First and foremost, do not let anyone see that you are carrying money with you. A good tip is to carry two wallets, one with a limited supply of notes in it that shows you do not have a lot of cash. Try and plan your day in advance so that you know, roughly, how much you will need to take with you.
Try and avoid asking strangers in the street where the nearest bank/ATM is. They may insist on taking you there, allowing them to know you have withdrawn money, and this gives them the opportunity to scam you in some way or another, even by phoning a friend who will then approach you to offer some service or another.
You have a far better chance of getting a lower price, when haggling, if you do not show the trader/vendor that you have money on you, so a second wallet is often a good means of getting a bargain.
Ensure that both you and the trader know which currency you are discussing! An often used scam is for them just to say the figures, which you assume are Egyptian Pounds, just to have them say, upon completion, that they were meaning $, £ or €. Especially if they know you are carrying foreign money.
Always try to make sure that you carry lower denomination notes with you (50, 20 or 10LE) and not 100LE or 200LE notes. It is amazing how many people you deal with will not have change, so will expect to keep the surplus as a tip!
The working hours for banks in Egypt are from 0830 to 1400, Sunday to Thursday. Banks at airports do stay open 24/7, allowing for currency exchange and visa purchases whenever your flight is due to arrive.
ATM’s and Travellers Cheques:
ATM’s are plentiful throughout the country, as are the plethora of banks, the vast majority of the former issuing only Egyptian currency. After many years of struggle, Egypt is now capable of accepting Credit and Debit cards: once it was either cash, or bank wire transfer, which caused many problems for various institutes in the country: especially tourism!
Travellers’ cheques can still be used, but the amount of places that accept them nowadays is diminishing very quickly, so it is worthwhile forgetting about getting a supply of them before travel: even some banks refuse to exchange them now.
All major credit cards are accepted: Visa; MasterCard; American Express; Discover; and many others.