Currency in Papeete

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#1
Tampa, FL
2,441 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I need some advice please. What currency is used in Papeete and where is the best place to change US$.
We would like to go to Le Marche - are they open every day of the week and do they accept credit cards?
Thanks for the help.
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#2
1,079 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by zebra
I need some advice please. What currency is used in Papeete and where is the best place to change US$.
We would like to go to Le Marche - are they open every day of the week and do they accept credit cards?
Thanks for the help.
The official currency is the Tahitian Franc (CFP). Based on what I have read here, there are some merchants who accept the US Dollar and the Euro in addition to the CFP. From what I have read, if you need to convert $$$ to CFP, the best place to do it is using Wells Fargo Currency Exchange Services. You can do a google search to get more information. I am also sure you can do currency exchanges at local financial institutions in Papeete or at your hotel, though I suspect you will not get the best rate doing this.

I am not sure about the market hours and if the vendors there take credit cards. I am sure someone will be along shortly to answer those questions though.
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#3
Florida
3,622 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
The banks changed but they had long lines when we were there. Sorry, I don't know whether the vendors took credit cards. Never tried to pay with anything but local cash in the market and never bought much either. It is interesting , however, and a great place for photos with all the fish, vegetables and fruits.
#4
Toronto Canada
1,156 Posts
Joined May 2010
I have been to the market many years ago and it is a very busy place and I would not use a credit card as they do not have the processing ability to do it right in front of you. That means your credit card could leave your sight.
Not a good idea.
#5
CA
2,104 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
They don't like to take US dollars, but some will at a bad exchange rate. Do not use credit card at the market. Bring some CPF with you and use an ATM to get more.

Remember, that things are about 3 times what you would pay in US.
#6
WV
14,481 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Just back on Saturday..........We has no problems using US dollar at the market or for the cab drivers. We used credit cards in many of the souvenir stores and pearl stores.......but used cash in the market. All the tour operators we used also accepted payment in US.
I'd double check that your credit card has no internatiional fees. Ours does not.

We used the ATM at the airport to exchange a little bit of cash but found it wasn't really necessary.

#7
WV
14,481 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I forgot to answer about the market. They are open every day and close around 4 on Monday thru Saturday. On Sunday, the handicrafts section was closed but they opened up a road adjacent to the market and were selling the most amazing produce I've ever seen. It appeared that the locals were doing their own shopping at this time.
#8
Tampa, FL
2,441 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by staylor
Just back on Saturday..........We has no problems using US dollar at the market or for the cab drivers. We used credit cards in many of the souvenir stores and pearl stores.......but used cash in the market. All the tour operators we used also accepted payment in US.
I'd double check that your credit card has no internatiional fees. Ours does not.

We used the ATM at the airport to exchange a little bit of cash but found it wasn't really necessary.

Thanks I really appreciate the info.
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#9
Tahiti
5 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Hello,

it's possible tu use US$ at the market but be carreful at the exchange rate the vendors will offer.
It's really better to change your $$ to CFP or to use an ATM to get cash in CFP.
#10
South West MO
6,435 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
It will cost you around 10%(or more) to use US dollars. I"m getting some XFP from Wells Fargo before the trip. I haven't looked in a few months but I think it was around 2 or 3 percent. They take a credit card and it is billed as a regular purchase, not a cash advance. Shipped overnight to your home.
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#11
1,079 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by ORV
It will cost you around 10%(or more) to use US dollars. I"m getting some XFP from Wells Fargo before the trip. I haven't looked in a few months but I think it was around 2 or 3 percent. They take a credit card and it is billed as a regular purchase, not a cash advance. Shipped overnight to your home.
I just bought some tahitian francs last nite from wells fargo---very simple to do.
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#12
243 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I know that AAA will also do currency exchanges ahead of time. Has anyone used that service or know what kind of fees they charge? Are they comparable to the Wells Fargo exchange? I do want to get some cash before we go because I know we'll need cash right away for the cab from the airport, and I'd rather not have to track down a functioning ATM when we get in at 11pm. We have our Capital One card which we plan to use rather than cash whenever possible to avoid the additional foreign exchange fees.
#13
South West MO
6,435 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by stephenandrew
I just bought some tahitian francs last nite from wells fargo---very simple to do.
Just checking to see how your purchase went. Was your credit card billed as a standard purchase? If so who is your card with?
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#14
1,079 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by ORV
Just checking to see how your purchase went. Was your credit card billed as a standard purchase? If so who is your card with?

Standard Purchase---I used a Visa issued by Chase
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#15
Michigan
63 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We live in a small town and I worried about getting the French Polynesian Franc in advance. Our Chase Bank converted money. If you have an account with them they will take it out of your Chase account. If you do not, you need cash. We requested the CFP one day and it was there the next day.
#16
Northern CA
1,888 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by UpNorthLady
We live in a small town and I worried about getting the French Polynesian Franc in advance. Our Chase Bank converted money. If you have an account with them they will take it out of your Chase account. If you do not, you need cash. We requested the CFP one day and it was there the next day.
Don't use Chase, wait to you get to the island.

I used Chase for my last trip and the exchange rate was AWFUL. Chase's exchnage cost 8 cents per dollar more than what I could have gotten if I waited until I arrived and used an ATM
#17
243 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I just got back from 3 nights on tahiti followed by an 11 night cruise and a final land day in Tahiti before a 10pm flight out. I had converted money through Wells fargo before the trip. However, there was no need to bother. Everyone took US dollars. Most items from vendors had prices marked in xpf, euros, and US$. Those without marked prices always quoted US$ when asked. I had to specifically request prices in xpf and in some of the posted price cases the US$ price actually was better. So, sometimes we used the francs and sometimes the US depending which was the better value for each specific purchase. If you are good with quick mental math, it might be worth having some local money for when it is a better buy but it is not necessary to have it. We ended up with leftover francs that we had to spend the final day just to not have to bother with reconverting them. And remember that if you have a credit card with no foreign exchange fees, all the actual stores took cards so you didn't need cash there. It's only the small vendors, taxis, and independent excursion operators that require cash. Friends on the cruise never converted any money and were able to make all their desired purchases without encountering anyone who price gouged them for using US$.

But if you do choose to get money in advance, my Wells fargo purchase was easy to do and the money arrived the next day.
#18
SE Queensland, Australia
5,340 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
The Pacific French Franc (CFP) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFP_franc is identified in western banks by the designation XPF http://exchangerate360.com/XPF-USD-conversion.htm

We recently did a cruise in the South pacific that went to a number of French islands. We therefore got some XPF before sailing and found it very useful. For example, we went to a very nice brewery restaurant in Papeete, which was full of locals. They were very busy - and XPF was the currency required.

Barry
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#20
Columbus, NJ
164 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by bazzaw
We recently did a cruise in the South pacific that went to a number of French islands. We therefore got some XPF before sailing and found it very useful. For example, we went to a very nice brewery restaurant in Papeete, which was full of locals. They were very busy - and XPF was the currency required.

Barry
Can you tell me the restaurant's name? My husband loves local brewery's

Thanks
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