Topics: Money Changer Rates

Money changers display two rates.  The larger figure shows how many riel must be paid to buy a dollar note.  The smaller figure shows how many riel you will get if you are selling dollars.  The trick to getting a better rate is to look for the two numbers that are the closest together.  For example, if the exchange rate is 4010 riel to a dollar, a money changer simply out to make money might charge 4050 riel to sell you a dollar and 3990 riel buy a dollar from you.  That is quite a spread and she makes a lot on each transaction.  The more friendly dealers might charge you 4015 and 4005 riel respectively.  That’s what you look for.

This woman is really gouging her customers with a spread of 50 points between the buying and selling prices.
Probably the majority of the money changers use a spread of 15 to 30 points.
This woman gives a better rate with a 15-point difference.
This shop gives a better deal at 11 points.
And look at this great rate, just five riel difference between the buying and selling rates. THIS is where you want to go!

[Note: These photos were taken on different days so the base rates can vary widely.  What you want to pay attention to is the difference between the two rates.]