Advice for exchanging money wanted!

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by pengpeng, May 23, 2005.

  1. pengpeng

    pengpeng Member

    Hi there,

    I will travel to Prague from Scotland next month. Is it better to exchange British Pounds before travelling or to exchange money on arriving at Prague? The rate is better in CR than UK. Is it safe? :shock: What is the usual commisions in Prague? Would anybody reccomend a convicing agency?

  2. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Do not change your money at Check Point. They have very good rate posted outside, but inside in very small letters they have different rate. Advertized rate is if you are BUYING foreign currency, rate in small letters inside is for changing foreign money to Kc, however even that gets worse, because that rate indicates exchange of large amount of money not what you would usually want to exchange. You will end up getting less than in the regular bank. On top of that rip off at Check Point, they give you map of Prague with your money and while you think that it is free, you already received at least 60Kc less. There was also article about them in Prague Post last it.

    Beware of exchanging your money for currency of country you are going next as there is really rip off. It is calculated first into Euro (with charge for that exchange) and then from Euro to that currency (another charge for exchange). This is the way it is, even in the banks, so if you travel on after Czech Rep. you are better to exchange money in that country..

    But to answer your question: I usually exchange money in Banks on Vaclavske namesti, which is convenient location. Better yet, I get cash from my Visa, American Express, Master Card (and pay it off within month in my currency (or have someone at home to pay my bill) this way I get the best rate.

    As I am not in Prague now, unfortunately I cannot check for you what the rate is. Try this website and check off type of rate:
  3. Kit

    Kit Member

    Hello everyone!

    In my bank they told me that I'll be able to take krones from my rouble 'visa' card almost in every cash machine in Prague. For me, of course, it's much cheaper than to buy euro in Russia and change them into krones in Prague. However, I do not want to find out that my credit card is just a piece of plastic in Czech Republic when I'm in Prague already :cry: .

    Has anybody of Russian travellers tried this operation?

    Thanks in advance
  4. probinso

    probinso Member

    I never change cash in Prague -- always seems to be a losing proposition. I take money out at the bankomat with my Visa Debit card.
  5. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    I also use my credit card to get Kc. It seems to be best rate.
  6. schutnitza

    schutnitza Active Member

    Agree with Magan and Probinso. We used our ATM card to get money from Bankomat.

    If you exchange money they usually also charge you commission for the transaction.
  7. pengpeng

    pengpeng Member

    Many thanks!
  8. Square1bloke

    Square1bloke Member


    I will be traveling to Prague with a friend in August. It will be my first visit to Eastern Europe. I had planned to use my visa card, rather than take cash.

    Are ATMs easily accessible in Prague and are they secure, ie at least as much as you would expect them to be in the UK.

    Does anyone know, if one is easily accessible at the airport, as I will need money to get to where we are staying or should I take a bit of cash, just to tie me over..

    I would also be igrateful for any other useful info, ie ettiquet, what to do and what not to do.

    What is usual practice when it comes to tipping for instance.

  9. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    look at this link for the airport:

    choose a terminal (probably 1 North) and scroll down the legend to select the locations of various items including bankomats
  10. strange_too

    strange_too Active Member

    When travelling from England I normally change the English £ at Prague airport, but if you got lots of Scotish £ I would change in Scotland. The notes don't get around that much and it would be better to make sure you can change up ok. Legally there is no difference in the value of the currency, but outside the UK, the Scotish and Northen Irish £ are rare. They look different, so they might be refused.

    I hope this makes sense to you.

  11. Ir

    Ir Well-Known Member

    Be aware that in CR Scottish and NI bank notes will not be accepted. Make sure you have Bank of England notes if you want to change cash in CR. I think you are as well to change the money before you go - there is little difference between the best rates at home and in Czech, and you won't have to go looking for an exchange. The fairest exchanges are on Panska, round the corner from Vaclavske Namesti (off na Prikope). The rates/deals are better than Wenceslas Square. I've heard the airport exchanges are a rip-off. In fact everything in the airport is overpriced.

    If you have a Cirrus/Maestro cashcard that is probably the best way to get hold of Czech cash.
  12. pengpeng

    pengpeng Member

    :D Thanks everybody!
    Just returned from Prague.
    Scotish pounds can not be changed to CZK, so I withdrawed money from my card. The service fee is more than 5%(the royal bank of Scotland, too expensive! :!: ),however the rate is still acceptable.
    P.S. The rate in Cesky Krumlov is better than in Prague.
  13. Ir

    Ir Well-Known Member

    For anyone else travelling to Prague who wishes to change cash from their own country to Czech crowns, don't compare exchanges by the rate advertised outside. There are usually all kinds of conditions and special commissions that make the figure meaningless.

    The best way is to go up to an exchange and ask them, 'How many Czech crowns will I get for XXX (home currency)?' And then you can compare a few exchanges before you part with your hard-earned cash.
  14. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    ALWAYS CARRY PACKET CALCULATOR (and use it). With that in hand they would know you are not to be fooled.

    Rates posted outside are deceiving as they are for BUYING (exchanging Kc for FOREIGN currency NOT exchanging your currency for Czech crones. Listing of exchange rate inside is usually for exchange of LARGE AMOUNT of money (i.e. $1000) not for what you usually need. Also, always ask how much you will actually get, how much % is their commission??). Always watch person to count money and AGAIN recount it right there while person is watching. That way if there is discrepancy, exchanger can also see that there is. DO NOT CARE that others are waiting behind you as exchangers usually take advantage of that situation counting on you rushing out of there.

    In Checkpoint Exchange:
    Also watch out if they give you a map. Map costs 60 Kc and they already charged you. It is not free (very cheeky!). You can give it back and get 60 Kc back.
  15. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    At Prague Airport, there re several "change" locations -- most open 24 hrs -- and exchanging forgein currency is no problem in the Czech Republic, but in some of the smaller villiages. Bur if there is a bank, you can exchange!

    However, do not make the same mistake I made. I changed my "entire bugeted " sum for the stay at the airport ( not bad exchange, and over the period of 4 weeks, I've noticed only a 2Kc +/- flactuation. The "problem" was when I left --due to delays, I did not have the oportunity to exchange the Kc's in Prague, and missed the oportunity to do it in London, so I waited until I arrived in the US --that is where I was realy "shafted", for I purchased the Kc at 23 x 1 in the Czech Republic and in the US they demanded 30Kc for a dollar (that is almost a 30% less).

    Hence, since the exchange is available all over the Republic, at reasonable rates only change what you will need for a few days at the time, in the long run, you will save some cash.

  16. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Never exchange money on the street. They are crooks, using Bulgarian money instead of Czech.
  17. Square1bloke

    Square1bloke Member

    Thanks everyone for all the tips. They give an idea, of the things to look out for.
  18. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Unbelievable! Is there such a thing as a Scottish pound? :eek:
  19. Ir

    Ir Well-Known Member

    Of course there is such a thing as a Scottish pound.

    In the UK, the pound sterling is the currency. In England and Wales, banknotes are issued by the Bank of England in London. In Scotland, three corporate banks can issue bank notes (Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale Bank). In Northern Ireland, four banks issue banknotes (Bank of Ireland, First Trust Bank, Northern Bank, Ulster Bank).

    In Scotland you will normally only see Scottish banknotes in circulation, and the same for NI, and for England & Wales. But it is all the same money. Although while it's easy to use Bank of England notes anywhere, usually it's very difficult to use Scottish or Irish banknotes in England & Wales. This is mainly because the people there aren't used to it and are afraid it could be fake, etc. This is why it is difficult to change Scottish or NI money in CR.

    Scotland and NI also have their own legal systems.
  20. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    So it is all the sillier to try and pass these banknotes outside the UK. What an amusing excentric! :lol:

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