Foreign Exchange Guide to Tonga
In this guide we review :
- Tongan paanga info - general info about the Tongan paanga
- Travelling in Tonga - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Tongan paanga cash online - travel money for Tonga
- Sending money to Tonga - save on Tongan paanga bank transfers to Tonga
- Tongan paanga exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Tongan paanga (TOP) general currency information
Tonga currency and money saving tips
The currency in Tonga is “Pa’anga”. ATMs are available in the capital city Nuku’alofa and in the main towns of ‘Eua island and the Ha’apai island group. There are several ATM's in Nuku'alofa city and one in the general public area of the Fua'amotu International Airport (The one at the Airport can however occasionally run out of cash). All these ATM's are currently operated by Westpac and ANZ Bank. Most larger tourist service providers and Supermarkets accept local bank cards as well as Visa and Mastercards and occasionally AMEX and Diners Club.
Most visits to Tonga are trouble free. The crime rate is relatively low. However, like most place, petty crime and theft do take place. Tongan society is very conservative and highly religious. You will be expected to respect local customs and culture, however the country is nick-named the Friendly Islands which should give you a broad hint at the demeanor of the people. The pace is can best be described as relaxed. Generally casual, however evening dining may require shoes and something slightly more formal than beachwear. Skimpy beachwear is frowned on outside the resorts, on local beaches or in towns. It is respectable to wear modest clothes in towns and rural areas.. Tonga strictly observes the Sabbath.
Visitors from most countries including New Zealand, UK, USA and Australia may enter Tonga without a visa for a period no longer than 31 days. Visitors from some countries do require a visa however and it is always best to make those enquiries from your travel agent or contact the Tongan Immigration Department.
Tonga Trip Checklist
Travel money for Tonga
Save money and time by Ordering your Tongan paanga online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the TOP cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Tongan paanga otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Tonga
When sending money to Tonga it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Tongan paanga amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted TOP amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Tonga.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Tongan paanga deposited into the recipient bank account in Tonga and less margins and fees kept by the banks!