATMs in India. I had no problems during 5 weeks in February and March. The ATMs even know your name! That doesn't happen here. The ATMs can be a bit hard to find though - rather than a 'hole in the wall' like they are here, they are often in an enclosed room on the street without much signage to guide you.

By and large, the large notes weren't a problem, and as has already been suggested, always use the biggest note you can get away with when purchasing anything (a bottle of water, or dinner). Squirrel away your ten rupee notes, because they are the best thing to tip with (room boys at hotels for instance).

Although it is illegal to take rupees into the country most people do it and no one gets caught. I changed money through Travelex On Line - and collected the cash from the airport a couple of days before I left. http://www.travelex.com.au/for-you/todays-online-rates

I blogged our trip - so if you're interested - when you get to ten posts send me a pm and I'll send you the link.

Enjoy the planning.
#13 Jun 3rd, 2012, 19:08
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  • traveller_from_hyd is offline
#13
I am sure there will be many shops run by Indians in Perth.

Exchange some AUD into small denomination Indian notes & coins from them before hand as all of them will certainly have Indian currency left over from their last visit to India.

Once you land at Delhi, ATMs are available right from the airport onwards every where in all cities (though not many in rural areas).
#14 Jun 3rd, 2012, 19:28
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  • atala is offline
#14
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Originally Posted by IndianOlive View Post



We also have to transfer 65% deposit to the tour company as they are booking our domestic flights and hotels for us. We are looking at doing this via a Commonwealth Bank international money transfer. Has anybody ever had any issues doing such a transfer to India? The tour company uses ICICI Bank.

This part of your post has not been addressed yet. Not that I can say anything pertinent about sending money, except that since all your major expenses are taken care of, and you will use your credit-card for all other bigger buys (all better shops will accept cards), you do not really need much cash anyhow. So the above discussion is a bit beside the point for you, seems to me. You do not have to worry about getting the appropriate smaller notes, as long as you know that you need to insist to get change once in a while, paying smaller amounts with bigger bills.

I would think, you should be able to pay your tour package by credit-card as well. Transfering money like that bank-to-bank does not sound like a very safe option to me.

P.S. before the advent of ATMs it was common to get cash-advances inside a bank, but it was a procedure that took an hour or two of waiting, esp for the approval by the CC company, at that time either from Hongkong or anywhere else outside the country.
#15 Jun 3rd, 2012, 19:47
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  • DrRudi is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveller_from_hyd View Post I am sure there will be many shops run by Indians in Perth.
And the distance from Adelaide to Perth is 3,000 kilometres by road, give or take.

Three and half hours flight time in a jet.

That's okay, we have Indian shopkeepers in Adelaide too.

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