You can exchange money in all major cities. Exact locations are given later in descriptions of the cities. It is wise to learn the exchange rate before you go to these places. The rate can change quickly during the day.
If you do not know anybody outside of the exchange trade who knows the current rate — and this would be strange since all people who work with money know it, — you should ask at a few exchange places first. Do not just agree to the first quoted rate.
They should let you count their money before you part with your own.
US dollars are exchanged with no problems. The situation with euros is unclear. Pakistani rupees are traded easily, especially in southern areas. However, 5 rupee bills and any coins are refused because of their small denominations. Iranian rials are available in Herat.
|Ten thousand old afghanis — 20 US cents. The picture shows the arch and the citadel in Bost.|
You can also pay directly with Pakistani currency at least in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar, and with Iranian rials in Herat. Dollars are accepted everywhere, in any denominations. In hotels you are often quoted the price in dollars, but you can pay in afghanis, rupees, or rials at the current rate of exchange.
Credit cards and money transfers are unlikely to work. However, in Da Afghanistan Bank — State Bank of Afghanistan — I have seen foreign journalists conducting some transactions. You can try, perhaps. But it is better to withdraw cash in advance from a credit card in Pakistan where there are a few Western banks, including Citibank. They give you money in Pakistani rupees, but it gets charged to the credit card in your native currency and at a good rate of exchange. Also, there are Western Union offices in Pakistan.
In Iran all this is unlikely because of the economic embargo imposed by the US. No Western Union, no Visa, and troubles with MasterCard.
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