🇪🇬 Monzo in Egypt [Wiki]

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Safe travels! :wave: :airplane:


The official currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP)

Card usage

Card acceptance is quite low, areas with high tourism or more upmarket areas will tend to accept both credit and debit cards.


ATMs are generally fee-free and work with Monzo absolutely fine.

Payment and withdrawal limits

All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, go to your Profile section of the app and tap on Limits.

Crowdsourced merchant data

Data will most likely be scant so please try and contribute relevant feedback about transactions :slight_smile:


To edit this guide, just tap the pencil icon below. Alternatively, add a reply with your comments and someone from the community will incorporate your suggestions into the guide and then delete your comment.

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A few things to note:

  • Card acceptance is almost non existent, even in the tourism areas. Even shops at Cairo Intl Airport don’t always accept cards. Were cards are (technically) accepted, staff are often untrained in usage of the machines, meaning you still cannot really use them (happened to me at burger king in cairo intl airport).
  • Cash machines on the other hand are widely available, and work well with Monzo. There are plenty of cash machines in the cairo airport arrivals area, so there is no need to get cash before arrival if you travel through there. Many hotels also have a cash machine in their reception area (although they are sometimes chargable).
  • Change (anything smaller than LE50) is rare. Anything smaller than LE10 is virtually non existent. Try to break your large notes up wherever you can (larger supermarkets are a prime source of change), and hold on to your coins and small notes, as you need them for all the tips.
  • Not really related to Monzo, but it’s worth mentioning as I’ve experienced many travellers stranded at immigration because they didn’t have have the correct currency to aquire a visa: if you wish to get a “visa on arrival” you must pay for this in USD, GBP, or EUR. (Change is usually given in EGP at a lousy exchange rate.) You must have the required amount with you in cash before you board your flight in one of those three currencies as no-one will exchange currencies before you pass immigration, and they are legally not allowed to accept EGP for visa payments. (I’d generally recommend to pay in USD, as that’s what the visa is priced in, and you get some very expensive exchange rates if you use GBP or EUR.)

My monzo cards works in spinneys in senso mall. At local phone providers and all atms and shops . Everything i have tried works. No issues at all.

I recently visited Sharm El Sheikh and my experience was:

  • Card acceptance in Sharm seemed to be very high. I could use Monzo in almost all retailers (including on small transactions), with the only exception being in Taxis and minibuses which are cash only. An app called ‘Indrive’ exists where you can bid for local taxis (and is often cheaper than hailing and haggling) but this is cash only also. Contactless payment isn’t accepted everywhere, so I would ensure you have your physical card on you.

  • You will likely need to haggle for most goods and services that are not part of a chain/ don’t have prices listed.

  • There are cash machines around Sharm, however it is worth checking for fees; the machine at our hotel had a £4 fee per withdrawal! I think the National Bank of Egypt ATMs are free. The ATMs I saw were all Chip and PIN.

  • The currency has been devalued and you may be asked to pay for items in US dollars (both in cash and card), most places will accept EGP but you may have to ask. I believe that the 2017 post is still correct in that you cannot buy a tourist visit in EGP.

  • Furthermore due to the unstable nature of the currency, it is very difficult to buy EGP in the UK, if you can find them, it is normally in city centre bureaus at very bad rates. You are also only permitted to take in and take out 5000 EGP (about £200). However, Dynamic currency conversion at bad rates is common, therefore I would take a minimal amount of USD for your arrival & for emergencies and then pay for everything else in EGP either on Monzo or in cash withdrawn from your arrival airport. Keep an eye out to ensure you are paying in the right currency; one shop tried to charge me $75 USD for a Mars Bar!

  • Separately, most UK mobile providers have very high rates for using your number out in Egypt and I’d advise you check before you travel. I’d consider getting a local SIM card which are sold at most airports.

For Sharm specific advice:

  • I didn’t find loads of great food but in Soho Square the Mandarin restaurant (contrary to the name) does have a good Indian menu.

  • There is a good supermarket called ‘Metro Market’ in Nabq Bay which seems to cater to tourists and expats. Depending on your preferences for evening entertainment (bingo, pub quizzes and reasonably priced alcohol), there is the Union Jack Bar a 5 minute drive away.

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We are visiting Sharm El Sheikh in May, and have booked airport taxi and late checkout with our hotel, that we will pay for on arrival to the hotel.

We were hoping to use our Monzo card to pay for these extras at the hotel in EGP, however the hotel are adamant that we can only pay in USD either by cash or card.

I know Monzo always say to pay in the local currency wherever you visit for the best exchange rate, but if the hotel charge us in USD on the card, will we be any worse off as we are paying in USD in a country where it isn’t the local currency, or will we just pay the mastercard exchange rate from GBP to USD at the time of the payment?

We then plan to use the hotel ATM to withdraw some EGP using the Monzo card for local spending.