Travelling from South Africa for holiday or business? Emigrating? At Absa, we offer you a variety of solutions to help make your journey enjoyable and hassle free.
Multi-currency Cash Passport
An Absa Multi-currency Cash Passport is a card preloaded with foreign currency and is a safe, easy and convenient way to take your spending money overseas. It can be preloaded with up to four currencies on a single card.
- United States dollars — US dollars (USD)
- Great British pounds — GB pounds (GBP)
- Euros — euros (EUR)
- Australian dollars — AU dollars (AUD)
- When planning your holiday, ensure that your passport is valid for six months after your return date
- Travelling abroad? Use your Banking App or Online banking to notify the Fraud Call Centre of the dates & countries you will be visiting.
- If you require a visa, make sure you apply in good time as the process at certain embassies can take a very long time
- Remember to make copies of your passport, all flight/travel documents, bank cards and the purchase agreement for traveller's cheques in case of loss, theft or emergencies
- Give your itinerary and contact numbers to family — just in case
- Check the weather forecast for your destination before departure as temperatures and weather conditions may differ
- When buying travel tickets with your Absa credit card, you automatically qualify for free, basic Travel Insurance, but you can get a free quote to upgrade your insurance online or alternatively call us on 0860 151 151
- When packing, remember that there are airline restrictions on hand luggage and the size of toiletries allowed on board.
When looking at exchange rates, keep the following in mind:
- Exchange rates change many times per day
- Due to fluctuations, rates quoted on radio and television will probably not be the rates that you will receive
- There is a difference between a ‘buy’ and a ‘sell’ rate; different products are also sold at different rates
- All financial institutions offer different rates — speak to us for a competitive rate
- You could buy or sell your currency on different days so you get the benefit of different exchange rates.
How we can assist you
South African residents who are taking up permanent residence outside the Common Monetary Area (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) are regarded as emigrants. Absa can assist by ensuring the correct completion of all formalities with the complicated emigration regulations.
Exchange control regulations:
For exchange control purposes your South African bank account becomes subject to regulatory restrictions.
Your emigration should be formalised through one of our foreign exchange branches as follows:
- Complete a Form M.P.336(b) — Emigration: Application for foreign capital allowance. The form is available from the South African Reserve Bank website, www.resbank.co.za
- Obtain an Emigration Tax Clearance Certificate (IT21 (a)) from the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Submit the Form M.P.336(b) and the Tax Clearance Certificate, if applicable, to one of our dedicated foreign exchange branches.
- You will also have to submit any other documentation as required on the Form M.P.336(b), which includes a copy of the permanent residence permit, if you have been granted permanent residence abroad.
Our travel checklist
- The South African Reserve Bank sets an annual amount that adults, children and business representatives may take overseas. As the rules and limits change from time to time, please ask us about the latest allowances.
- In terms of current South African exchange control regulations, you may not be given your foreign exchange more than 60 days before you leave.
- You will only be given your travel allowance if you have a valid passenger ticket, eTicket or electronic flight voucher in your name.
- We can also provide you with foreign exchange for overland travel.
- By law you must cash in your foreign exchange on returning to South Africa.
As an authorised dealer in foreign exchange, Absa complies with the South African exchange control regulations.
As a South African resident over the age of 18, you are permitted a single discretionary allowance (for the purpose of travel allowance, monetary gifts, donations to missionaries, study allowances and maintenance payments) of R1 000 000 per calendar year.
As a South African resident under the age of 18, your discretionary allowance is limited to R200 000 per calendar year.
- In addition to the discretionary allowance, you may take R25 000 in cash out of the country for use upon your return to South Africa
- These limits differ for businesses and must be applied for once a year
- When buying foreign exchange, you are required to present your valid passport, and return ticket, as well as proof of residence if you are not an Absa account holder
- You may not be given your foreign exchange more than 60 days before you leave
- You are not allowed to purchase foreign currency when travelling to countries in the Common Monetary Area, i.e. Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.
Need more help?
Let one of our consultants assist you.
Call us on:
0860 151 151
+27 (0) 11 335 4019
Email us at: