Money in Russia: Credit Cards, Debit Cards or Cash?

 Money in Russia: Credit Cards, Debit Cards or Cash?

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Last updated:
29.07.2019

Rubles are Russia's national currency, and although you probably won't be able to exchange money for rubles in your home country before you leave, you shouldn't worry, as it is possible to withdraw dollars, euros, and rubles from your debit card in almost all of the local ATMs.

Best Ways to Make Payments in Russia

Too many credit cards won't be necessary, and we advise bringing cash, which can be exchanged for Russian money in banks, and debit cards, which are accepted in most stores and restaurants. There are plenty of exchange offices in Russia, especially in urban cities, so it’s not a problem to exchange money on the spot. To get better exchange rates, we strongly recommend using US dollars and Euros. Plus, unlike in most European countries, such as Greece or Czechia, Russia's exchange offices don’t charge big fees for the exchange service.

Russian currency

Mastercard and Visa are the most popular card types, while American Express is not commonly accepted. An important thing to keep in mind is that credit cards aren’t as widely accepted as debit ones. We also would like to pay your attention that cards might not be accepted in rural areas outside Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other big cities.

It's a good idea, though, to check with your bank beforehand to find out the exchange rates that are implied for your cards when making payments in a foreign country. Also, we recommend informing your card provider about your trip to Russia to avoid unpleasant situations.

Russian currency

What’s for ATMs, they are straightforward to find in Russian cities, so you can withdraw Russian Rubles without any worries from an ATM where the option of switching language to English is usually provided.

To sum up, having a credit card will be beneficial for you in Russia, however, if you wish to spend some money on souvenirs and leave tips, we advise exchanging cash in advance.

TIP:
To be on the safe side, have 3000 - 10000 rubles in cash on you (1 USD is approximately 70 RUB).

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