Latest Currency Exchange Rates: 1 US Dollar = 18.2412 South African Rand. On this page convert USD to ZAR using live currency rates as of 06/11/2023 02:08.Check the currency rates against all the world currencies here. The currency converter below is easy to use and the currency rates are updated frequently. This is very much needed given the extreme volatility in global currencies lately.
18.239419 South African Rand
USD to ZAR Chart
United States Dollar to South African Rand
If you’re planning a trip to South Africa in the near future, you may want to exchange some of your money into rand, the country’s official currency. The international symbol for the currency is ZAR.
When writing out how much rand you have, the notation will look a bit different from USD. A space is used instead of a comma and a comma is used instead of a decimal point. For example, one million USD is written out as $1,000,000.00, but one million ZAR is written as R1 000 000,00.
Also note that travelers carrying more than R25 000 are required to declare their ZAR when entering South Africa.
This post has everything you need to know about converting dollars to rand, including where to secure the best exchange rates and how to avoid paying high fees on your conversion.
How to Convert USD to ZAR
Calculating a conversion from dollars to rand is fairly simple. You can use a currency calculator or do it by hand.
1. Use a Currency Calculator
Using a currency conversion calculator is often the easiest way to get an estimate when you’re converting currency. Since exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis, using a calculator can ensure your math is correct.
Keep in mind that exchanging currency often comes with added fees that a conversion calculator won’t be able to predict. For instance, credit card companies and ATM networks usually charge a 1% conversion fee on all foreign transactions. Individual merchants may also charge supplemental fees if you ask them to convert the price of an item to your home currency at checkout.
2. Calculate it Manually
The other option is to do the calculation manually using a simple mathematical formula. However, in order to do this, you need to know the current exchange rate. At the time of writing, $1 USD is worth R18 10 ZAR.
Once you know that information, multiply the amount you have in USD by the current exchange rate. The resulting number will show you the amount of rands that you have to spend on your trip.
Manual Currency Conversion Example
Let’s say you have $800 USD and would like to figure out how many rands you have for a trip to South Africa. Using the current exchange rate, the formula for your conversion would look like this:
$800 USD x 18.1= R14 480 ZAR
How to Buy ZAR
When you’re ready to buy rand, plan ahead to ensure that you pay the fewest fees. Here are three ways to get the currency you need while minimizing the fees you’ll be charged:
- Exchange at a bank or credit union before your trip: Heading to your bank before your trip is often the most cost-effective way to exchange currency. Since you have an existing relationship with them, your bank is likely to give you the best exchange rates and charge the lowest fees. For example, Bank of America doesn’t charge its account holders an exchange fee. However, it does charge a shipping fee of $7.50 USD on orders worth less than $1,000.
- Locate a branch of your bank or a partner bank: You may be able to locate a branch of your bank, or a partner bank, while traveling in South Africa. For example, Citi has branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Most banking apps have a “bank locator” feature to help you find the closest option, and going to a branch affiliated with your bank can help you avoid excess fees.
- Order currency online: If your bank doesn’t offer online shipping, you can also use a third party to get currency delivered to your door. However, be aware of inflated costs with some of these vendors. Currency Exchange International (CXI), for instance, advertises that it does not charge an exchange fee for home deliveries. However, you’ll pay up to $30 for overnight shipping on transactions under $1,000 USD.
What to Avoid When Exchanging Currency
- Exchanging currency at the airport: While exchanging currency at the airport is unquestionably convenient, in-airport exchanges often offer some of the worst exchange rates while charging some of the highest fees.
- Transferring money: Money transfers can be an option for getting quick cash while you’re in South Africa. Western Union and MoneyGram both offer money transfers and funds can be accessed within a few minutes of the transaction. However, you may have to pay a variety of fees. MoneyGram charges a $22.49 transfer fee for credit card purchases and $9.99 for debit cards, when you order $500 USD worth of rands for pick-up in South Africa.
- Withdrawing money at an ATM or kiosk: South Africa has stand-alone currency exchange kiosks, and you can also find ATMs that give you access to cash while on the go. For security purposes, it is strongly advised to avoid getting money this way, since ATM scams are common in South Africa. You may also pay a premium to use one of these convenient locations.