How does the card work in Swaziland

I am going to Swaziland. They have their own currency that is directly pegged to the South African Rand and ZAR can be spent there. I have set up a ZAR account on my card and added money to it.

When I am in South Africa, I am expecting that any spending will be done from the ZAR account, and I am also expecting that if I use an ATM, the ZAR account is debited.

While in Swaziland, what happens there? I am hoping that the ZAR account is used. I think I can kind of force it to be used (after reading some of the FAQs) if that account has the most money in it.

Any clarification would be really helpful.
Many thanks

Hey @nigeljohnson73 :slight_smile:

If you check the :r:'s FAQs you will find an entry called “what balance will my card use when I’m abroad”, and it absolutely answers your question :wink:

On top of that, there’s no need to exchange beforehand, as the card will automatically auto-convert

I understand how you would come to that conclusion :slight_smile:

You can’t buy Emalengeni in the UK. You buy south African Rands and use them there. This is why I’m a bit confused. If the card knows to use south African rand then that’s good. I buy Rand’s ahead of time when the rates are favourable. Otherwise the usability of the card just lost a few points.

Also, the FAQ says it will use the account with the largest balance. If that’s my rand account then the conversion should be 1:1 but if there is a charge or conversion rate thing, then again the usefulness of the card is lowered and weswap is my goto card as it’s simply a simple foreign currency card :slight_smile:

Hey @nigeljohnson73 :smiley:

I just learnt that Swaziland’s currency is called Emalengeni :wink:

If you could spend in SZL, it would not matter wether you had a balance in ZAR or GBP as it would be directly converted. However, checking now, it seems SZL is not a supported currency :frowning:


I saw that also, WeSwap has exactly the same issue, however in that SZL isn’t (or wasn’t when I got my card) listed, but it works fine for chip and pin paying for goods, because it appears to all be handled in ZAR, I’m guessing because that’s how the card is registered. That card does not work in an ATM so there is obviously something going on there.

It also seems like you don’t like to pre-buy currency. Prior to Brexit, the ZAR was 24:1 so I bought shed loads… a few weeks after the announcement it was just under 16:1 - man did I have a party. Getting the best conversion on the day of purchasing something isn’t always getting the best deal, but I s’pose it may be seen more as speculation or gambling. I get that.

I’ll take it over and see what happens, worst case scenario I put all the money back in my regular bank account :slight_smile:

Hey @nigeljohnson73

Wise you :smiley:
I’m just terrible at finance so whenever i do such a thing I always end up losing money :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Also, it’s the “star feature” of :r:

This is the first message in the community about Swaziland, so please come back and post your results :smiley: