Foreign Exchange Guide to Zimbabwe
In this guide we review :
- United States dollar info - general info about the United States dollar
- United States dollar in the markets - recent USD moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Zimbabwe - currency & money saving tips
- Buying United States dollar cash online - travel money for Zimbabwe
- Sending money to Zimbabwe - save on United States dollar bank transfers to Zimbabwe
- United States dollar exchange rates - latest info & charts.
United States dollar (USD) general currency information
The three letter currency code for the United States dollar is USD and the symbol is $. It is the domestic currency in United States, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Turks And Caicos Islands and Zimbabwe.
Other nations besides the United States use the U.S. dollar as their official currency. For instance, Panama has been using the dollar alongside the Panamanian balboa as the legal tender at a conversion rate of 1:1. Ecuador, El Salvador, and East Timor all adopted the currency independently. The former members of the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which included Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, chose not to issue their own currency after becoming independent, having all used the U.S. dollar since 1944. Two British dependencies also use the U.S. dollar: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. The islands Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, now collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands, adopted the dollar on January 1, 2011, as a result of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. The U.S. dollar is the official currency for governmental transactions in Zimbabwe.
United States dollar (USD) in the markets
Chief among FX themes in 2017 was the dramatic weakness of the US dollar. The US Dollar Index’s fall in the last session of the year to 92.3 locked in an annual decline of 9.7% – the index’s worst performance since 2003. And worse is yet to come for the dollar in 2018, according to analysts.
President of Everbank, Chris Gaffney, said in December that he expected “more headwinds” for the US currency despite market expectations for at least two hikes in US interest rates in 2018.
Also in December, a Societe Generale analyst said: “With global growth becoming more balanced…the dollar looks expensive.”
TD Securities said that the macro landscape “should favour a steady depreciation of the dollar in 2018.”
With dollar weakness on the horizon, the most liquid of all dollar FX pairs, EUR/USD, is set to rise to 1.25 in the coming year, thinks UBS, from a Dec ’17 rate of 1.2.
ING sees EUR/USD even higher, at 1.3.
The dollar “will do best of all against the Japanese yen,” said UBS in December.
Zimbabwe currency and money saving tips
The use of credit cards is still very limited, with only a few service providers accepting VISA or MasterCards in Zimbabwe. Also, ATM use is very limited for non-citizens, so please do yourself a favour and come with plenty of cash on hand. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a severe shortage of cash so it’s mostly not currently possible to make cash withdrawals with an international bank card.The U.S. dollar is the official currency for governmental transactions in Zimbabwe. Also legal tender and widely accepted for non-governmental transactions are the Euro, the British Pound Sterling, the Pula, the South African Rand, plus several other currencies.You should check in advance if a restaurant or hotel will accept cards, especially outside Harare.
Zimbabwe has introduced a local issue of Bond Coins to supplement the current money supply. The coins come the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents - they are on par with American coins. In supermarkets, you may be given change in chewing gum or sweets if there is no coinage available. Haggling for a better price is common, but keep in mind that most people are very poor.
It’s illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than $2,000 (or equivalent) in cash. It’s illegal to exchange foreign currency anywhere other than at officially licensed dealers (eg banks). Carry small denomination notes as change is rarely available in smaller businesses.
Zimbabwe Trip Checklist
Travel money for Zimbabwe
Save money and time by Ordering your United States dollar online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the USD 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 United States dollar otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Zimbabwe
When sending money to Zimbabwe 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 United States dollar 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 USD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Zimbabwe.
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 United States dollar deposited into the recipient bank account in Zimbabwe and less margins and fees kept by the banks!