With all the old-world charm it has to offer, as well as prices much lower than the tourist hotspots of Western Europe, the Czech Republic is fast becoming a top destination for travellers. While debit and credit cards are widely accepted there, it’s never a bad idea to have some cash on hand while travelling. Luckily, doing so in the Czech Republic is as easy as finding an ATM. Here’s what to do.
ATMs can be found pretty easily at the typical spots like airports and banks. Bank ATMs are generally the safest and most convenient, but be sure to use ATMs inside banks, as the ones outside are common targets for card skimming devices.
To find a local bank ATM, try these tools:
- Ceska Sporitelna ATM locator
- Československá obchodní banka (ČSOB) ATM locator
- Komerční banka ATM locator
You can also look for one of the international banks that operate in the Czech Republic:
- Citibank Czech Republic ATM locator
- Unicredit Bank Czech Republic ATM locator
- Sberbank (formerly Volksbank) Czech Republic ATM locator
If your card is backed by a major network, it will probably work in the Czech Republic. Visa, Mastercard and Maestro are widely accepted. American Express is less common but still usable. Discover is unknown in the Czech Republic. Keep in mind that some stores may have a minimum purchase amount for using a card, so it’s always good to have a little bit of cash on hand.
To find an ATM that will work with your card’s network, try these tools:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
Unlike in much of Europe, you can use a PIN of any length at ATMs in the Czech Republic, so you don’t need to worry if your PIN is longer than the standard four digits. Chip and PIN cards are most common, but even if your card only has a magnetic swipe strip, you should still be able to use it in most places in the Czech Republic that accept credit and debit cards.
Generally, ATMs will allow you to withdraw up to 10,000 koruna per transaction, as long as your bank doesn’t have a lower limit. If you need to withdraw large sums of cash while you’re in the Czech Republic, you can always contact your bank and ask if your daily withdrawal limit can be temporarily raised.
Always let your bank know before you travel abroad. There’s nothing worse than being in a foreign country without access to your money, and if your bank flags your card for suspicious foreign activity, it could get shut down. Don’t risk it -- let your bank know ahead of time when and where you’re travelling.
It’s an unfortunate reality that using ATMs often comes with fees. But does it have to? You can reduce or even eliminate them with a few simple tricks.
When using your card at a foreign ATM, you might notice that you have the option to view your transaction in your home currency instead of in the local currency. Don’t do it! Dynamic currency conversion (DCC) seems helpful at first, but it actually allows the ATM to set its own exchange rate, which means you could get stuck paying the markup on an exchange rate that’s poorer than the mid-market rate. Instead, always choose to view transactions in the local currency to save money.
Your home bank may charge you flat fees or percentages for withdrawals, or it may charge you a foreign transaction fee to use your card outside of your home country. Check with your bank before your trip so you’re not blindsided by fees.
In general, you should try to avoid ATMs in airports and hotels, as they tend to have higher rates to target tourists. You should also look for a card without foreign transaction or ATM fees. And always remember to view transactions in the local currency so you don’t get hit with DCC fees.
If possible, transfer money ahead of time with Wise, which moves money at the exact mid-market rate with no hidden fees or markups. All you pay is a small transfer fee. Wise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow you to send, receive and manage money in Czech koruna and dozens of other currencies all at once.
Hopefully, these tips have you ready to enjoy your trip to the Czech Republic without worrying about your money. Safe travels!
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