As a regular traveller, I’m often asked about managing money while overseas including ATM’s, traveller’s cheques and so on. So here is a brief summary of money in Jordan.
LOCAL CURRENCY – JORDANIAN DINAR
The dinar (pronounced dee-nah) is easy to understand. It’s divided into 10 dirham and 100 qirsh (also known as piastres). Something like Australian dollars and cents.
The coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 coins and notes are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50. Inscriptions on denominations are made in the Arabian and English languages. All notes have Jordanian kings represented on the notes and on the other side features various and events and places.
There is no need to bring US$’s which is often the fall back position for travellers. Jordan can change nearly all currencies and the exchange rate is quite good.
The best place to exchange your $’s is at the airport or at banks which are located in most towns . There are also exchange booths at most hotels. You’ll be guaranteed of a good rate and the security of being issued the right amount. Even though some places use money counting machines, still check your dinar before leaving. Banking hours are usually 8.30am to 3.pm
Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open. A few businesses and shops close for some of Sunday as well.
ATM’S AND CREDIT CARDS
ATM’s are common and I had no troubles with them. A reminder to be as careful with your PIN and who are hanging around the ATM as you would in your own country. Visa does appear to be more widely accepted in Jordan than any other card – as at January 2016. At this time there was also not ATM’s inside Petra, at the Dead Sea, at Wadi Rum or at Desert Castles.
Forget it. They aren’t used here and you’ll get a very odd look from a money exchanger if you present them with a wad of traveller’s cheques.
BLACK MARKET MONEY EXCHANGING
Try them or not? NOT. Time and again I came across people who’d been ripped off. Yes, there were some people who got a better rate but frankly, for the few extra $’s you may make, it’s not worth the risk.
Contact your bank at home so they know you’re travelling in case you do use your credit card. I was once cut off from funds in Vietnam because my bank was unaware of my travel plans. Doh!