The thing is that I have USD's lying around in the house. Now the the thing is that if I just take them abroad in cash will there be a problem? I mean will the Indian customs ask me if they are endorsed on the PP??
Also can USD in cash be converted to travelers cheque or foreign travel card?
If the amount is less than USD 10K it does not need to be declared and thus is not entered on your passport.
However, the small technicality is that you are supposed to convert them to INR within about three months (or is it six?) of return.
In fact the foreign currency you bring in is never entered on your passport. You are issued a foreign currency declaration form that mentions your passport number amongst other details, but the amount is not entered in the passport.
And no, there is no direct conversion. USD will first be converted to INR and then back to USD TCs. You'd lose a lot in that process.
You can carry upto 10K USD while travelling. If travelling with family, my advise would be to share the amount with your spouse and it will be better as amount gets split.
As it cannot be endorsed now on your PP, Best bet would be to talk to a Forex Agent and get his slips for Currency conversion, for which he may charge you with some facilitation charges.
Converting directly to TCs can be tricky, just check with some forex guys, you will get a lot in Jaipur, if they can cross charge you directly without converting them to INRs.
If going for a long term, I would advise to get the funds wire transfer to destination and use there.
Just Checked, upto 2K USD, you do not need a Forex conversion slip as well. and the Cap of 10 K is applicable for One Year. If you have taken Foreign exchange upto 10 K last year, you may need to declare the new amount to Customs.
Wire transfer charges are high (INR 1200 at the least) and involve an unknown charge by the foreign bank. This unknown charge is never less than Euro 20/-!
The best way to do it is via a SBI Foreign Travel Card. Load it here for a paltry sum of about INR150 processing fee and make cash withdrawals from ATMs abroad for a transaction fee of about INR 100!! Nothing can be cheaper than that! The larger the amounts you load or withdraw the lower the processing charge, as it gets divided over the entire amount!
Dkay....i got a forex card from my bank, HDFC and had no problems in transactions, ATM Withdrawls in Brazil, even in small towns. in Brazil there is a huge number of ATM card frauds via cloning. so far i have had no problems. also i would not advise you to endorse any amount in the passports. i have been a globe trotter for more than a decade and have travelled with USD cash more than 5 grand and had no probs. more than that is not feasible. better you take couple of grands in cash and rest get a card like forex card. travelling with excessive cash is not advisable. better to divide the amount between u and wife. no need to complicate things by getting endorsements on passport.
Right!! Rickey's answer makes it more or less simple for me. I am NOT taking more than USD 5K cash and that will be due'ly divided between my wife and I so I guess should not be a problem, or hopefully it wont be.
Anup Sir, the SBI Foreign Travel card sounded interesting till they told me that I cant buy it in lieu of dollars. So basically I will have to pay double conversion (USD to INR to USD) to get a card like that. Similarly, Rickey I would have to do the same thing, i.e. pay double with a travel card from any bank or for travellers cheque also. I think your suggestions are best suited if someone is buying foreign currency in lieu of INR
Max, Thank you, I hope the person who told you that 2K is allowed without any sweat is right, because that's approximately the amount that I will carry.
Might just get extra pockets stitched in my pants to hide away the stash
Dhiraj.....you can rest assured that no one is gonna ask you to show ure currency etc. in all my years of travelling no one did. once i was carrying 15 grand usd. so no worries for sure. for 5 grand ...no probs at all. if you have your entire budget in cash then no probs to take it but its the safety issue more than anything. i would still suggest you take a forex card as its not that expensive and its not that expensive. at least talk to your banker and then make a informed decision. but meanwhile don´t worry about the cash you will carry. am so happy for your Air France tickets you won...relax and enjoy now. you have done more research than i did when i was doing the Amazon jungle trip.