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Samoa Travel Guide

Services

Money

The ANZ Bank and Westpac Bank give cash advances on Visa and MasterCard. Two ATMs are available outside the main branch of the ANZ Bank, but there are long lines. Another ANZ Bank ATM is inside Molesi Supermarket, a bit west on Beach Road.

The main branch of the ANZ Bank opposite the Chief Post Office changes traveler's checks weekdays Monday to Wednesday 0900-1500, Thursday and Friday 0900-1600. Several small agencies of the ANZ Bank around Apia will also change traveler's checks at the same rate.

The ANZ Bank charges a fairly high commission on traveler's checks, whereas the Westpac Bank deducts somewhat less. The banks are often crowded with locals waiting to collect remittances from relatives overseas and (despite the high fees) the service is slow.

The locally owned National Bank of Samoa (weekdays 0900-1500) on Beach Road opposite the RSA Club market charges a low commission with a minimum charge (ask). Their vegetable market branch also changes traveler's checks Saturday 0830-1230.

The Samoa Commercial Bank (weekdays 0830-1500, Saturday 0830-1200), on Beach Road opposite the Government Buildings and set back slightly, changes traveler's checks for only a small fee per "leaf". Samoa Money Transfer next door also changes money but is usually mobbed by Samoans collecting remittances from New Zealand.

Money Exchange Limited (weekdays 0800-1630, Saturday 0800-1200), on Vaea St. between the clock tower and McDonald's, changes cash and traveler's checks without commission at rates similar to those offered by the banks. Global EX, in the Western Union office between the National Bank and Molesi Supermarket on Beach Road, and Samoa Money Transfer, on Beach Road opposite the Government Building, also change traveler's checks without commission.

The rate of exchange for traveler's checks is better than that for cash. Changing foreign currency outside Apia can be a nuisance, so do it here. Allow extra time in any case as anything associated with bureaucracy moves very slowly in Samoa.

There's no American Express representative in Apia.

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