Bangladesh Bank recommends travelcards instead of cash US dollars for going abroad


The central bank has recommended that Bangladeshis ask their banks to issue travelcards instead of endorsing cash US dollars for travel abroad. The recommendation came at a time when Bangladesh is dealing with a severe US dollar shortage, both in commercial banks and in the kerb market due to a massive depletion of its foreign exchange reserves. Due to a massive demand-supply mismatch, the rate of greenbacks in the banking channel and on the open market has been setting new records every week for the last couple of months.

For instance, the website of The City Bank Ltd on Thursday showed that the rate of the cash US dollar is Tk 109.50 while if a traveller is issued a travelcard or if they pay for any overseas services via an international credit card, the rate is Tk 95 per dollar.

“This is why we are recommending travellers to request their banks to ask for travelcards, instead of asking for cash so that they pay less,” Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Sirajul Islam said during an impromptu Q&A with journalists on Thursday.

“Plenty of people are travelling abroad from Bangladesh every year for tourism, education and medical treatment purposes. If they endorse the US dollar they like to purchase in a travelcard instead of cash, they have to pay a lot less,” he said.

Bangladeshi law dictates that any Bangladeshi or a resident in Bangladesh may take out foreign exchange not exceeding $5,000 by endorsing the money in their passport as a form of declaration.

Meanwhile, the bullish forex kerb market cooled down a little on Thursday, as the price of cash US dollar came down to TK 113 from Wednesday’s rate of Tk 119.

Banks are selling cash greenbacks from Tk 107- Tk 109.50, according to the website of Bangladesh Bank.