On arrival at the airport in
India, foreigners may exchange currency at the currency exchange booths
located inside the airport. These booths are usually available before you
leave the customs area. If you walk out of the airport you may not be
allowed back in to exchange foreign currency.
Some points to remember when exchanging currency in India.
Always exchange foreign currency at authorized dealers such as American
express or Thomas cook outlets. Most banks also are authorized to deal in
Insist on a currency exchange receipt. This proves the source of your funds
Currency exchange receipts clearly show the amount of foreign currency
exchanged for Indian currency and the rate of exchange you were given.
Please be aware that fake Indian currency notes like Rupee 500 notes are
said to be circulating in India. This is another reason it makes sense to
get your currency from banks.
Do not fall victim to people trying to entice you by saying they will give
you a better exchange rate than what the banks may offer you.
If you save your currency exchange receipt you will be able to reconvert
your left over Indian currency back to foreign currency at the airport where
you fly out from.
When buying rail tickets etc that are available on a priority basis for
tourists only. If you have proof of currency exchange receipt you will be
allowed to pay for the tickets in Indian rupees. Other wise you will have to
pay in foreign currency only.
Do not purchase foreign currency form local residents. Buying foreign
currency from unauthorized places is also illegal. Fake foreign currency is
not uncommon in tourist areas.
Many banks and money exchange dealers offer a slight premium for traveler’s
cheques than they do for cash.
When paying by an international credit card save your invoices. I prefer to
write Indian Rupees also where the amount is filled on the invoice before
Do not buy anything online when using a computer in a cyber café.
Use only a secure computer when logging on to do your banking.
Complete details on India's Foreign Currency rules and regulations are
provided in a question answer format at nriinformation.com.
A foreigner can bring in any amount of foreign currency, travelers cheques,
etc., and take out as much as he brought in. However if carrying foreign
exchange in excess of US$ 5000 or its equivalent in another currency, US$
10,000 in the form of travelers cheques, or a combination of currency and
travelers cheques in excess of US$ 10,000 you must declare it on arrival on
the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), to be attested by the Customs Officer.
Indian currency is the Indian Rupee/Rupees (Re/Rs). It is not possible to
purchase these before you leave your country. If you want cash on arrival it
is best to get it at the airport bank. Rupee notes are printed in the
denomination of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are minted in
denominations of Rupees 5, 2, 1, and paise 50 and 25. Indian currency
conversion rules are much more relaxed than a decade ago. However it is
recommended that visitors carry travelers cheques of reputed companies such
as Thomas cook, American Express etc. They have to almost always be
exchanged in banks or hotels, and are not easily accepted for direct payment
unless accompanied by a passport. Credit cards are increasingly acceptable
in the main centers though in smaller cities it is still rare to pay by
credit card. There are several ATMs in several major towns, but several of
these are for local account holders. Here again reputed companies such as
Visa, Master, and Cirrus are becoming increasingly acceptable. Changing
money through unauthorized dealers is illegal. Most large government banks
in India such as State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda have foreign exchange
counters and give cash against Visa/Master cards. Bank rates and hotel rates
do not vary much, but always retain the encashment certificate when you
change money through authorized dealers. Telegraphic transfers are possible
through international banks such as American Express, HKB, Barclays, ABN
AMRO and Standard Chartered bank but transfer fee up to $30 may be charged.