What currency should I bring to Mauritius? Are exchange rates better in Mauritius than in Europe? Is it wiser to bring a credit card and withdraw Mauritian rupees when I arrive?
Exchange rates vary but generally speaking, asking your bank or exchange office back home to do the work for you is typically the most expensive option, regardless of the currency.
Your best option would be to travel with a small amount of emergency cash, and then withdraw the rest with your credit card once you have arrived in Mauritius.
ATM’s are scattered across the island, and you will find them in most major towns. Upmarket hotels, restaurants and bars usually accept the most common credit cards, although a service fee may apply for smaller amounts.
The benefit of using your credit card instead of cash is obviously that you can avoid carrying around large amounts of cash.
European banks typically charge a withdrawal fee equivalent to a couple of euros per each withdrawal.
A good thing to keep in mind is that most ATM’s or cash points in Mauritius have withdrawal limits. In smaller towns, especially inland and in remote areas in the south, limits may range from Rs 5,000 to 10,000 per withdrawal. This is good to keep in mind because many European banks charge a one-off fee per withdrawal and not a percentage.
Thus, a withdrawal of Rs 50,000 in a cash point limited to Rs 5,000 per withdrawal can quickly become expensive.
Touristy areas such as Flic en Flac or Grand Baie, or larger cities such as Port Louis or Quatre Bornes typically have ATM’s with withdrawal limits of up to Rs 40,000 per day.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that many banks have a weekly withdrawal limit applicable to ATM’s outside of the EU. This is to prevent fraud, and the limits vary greatly between banks and credit card issuer.
Most hotels and restaurants will accept cash in EUR, GBP or USD, but typically at rates that are 5-10% off the market rates.