Buy South African rand online

Our currency calculator is a quick and easy way to check our latest foreign currency exchange rates.

Why buy South African rand from M&S Bank?

Taking a dream trip to South Africa? Blessed with beautiful white beaches, adventurous activity destinations and the 'Big Five' wild animals, there's loads to do. Whether you're treating your kids to a once-in-a-lifetime safari trip or exploring Cape Town, at some point during your stay it's likely that you'll need to pay for something with South African currency.

We offer a number of benefits when you buy South African rand with M&S Bank.

  • Our stores are open 7 days a week
  • Buy South African rand online and collect from your local Bureau de Change
  • Exchange any leftover currency when you return using our buy back service

Click and Collect South African rand

ZAR South African rand exchange rate

The exchange rate may differ depending on the day you order your currency.

Find today's South African rand exchange rate here. Or use our South African rand converter to see how much you could get for your pound.

How to sell back South African rand

Do you have left over South African rand from your recent trip? We can buy back foreign currency from you.

How to order South African rand

Our online and in-store services make ordering your South African rand simple:

  • Order your South African rand online with our Click & Collect currency service. Choose your collection date and collect from your local Bureau de Change. Or order before 4pm and collect in store the same day, using our SameDay Click & Collect service*.
  • Or visit your local Bureau de Change to buy South African rand*. You can find our Bureaux de Change in M&S stores nationwide. Many are open seven days a week late into the evening, so you can buy your South African rand at a time that suits you.

Countries that accept South African rand

Besides South Africa, all countries in the Common Monetary Area accept the South African rand.

Why visit South Africa?

Located at the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa has something unique for every type of traveller.

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, South Africa has natural beauty in abundance. You'll find wild savannahs and rugged mountains in different areas of the country, and plenty of beaches along the coastline. From safaris in Kruger National Park to the plants in the Cape Floristic Region, you'll find no shortage of natural wonder in South Africa.

If you're more interested in city exploring, cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town have a variety of different shopping malls and restaurants, so be sure to bring some travel money along!

You can check the latest South African rand exchange rate using our currency converter if you're planning to visit South Africa any time soon.

South African rand facts and history

The South African rand is the official currency of South Africa.

Each South African rand is divided into 100 cents. We can refer to the rand by the code ZAR or by the R symbol.

The rand became the official South African currency in 1961, just a few months before the country became a republic. The rand replaced the South African pound and its introduction created a decimalised currency system.

South African rands come in both coins and banknotes. Coins include:

  • 10, 20, and 50 cents
  • ZAR1
  • ZAR2
  • ZAR5

Banknotes include:

  • ZAR10
  • ZAR20
  • ZAR50
  • ZAR100
  • ZAR200

You can buy South African rand online, visit our travel money hub to learn more.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my bank card in South Africa?

You'll be able to use your bank card in all urban areas in South Africa. You'll also find ATMs in built-up areas. If you're planning to use your card in South Africa, look for any potential costs or transaction fees when using your card abroad.

ATMs are harder to find in rural areas and shops in these areas are often cash-only. When venturing out of major cities, think about bringing some travel money to pay for your expenses.

How expensive is South Africa?

The South African rand is weaker than the British pound (GBP). This makes South Africa a relatively affordable destination.

Larger cities will typically be more expensive than rural areas, and you can expect to pay more in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. If you're going to South Africa on a budget, larger cities will be between 10% to 20% cheaper during off-peak seasons.

Check our currency converter to see the latest exchange rates for South African rand.

Can you use other currencies in South Africa?

The only currency accepted in South Africa is the South African rand.

Do you need a visa to visit South Africa?

As a UK citizen, you'll be able to visit South Africa for up to 90 days without a visa.

You'll need to apply for a visa if you want to stay a little longer. You'll also need a work permit if you plan to earn some rands.

Other passport holders should check the entry requirements with your country's embassy.

You should always research the most up to date visa guidelines before planning a trip.

Should I tip in South Africa?

Waiting staff in South Africa earn a very basic living wage, so you should try and tip whenever you can. When dining out, you should tip between 10% and 20% of the total bill.

If your meal costs ZAR200, you should leave your waiter a tip between ZAR20 and ZAR40.

Other workers will appreciate a tip between ZAR10 and ZAR15. These include:

  • taxi drivers
  • hotel cleaners
  • hotel staff
  • safari workers
  • tour guides

What languages are spoken in South Africa?

In total, there are 12 official languages in South Africa. English is commonly spoken in urban areas, and it's the main language used in South African media. English and Afrikaans are also part of the same language family. This means you may find yourself being able to understand a few words in Afrikaans as you travel.

What is the latest government travel advice for South Africa?

There is a higher risk of financial crime in South Africa. You should be vigilant of any card skimmers in ATMs and avoid using them in crowded areas. As a general rule, only withdraw money in secure areas like shopping malls or banks.

You can also visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest government travel advice for South Africa.

What is the best time of year to visit South Africa?

A diverse climate means there's always an ideal time to visit South Africa. Whether you're looking for safaris, coastal getaways, or beach holidays, South Africa has something all year-round.

The best time for a safari is from May to October, and you'll be able to view animals in famous reserves like Kruger and Madikwe. This is the South African dry season, and less vegetation makes wildlife easier to spot.

The hot summer months from November to March are unbeatable for a Cape Town beach holiday. Most of South Africa's coast enjoys year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, making it a great destination no matter when you go.

Important documents

M&S Travel Money Terms and Conditions (opens in a new window)

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Other popular currencies

If you are planning a future holiday or a trip that takes in multiple destinations, these other currencies may be useful:

US dollar
Japanese yen

*Subject to availability

† Subject to store opening hours